Resting on evocative paintings by Cook, this album is a fascinating presentation of the formation of planets, theories of which are in flux in the face of fantastical extrasolar worlds discovered in the past decade. They look nothing like our solar-system neighbors, shown off in the beautiful Beyond
by Michael Benson (2003), because these orbs are sci-fi weird. Generally Jupiter-gigantic in size, they orbit pulsars, red giants, white dwarfs, and binary stars, and Cook's imagination, grounded in known data, depicts the sky's alien appearance from such places. If these planetary systems contain Earth-size globes (yet to be found but technically possible), Cook proffers their possible visages, factoring in their parent star type and location in the "habitable zone," where temperatures are suitable for life. Author Villard contributes an informative text that summarizes the history of planet exploration, theories of solar-system evolution, and the cosmic habitat in future eons as it will affect planets and any civilizations they harbor. An appealing eye-grabber for the astronomy collection. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Together, Villard and Cook bid us join them on an odyssey to planets of dust and moisture and vapor, to infinite worlds out there in the grand universal expanse." - Dr. James White, Editor of Mercury Magazine"