WHAT: special lecture/book signing event
WHERE: UMD Observatory
WHEN: Fri 22 May 8pm
RSVP: The lecture is free, but we are asking folks to RSVP as we do have limited space in our lecture hall.

We humans must understand our own place in the solar system and explore neighboring worlds to prosper intellectually and economically. In PLANETOLOGY: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, Tom Jones, planetary scientist and four-time shuttle astronaut, joins forces with noted planetary geologist Ellen Stofan to convey exciting new insights into the stories of Earth and its celestial siblings.

The pair will present compelling new images of Earth and remarkable scenes of alien surfaces beamed home by astronauts and our far-ranging robotic probes. From space, we see remarkable visual evidence of the natural processes that have shaped the varied planetary landscapes in our solar system: searing lava plains, windswept deserts, active volcanoes, up-thrust mountains, creeping glaciers and stark impact craters. Ranging from the international fleet of spacecraft on and around Mars, to the Cassini Saturn mission, to the once-hidden surface of Mercury, these striking images help us understand the powerful forces that have shaped our own planet, and inform humanity's age-old quest for other worlds like our own.

The authors will sell and sign copies of Planetology ($35).

PLANETOLOGY: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM (National Geographic Books, ISBN: 978-1-4262-0121-9, Nov. 2008, $35 hardcover)