A Space Traveller’s Guide to the Solar System – Mark Thompson

by John Carter


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hurtle through space at 25 kilometres per second on an interstellar trip through our solar system and beyond?  Mark Thompson’s book takes us on that journey, giving us close-up views of the sun, the planets, the moons, the asteroids and even distant galaxies.

The journey starts as we board our spacecraft on planet earth in readiness for a mammoth expedition through the solar system that will take 42 years to complete.  We soon learn the practicalities of life in space such as what we will eat and drink, how our spacecraft is powered, and how gravity can be simulated on the spacecraft.  The journey has many highlights including exploring the surfaces of Mars and the moons of Jupiter, swerving through the asteroid belt, getting close to the unimaginably hot sun, and flying between the gaps in Saturn’s magnificent rings.

The book is packed with fascinating facts about the solar system we live in.  Did you know that there are storms on Neptune in which it rains diamonds; that Jupiter is so large that the earth could fit inside it 1,321 times; that humans would be able to jump 30 metres high on Pluto; that there may still be undiscovered planets in the outer reaches of our solar system?

Mark Thompson also considers the big questions.  How did the universe form and how big is it?  Will we discover alien life and what will it look like?  What will happen to human-life in the future and can we colonise Mars?

This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever gazed up at the sky in wonder.


John Carter is a Commercial Property Solicitor at Raworths LLP.


Mark Thompson is appearing at the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival on Friday 8th July at 10.30am. Click Here to Book.