Our Solar System, Explained By Author and Space Freak

in Save The World by

“This is no textbook. We love space, and like fools in love, we want to shout it from the rooftops. But science has a tendency to be a little tough to digest –- which is what this book is for.”

So explains Kate Howells, co-author of the visually astounding and creatively written Space is Cool as Fuck, now available in the U.S. from Lost The Plot, the innovative Australian imprint of Pantera Press.

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The book is everything you thought you could never understand about the universe explained in plain-old filthy English. As artists and scientists collide on the magical, wonderful infinity and possibilities of space, the book provides a brief history of the universe that will leave you scratching your head and gazing up in absolute wonder.

Lost The Plot certainly has the right co-author for this project: Howells is also the Global Community Outreach Manager of the Planetary Society, an organization empowering the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration.

“We are not experts, but simply enthusiasts,” says Howells. “We want to give you a taste of the glorious reality you inhabit by providing an introduction to some of the incredible stuff out there.”

As you would expect, and perhaps can already tell, Howells is somewhat of a space freak. As such, she recently answered these questions about her fascination with the subject and shared some of her theories and beliefs.

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What’s your favorite planet?
Jupiter has got to be my favorite, because it’s enormous and beautiful and it’s got so many awesome moons. But if we’re talking favorite celestial body, I’ve got to go with Saturn’s moon Titan. It’s like Earth’s frozen alter ego, with lakes and rivers and rain but all made out of liquid ethane and methane, and mountains made of rock-hard ice. Literally one of the coolest places in our solar system. 

Would you go to space? 
I would love to go into space. I wouldn’t want to go live on Mars or anything permanent like that, but it would be amazing to go into orbit and see the Earth as a planet, or go bounce around on the moon. 

Isn’t space scary?
Some people find the vast emptiness of space scary, but I don’t. For some reason, I am way more scared by the idea of floating alone in the middle of the ocean than of floating alone in the middle of space. 

How did you first get interested in space?
I read Cosmos by Carl Sagan. His way of explaining science is so poetic and beautiful it makes you feel awestruck. The book had pictures of Jupiter’s moons, too, which knocked my socks off. 

Do you think humans will ever colonize other planets?
I kind of hope we don’t. I’d like to keep sending robots out to learn about what’s out there, but I think we’ll never find a home as good as Earth. I hope we learn to take better care of our environment so that we don’t need to escape to some frigid Mars colony. 

Do aliens exist?
Oh yeah, 100 percent. It’s ridiculous to think that Earth is the only planet in the universe that has life. There are definitely a lot of cool creatures out there. Whether we’ll ever find them is another story. The distances to other stars and planets are so huge, it’ll be a real challenge to find evidence of life beyond our planet, let alone beyond our solar system. But I’m sure it’s out there. 

What about UFOs? 
I personally have never been convinced that aliens have come to Earth. I think it would be a very difficult secret for the world’s governments to keep. But I’m open-minded, and I love hearing people’s UFO stories. 

What’s Bill Nye the Science Guy really like?
He’s the best. They say never meet your heroes, but Bill is the exception. He’s obviously super smart but is also hilarious, and really . He’s been a great friend and mentor for me, and was kind enough to do a very long and very fun interview to go in the book. 


Do you believe in astrology?
Hell yeah, proud Sagittarius over here! Don’t ask me to explain how I think it works. I’m a science-minded person, but I also enjoy indulging in some self-reflective magical thinking. 

Space is Cool as Fuck is now available to purchase.

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ABOUT KATE HOWELLS:

Kate Howells is the Global Community Outreach Manager of the Planetary Society, an organization empowering the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration.

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