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Beautiful book, full to the brim with everything you need to know. I bought this for my 11 year old son, but he did struggle with some of the words, and understanding some of the text. So now we are reading it together. Great book, but quite hard for children to understand on their own.
I purchased this book for my 11 year old Granddaughter who is definitely interested in the science of Astronomy and Space. So far, after receiving this book, she has impressed both her school teacher and her parents with an increased knowledge and interest in the subject. She has lots of comments and questions based on the book. A budding Astronomer in the making...
Jacqueline Mitton, the consultant editor of this marvelous book must be commended for gathering a team of writers who have achieved what Nigel deGrasse Tyson failed to achieve in his slightly misleading book title, ‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’. Here is a line from deGrasse: ‘Although we haven’t reached the finish line, we know exactly where the high hurdles are. One of them is during the “Planck era” of the early universe. That’s the interval of time from t = 0 up to t = 10-43 seconds (one ten-million-trillion-trillion-trillionths of a second) after the beginning, and before the universe grew to 10-35 meters (one hundred billion trillion-trillionths of a meter) across.’
In contrast, ‘The Astronomy Book’ produces writing like: ‘In 1900, German physicist Max Planck worked out the precise mathematics to describe how the mix of wavelengths of light given off by hot objects, and hence their color, varies according to their temperature. Thus star colors are related to surface temperature – red stars have the coolest surfaces, and blue stars the hottest.’
The Astronomy Book has a much wider range of topics than deGrasse’s book (but that is because deGrasse spends a great deal more time and detail on astrophysics). The Astronomy Book covers asteroids and meteorites, as it does the fascinating subject of the (possible) life on other planets. Would we be put off by words like ‘quasars and pulsars’? In the chapter, ‘It has to be some new kind of Star’, a quasar is clearly and fully explained in one short paragraph. And ‘Dark Matter’? No matter. In the entertaining chapter, ‘Most of the Universe is Missing’, we find out why we cannot see most of the universe – thanks to Vera Rubin. She showed that stars in ‘nearby galaxies seemed not to move in a way consistent with Newton’s law of gravity: their outer regions moved too quickly.’ The writer goes on to explain this phenomenon simply and clearly.
As in all DK books in this series, there are lovely photographs, not just of space and planets, but earthly luminaries such as Vera Rubin, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Edwin Hubble, and Bertil Lindblad. For those who find deGrasse too daunting, they will find this book illuminating.
Bought this for Classical Conversations challenge B scientist studies. It has the perfect amount of info on each scientist to count as one source. Sometimes the info get's a little too technical for my 8th grader, but we just skim over that and use what we understand.