How to tell if a book is in stock...

"On Our Shelves Now" means yes, we have it on hand, order away!

"Ships in 1-5 days" means we sold our last copy, but more are easily available so still, order away!!

"Special Order" means it may be out of print or hard to get.  Call the store to get more information from a Bookseller.

Not sure and want to double check?  Be Savvy!  Call and ask one of our booksellers for more details.

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Secret Lives of Planets: Order, Chaos, and Uniqueness in the Solar System Cover Image
Not Yet Published


An insider’s guide to astronomy reveals everything you need to know about the planets, their satellites, and our place in the solar system.

We have the impression that the solar system is perfectly regular like a clock or a planetarium instrument. On a short timescale it is. But, seen in a longer perspective, the planets, and their satellites, have exciting lives, full of events. 

For example, did you know that Saturn’s moon, Titan, boasts lakes which contain liquid methane surrounded by soaring hills and valleys, exactly as the earth did before life evolved on our fragile planet? Or that Mercury is the shyest planet? Or, that Mars’s biggest volcano is one hundred times the size of Earth’s, or that its biggest canyon is ten times the depth of the Grand Canyon, or that it wasn’t always red, but blue? 

The culmination of a lifetime of astronomy and wonder, Paul Murdin’s enchanting new book reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the planets, their satellites, and our place in the solar system.

About the Author

Paul Murdin has worked as an astronomer in the United States, Australia, England, Scotland, and Spain, where he led the operation of the Anglo-Dutch Isaac Newton Group of telescopes. He has been a research scientist (studying supernovae, black holes, and neutron stars) and a science administrator for the British Government and the Royal Astronomical Society. He is Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, England. He has been honored in Britain by the Queen for his services to astronomy.

Praise For…

“An awe-inspiring tour of the solar system’s most noteworthy celestial bodies. Murdin’s fondness for his subject is evident throughout this elegant, imaginative survey and should be contagious to all who encounter it.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“With nations reviving an interest in human space exploration, this expert overview by Murdin, emeritus professor of astronomy at Cambridge, is a welcome description of what’s out there...Satisfying popular science, just right for the budding astronomer in the household...satisfying popular science, just right for the budding astronomer in the household.”
— Kirkus Review

In this highly readable survey of the planets from Mercury outward, astronomer Murdin summarizes the scientific knowledge about each...A first-rate introduction to the solar system.
— Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781643138480
ISBN-10: 1643138480
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English

The Secret Lives of Planets: Order, Chaos, and Uniqueness in the Solar System (Paperback)