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Secrets of the planets

Join Dava as she cleverly weaves science, history, biography and storytelling to trace the lives of each member of our solar family.

Our solar system is the source of endless fascination and beauty, and has captured our imagination since humanity first glimpsed the glittering night skies. Who better to lead us on a unique tour of the heavenly bodies that are our close neighbours in the vast expanses of the Universe than Dava Sobel, ten years on from wowing the world with her gripping tale of the race to win the Longitude challenge? Whether revealing what hides behind Venus’ cocoon of acid clouds, describing Neptune’s ‘complex blue beauty of subtle stripes and spots’, or capturing first-hand the excitement at the CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory when Cassini-Huygens recently beamed back its mind-blowing pictures of Saturn and Titan, the story of the planets is one jam-packed with drama and excitement. Join Dava as she cleverly weaves science, history, biography and storytelling to trace the lives of each member of our solar family, from myth and history, astrology and science fiction, to the latest data from the modern era’s robotic space probes. Telling a human, and often quirky, story that – at once timely and timeless, and of infinite relevance to this age in which new planets are being discovered elsewhere in our galaxy, around stars other than the Sun – can’t help but engage and delight us. Emeritus Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale (former Astronomer Royal) will chair this event.

Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of Longitude – a prize-winning international bestseller – and Galileo’s daughter, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. She has co-authored six books and has won a number of awards for her outstanding contribution towards public understanding of science. She lives in East Hampton, New York, USA.


Dava Sobel | talks | www


Date and Time:

6 September 2005 at 7:00 pm


2 hours



The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992

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£8, £5 for Ri Members and concessions

Available from:

www.rigb.org or phone 020 7409 2992

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