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Titanic References

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#1 Rick Woods

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

I've recently developed an interest in Titan, and have been looking for books on the subject. For those of you who share my interest, here's what I've found (prices listed are ballpark used prices):

"Lifting Titan's Veil" Lorenz & Mitton 2002 ~$10 260pp

"Titan Unveiled" Lorenz & Mitton 2008 ~$10 243pp


These are pre- and post-Cassini books by the same two authors. I read and enjoyed the second one; I'm reading the first one now. Both written at a popular level, but with a technical tendency. There's not much overlap; the second book compliments the first one nicely.

"Titan: The Earth-Like Moon" Coustenis & Taylor 1999 ~$15 330pp

I just ordered this. I think this will a bit more high-level than the last ones. This is a pre-Cassini book. I know that Taylor is a pretty technical writer.

Now it starts getting expensive:

"Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World" Coustenis & Taylor 2008 ~$70 412pp

This is the post-Cassini revised version of the above book; same authors.

"Titan from Cassini-Huygens" Robert Brown, ed. 2009 ~$90 543pp

I don't know anything about this one, but considering its price and page count, I expect it will be pretty technical and high-level.

I don't plan on ordering the last two any time soon (too expensive at this point), so if anyone has read them, feel free to chime in here. I'm still on the ground floor in my Titan studies, so I'm going cheap for the time being.

If you know of any more, please, post them here; I'll do the same as I find them.

#2 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:35 PM

Ok, a bit tongue in cheek here, when you were younger did you ever read 'Trouble on Titan' by A.E. Nourse? (i always thought it was Andre Norton until i just looked it up)

#3 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:38 AM

No; but I read my share of both Nourse and Norton. I'll look that one up.

#4 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:12 AM

Rick,
That is a fascinating moon. I recall Dickinson commenting that a glider could actually fly through its atmosphere successfully. I get hooked on certain objects too sometimes so I'm with ya there.

#5 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:50 PM

A glider with small wings, no less; the atmosphere is 1.5 times as dense as that of the Earth!
When I get hooked on a subject, it generally results in a shorage of bookcase room.

#6 Rick Woods

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:26 PM

I've learned that Greek astronomer Athena Coustenis (co-author of two of the above books) is one of the real heavyweights in Titan research. I guess I'll end up with her second book as well. (Aw hell, who am I kidding? I'll end up with all of them!)

If anyone decides to read the two Lorenz/Mitton books, I advise reading them in order. Like I said, not much overlap; but the first one presents the last-minute pre-Cassini knowledge (which was extensive), with the questions (some very big!) that they hoped Cassini would answer. I read the answers first, and now, reading the prior speculation, I find I have to keep going back and comparing to see what the answer turned out to be.
The first book also develops the background and reasoning for the questions and speculations much more fully; the answers would be in better context, reading the second book last. It just would have flowed better, read in order.

Mea Culpa.

#7 Rick Woods

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 04:05 PM

OK, OK!
I just ordered Coustenis & Taylor's "Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World". In further looking, I find that those two are the actual authors; Robert Brown is the editor of the other expensive book, which is a multi-author compilation, probably of very technical scientific papers. I'll need to ease into that one! I find that those books are often over my head for the most part. Books that are written entirely by one (or two) authors seem to flow better, and be more readable (for me).

So now I have both of Coustenis' books on their way. Hey - so many books, so little time! (This time, though, I'm reading them in order.)

#8 Rick Woods

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:59 PM

Just found this one:

"Titan: Interior, Surface, Atmosphere, and Space Environment" Ingo Müller-Wodarg, Caitlin A. Griffith, Emmanuel Lellouch, Thomas E. Cravens (eds). No page count. Preorder now for $130.

Looks like another compilation of scientific papers. Cambridge University Press. Publish date June 2013. No page count, but probably massive. Caitlin Griffith figures prominently in some of the stuff I've read so far. This is the latest and greatest so far.

#9 Rick Woods

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:17 AM

I'm about 1/4 of the way through "Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World". It's a relatively hard read (for me), as the text is for the most part quite technical, and I tend to glaze over in parts. And, there are strange quirks in the writing that suggest to me that the author (Ms. Coustenis?) speaks English as a second language.

But, there's a lot of great information in it. For the layman (read: me), "Titan Unveiled" is a better choice, especially if you're only going to get one. And this book cost about 6-7 times as much. But, that's what it cost, and I'm glad I got it. And it does go deeper into the real dirty details of the subject.

Titan is a really fascinating world - unique in the Solar System, and by far the most Earth-like world we know of (beyond Earth). I don't think we'll be seeing a Titan globe any time soon.

I don't know if anyone really cares about this or not. But I'll tell all, in case anyone does.

#10 LivingNDixie

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:15 AM

I really enjoyed Titan Revealed, and it is very readable. When you get done with Titan there is a great book about Europa that you might want to consider Unmasking Europa by Greenberg, only downside is numerous references to how the author was right when rest of the scientific community was wrong and his trials because of it... but the science is good and it is worth the read. I hope in time someone will write a book similar to Titan Revealed for Enceladus

#11 Rick Woods

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:31 AM

Thanks, Preston.
Hey, nothing like personalizing your book, eh? If Greenberg took a lot of guff before being proved correct, I guess he's entitled to vent a little. Especially if it's a good book anyway.

#12 Rick Woods

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:28 AM

Well, if it matters to anyone: I finished "Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World" (Coustenis & Taylor). If you're really interested in the subject (I am), and are comfortable with a lot of technical chemistry talk (I'm not), there's a lot of good info. But I had to skip a couple of chapters almost completely - there just wasn't any point in trying to read them. Several commonly used terms that I had to look up, had definitions that I didn't understand either. I just had no point of reference!
For a layman at my level, "Titan Unveiled" is still my recommendation. Available for about $15 instead of the $70 I paid for "Earthlike World".

Ah well. If I hadn't bought it, I wouldn't know. But now, four books down the road, I think I'm getting an idea of the situation on Titan. So, it's worth it.






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