Writing this book allowed me to link today’s scientific exploration of the Solar System with popular culture—everything from astrology and mythology to science fiction, music, and poetry. The book celebrates Earth and her nearest neighbors at this unique moment in history, when the old familiar solar family yields to a new definition of the word planet, and thousands of recently discovered exoplanets orbiting stars beyond the Sun hold out the tantalizing possibility of extraterrestrial life.
I wish I had given this book a title that better reflected its whimsical, non-textbook nature. Perhaps How the Planets Came to Earth would have been a better choice.
Please note, the imaginative color illustrations created by space artist Lynette Cook appear only in the paperback edition of The Planets. [EXAMPLE ILLUSTRATIONS?]