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1. Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology,
2. The Silent War : Book III of The
3. The Rock Rats (Asteroid Wars)
4. Asteroids III (Space Science Series)
5. Pirates of the Asteroids (Lightning)
6. Asteroid Rendezvous: NEAR Shoemaker's
7. The Ultimate Asteroid Book
8. The Asteroid Ephemeris 1900 to
9. The Aftermath: Book Four of The
10. The asteroids, or minor planets
11. Far-Out Guide to Asteroids and
12. Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids
13. Guide to the Universe: Asteroids,
14. Doomsday Asteroid: Can We Survive?
15. Commander Toad and the Dis-asteroid
16. The Precipice (Asteroid Wars)
17. Asteroids: A History
18. Asteroids, Comets and Meteors
19. Asteroid Impact
20. Asteroids, Meteorites, and Comets

1. Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine
by Demetra George, Douglas Bloch
Paperback: 416 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$8.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892540826
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book shows how the discovery of the asteroids Ceres, Pallas Athena, Juno, and Vesta coincided with the shift of a woman. The creating, supporting, nurturing aspect held by the goddess Ceres, the universal mother, brings us to how we feel nurtured and how we function with our roles of mother-child. She embodies the principle of unconditional love. Pallas Athena is our Warrior Goddess, a woman in a man's world, carrying the principle of creative intelligence. Vesta, our goddess of Focus and Commitment, is our High Priestess. Juno, the Queen of Heaven and Divine Consort, is our capacity for meaningful relationships. Understanding the themes that each goddess holds enriches our understanding of that function and expression in our lives. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars an instant classic
Demetra George's contribution to the field of Astrology is monumental, to say the very least. This material came along at a time when women were actively seeking new roles in society and thus it is evidence of the divine inspiration reflected in the ancient Hermetic maxim: "As above, so below; As without, so within." This is absolutely a seminal work of gigantic implications.

This material forces the modern astrologer to grapple with complex socio-political questions. If Astrology is truly a symbolic language to describe and give meaning to our Lives, should not the stories we populate with this language reflect the populations we see in our everyday lives? The facts are that the 10 planet modern astrology which became the norm in the last century has a 4:1 bias toward male figures!

After the discovery of Uranus in the Age of Enlightenment -and the subsequent pronouncement that all MEN are created equal -we had the discovery of Ceres and the other Goddesses. Ever since then, we have been collectively struggling to re-integrate the splintered Feminine via women's rights and minority rights. It has been a long slow slog, however.

Believe it or not, it wasn't until the 1970's that anyone came up with the idea that men and women could actually have qualities of the opposite gender (and still be OK). In the mid-1970's Sandra Bem revolutionized psychology with a new personality theory. Instead of masculinity and femininity traits being seen in the traditional light as dichotomous endpoints of a single continuum, Bem proposed they be seen independently and that individuals may possess varying degrees of each trait regardless of biological sex.

Interestingly, it was in this same decade that modern astrologers began compiling ephemeredes of the asteroid Goddesses. By the 1980's Demetra George's seminal work Asteroid Goddesses made possible in astrology the movement toward balance which psychology was struggling to embrace. If you include these 4 exiled Olympian Goddesses in the Horoscope, then you now have a 15 planet astrology (10 planets plus Chiron and the Goddesses) with somewhat more equal numbers of guys and gals (9 to 6). In other words, you have a modern astrology which reflects the reality of modern life since at least the 70's. Women have begun to achieve significantly more power and visibility, but are still clearly biased against via such factors as the glass ceiling.

I can tell you as a professional astrologer that working with this material has absolutely been one of the most transformative and liberative processes I have experienced. I offer much thanksgiving to the Goddess for manifesting through Demetra and honor the many doors that she opened with this work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book
This book is amazing. It is easy to read and very helpful in understanding the role of the goddesses.It also does an outstanding job relating the goddesses with astrology.

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat flawed and overdone, but a good general guide
Although I am all too aware that there is no scientific basis for astrology, I have always regarded the subject as the best amusement one can find for any price. It is only relatively recently that I have spent much time on the subject, though, and seeing - by sheer accident - asteroids being used interested me enough to want to read more.

I first picked up a quite simple yet very detailed asteroid ephemeris but it gave little detail as to the interpretations required to make people understand asteroids and why certain astrologers use them.

"Asteroid Goddesses" does an extremely valuable if less-than-perfect job of interpreting the fist four asteroids discovered - Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. There are good interpretations for each sign that are unfortunately not available in any other astrology book, though they actually might be even more detailed. There is also useful, if often much too abstract, information on other lesser asteroids and some basic though enlightening information about the astronomical characteristics of the asteroids.

There are a number of problems, though, that make recommending "Asteroid Goddesses" less easy. The worst is the tendency of the author to follow rather slavishly belief in matriarchal prehistory from the likes of Elizabeth Gould Davis and Marija Gimbutas. George states this belief quite repeatedly and it effects the whole book. It would have been better if she had offered a less biased account of Roman and Greek mythology. She also focuses too much and too broadly on questions of "rulership", though her comments are quite enlightening, especially about Vesta.

On the whole, I feel I am overrating "Asteroid Goddesses" a little because of the lack of competition. If you are interested in astrology, it is worth reading, but do take care about believing every word.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best there is on the subject
This is the book that got lots of astrologers that had not got into asteroids to take them seriouslyThere are tables in the back to see where yours areIt's clear and interesting and no one has come up with anything better on asteroids yet in the years since it was written

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine tune your craft!
The asteroids in a chart help to flavor enhance what you're looking at.This is one of the best, fleshed out reference guides to the asteroids.The mythological stories behind the goddesses is crucial to understanding the meaning assigned to the individual asteroids.Further, it sets up archtypal understanding which is great when working through the issues outlined by a chart.If you are a beginning student, put this on your list but skip it until you can put into perspective the influence of asteroids vs. planetary influence.Intermediate and up... don't cheat yourself.Get the book! ... Read more

2. The Silent War : Book III of The Asteroid Wars (The Grand Tour; also Asteroid Wars)
by Ben Bova
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2004-05-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$8.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000BZEPQE
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
hen corporations go to war, standard business practice goes out the window. Astro Corporation is led by indomitable Texan Pancho Lane, Humphries Space Systems by the rich and ruthless Martin Hum-phries, and their fight is over nothing less than the resources of the Asteroid Belt itself. As fighting escalates, the lines between commerce and politics, boardroom and bedroom, blur-and the keys to victory will include physics, nanotechnology, and cold hard cash. The lives of thousands of innocents hang in the balance, including the rock rats who make their living off the asteroids and the inhabitants of Selene City on Earth's moon. As if matters weren't complicated enough, the shadowy Yamagata corporation sets its sights on taking advantage of other people's quarrels, and space pirate Lars Fuchs decides it's time to make good on his own personal vendetta. It's a breakneck finale that can end only in earth's salvation-or the annihilation of all that humankind has ever accomplished in space. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Ben - you've done better!
The plot does not work for me.I do not believe that the head of an entire corporation is going to tour some strange place all alone, then get out by herself.I do not believe that someone as paranoid as Humphries isn't going to make sure there is a phone and food stocked in his panic room.I don't really buy the way the war played out. The entirety with Furch & Amanda was just ridiculous.If Furch wants to kill Humpheries, he surely didn't plan very well, didn't execute it, and should not have been able to just slip away.Un-be-liev-able!

The ending was atrocious.The rest of the plot was bad enough, but then it just runs into that absurdity of an ending and we're all supposed to believe it?I don't think so.

And what was that nonsense about the artifact?It had nothing to do with anything.The first and last chapters in italics had nothing to do with this book and does not make me want to read whatever next book is supposedly coming after it.

Add to this the wooden, one-dimensional characters that, honestly, I didn't like very much.Add to that, the fact that the story would jump rapidly from one scene to another but NOTHING would be added to the storyline.The story became boring as the plot wasn't progressing, just jumping to show "action."

Nope, did not like this at all.It started very well, but it ended poorly.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very immature SciFi
I have to say the entire Asteroid Wars series and the Saturn/Titan books are very disappointing. They're filled with cardboard characters and illogical plots. None of the characters are likeable and gone are the exploration spirit in the Mars/Jupiter books. Here's some plot points making reading this book really painful:
1. The alien artifact: What's the point of introducing this big revelation? It has no relationship to the main plot at all.
2. The kidnap: Yes, we want to stay hidden when our enemies fight amoung themselves, but wait, let's grab the enemy's leader and show her our true intentions, she'll forget it afterwards. (NOT!)
3. The love: Pancho & Jack, where did that come from? It just jumps out of the blue.
4. The nano weapon: We only have one chance in hitting the enemy base with it, let's make the nanites only eat metals so that our enemy can stop it. After all this is just a diversion to get our robotic weapons platform online, but wait, didn't the platforms already come online, why do we need this diversion at all?

4-0 out of 5 stars Love him or Not, It's a Bova
I've been reading his stuff for quite a while, and more recently tried (someone unsuccessfully) to read all of his novels about the planets and the asteroid wars which, actually, form a continuous chain of events(and characters).

Readers who are A-type as I am should know that the series is not to be read in the order published; if you go by that, the characters who died before are suddenly alive again.

The 3rd installment of the asteroid wars takes place just before his novel Venus, but finishes off a trilogy; in some ways, this is the weakest of the 3 because the plot gets a bit repititious - and the characters are pretty well frozen in place. His descriptions start to get repititious as well.

But if you like his style (simple, right wing space opera out of the Heinlein tradition, but without the sense of satire), it's good summer reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars More Action in the Asteroid Belt
The Asteroid Wars continue to rage in this third installment by Ben Bova.

Martin Humphries and Pancho Lane continue to battle it out over control of the asteroid belt and its tremendous mineral wealth.Humphries Space Systems and Astro Corporation continue to blast each other's ships into oblivion, and each side has hired mercenaries to combat the other.However, a new player has emerged in the war; Yamagata corporation.The Yamagata corporation has been silently watching as Astro and Humphries Space Systems battle each other.Then, when both are ready to collapse, Yamagata will zoom in and take full control of the belt.At least that's what the plan was.

Lars Fuchs continues to be a thorn in the side of Martin Humphries.After being exiled from Ceres, Fuchs has lead the life of a pirate; secretly destroying Martin Humphries' ships in the belt.However, Martin seems to have won the ultimate prize; Amanda, Lars' beloved wife, has divorced him and married Martin.She's even pregnant.But whose child is it, Martin's or Lars'?Sadly, Amanda dies in childbirth, leaving Martin with a handicapped son.Martin never bonds with the child, instead, he sends his new son to Connecticut to live.

Dorik Harbin is still on Humphries' payroll and is determined to find Lars.Lars has even tried to kill Martin in his own home.He sneaked into Martin's home in Selene and set fire to the entire compound.Martin managed to survive by hiding in a concealed fire-proof closet, but his house and many of his security team were destroyed.Pancho helped Lars escape by giving him one of Astro's new ships.But, Humphries has sent Harbin looking for him.

Meanwhile, Doug Stavenger's wife Edith has left Selene to fly to Ceres to report on the war.But, Harbin has chosen the same path to track Fuchs.Once at Ceres, Harbin demands that Fuchs be turned over to him.He is rebuffed and told that Fuchs is not there.Enraged, Harbin destroys the habitat surrounding Ceres.Meanwhile, Doug Stavenger has convened a meeting of Pancho, Humphries, and Yamagata in an effort to stop the war.Will he be successful, or will the Asteroid Wars continue to rage on?

This book is the best one of the series.The action is non-stop, and I enjoyed the way Bova expanded the storyline by adding the Yamagata corporation into the war.Of course, its still fun to watch Humphries and Pancho battle it out.Plus, the beginning and ending, which deals with an alien artifact, is good, too.

I give this book my highest recommendation.The action is fast-paced, and the character development is excellent.Will the Asteroid Wars finally come to an end, or will Pancho, Martin, and Yamagata continue to fight it out?Read this great book and find out!

4-0 out of 5 stars War Is Hell
The Silent War (2004) is the third SF novel of the Asteroid Wars series, following The Rock Rats.In the previous volume, Lars Fuchs was caught in an ambush by HSS mercenaries, was returned to Ceres, and then was exiled by the Rock Rats.Amanda Cunningham divorced him and married Martin Humphries to keep Lars from being hurt by any HSS goons.But Amanda also has plans to implant an embryo fertilized by Lars within herself and to carry it to term.

In this novel, Yamagata Corporation is moving back into space ventures after years of rebuilding Japan.Saito Yamagata is leaving corporate management to his son Nobuhiko, but providing advice as requested.Saito has insisted that the corporation should remain in the background until their position is assured.Most of their efforts have been focused through Nairobi Industries, an African conglomerate with little overt experience in such ventures.

Covertly, Yamagata Corporation is picking off freighters from both Humphries Space Systems and Astro Manufacturing.Now each of these corporations blames the other for their losses.Martin Humphries and Pancho Lane are ready to make war of each other.The Humper is reestablishing the base on Vesta and equipping it with a dozen attack craft.Pancho is arming her freighters.

Lars Fuchs is unaware of most of these warlike preparations, but he is continuing his war against HSS.Dorik Harbin, commander of the HSS mercenaries, is still trying to lure him into a trap, but without luck.Still, Lars has learned about Amanda's pregnancy, but not about the heritage of the embryo.

Eight years after her marriage to Humphries, Amanda makes her first move in the long held plan to implant herself with the cryogenically preserved embryo of Lars and herself.She is supposedly carrying Humphries's baby and only Douglas Stavenger and Pancho Lane know that the embryo's heritage is quite different.She has even changed the DNA codes in Humphries's medical records to throw off suspicion of another paternity.Now if she can just carry the baby to term without the Old Humper learning of her duplicity.

The characters in this novel have well developed, but trite motivations.Of course, trite means commonplace and they are very common personality types.Especially Humphries, who learned early that his father cared nothing for him;now he is marking people notice him by force (mostly economic).Pancho is a white-hatted cowboy, out to do good in the world, but otherwise liable to play practical jokes and other highjinks.Lars Fuchs has been forced into a psychological corner by the Old Humper and differs greatly from his previous self-image.All are what they are due to circumstances beyond their control, just as are you and I.

The prologue and epilogue to this work occur six years after the body of this novel.An alien object, thought to be an artistic work, has been discovered and sold to Martin Humphries.Except for the discovering family and the initial security detail, no one else has seen the object.The results of viewing the object are variable, but profound.

This novel is the final volume in the Asteroids Wars series, but the consequences carry throughout the Grand Tour universe.Some of these effects have already reached publication in other works, most notably Venus, which is a direct sequel, although taking place over a decade after this volume. Others are still to come.

Recommended for Bova fans and for anyone else who enjoy tales of high adventure, technical warfare and naked slaughter.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

3. The Rock Rats (Asteroid Wars)
by Ben Bova
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2003-06-16)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812579887
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Visionary space industrialist Dan Randolph is dead-but his protégé, pilot Pancho Barnes, now sits on the board of his conglomerate. She has her work cut out for her. For Randolph's rival Martin Humphries still wants to control Astro and still wants to drive independent asteroid miners like Lars Fuchs out of business. Humphries wants revenge against Pancho-ands, most of all, he wants his old flame Amanda, who has become Lars Fuchs's wife.

In the struggle over the incalculable wealth of the Asteroid Belt, many will die-and many will achieve more than they ever dreamed was possible.
Amazon.com Review
Ben Bova's second installment in the Asteroid Wars series continues his trademark style, withcaricatured characters in a classic Greek dramatic structure duking it out against a high-tech, Libertarian-influenced, future-history backdrop. Billionaire jerk and womanizer Martin Humphries stirs the pot again, overcoming attempts to oust him from the Selene moon base. His grip on Humphries Space Systems and its economic scheming remains as tight as ever, but he still desires two things: control of the asteroid belt's rich resources and, of course, possession of the ever-elusive Amanda What's-her-name at the expense of likeable alpha male number two, gruff prospector Lars Fuchs. ("One look at Amanda's innocent blue eyes and full-bosomed figure and any man would be wild to have her." We're left to guess as to whether the "wide-eyed," "lusciously curved" Amanda has any other qualities, desirable or otherwise.)

For Bova fans, Rock Rats has it all--cool technology, whip-fast action, and choreographed intrigue--and this installment certainly ups the ante in the series. As Bova gravely notes, "[T]he Belt became the region where prospectors and miners could make fortunes for themselves, or die in the effort. Many of them died. More than a few were killed." --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good start, great climax, bad ending...
Ben Bova is a good story teller, no doubt. His writting will keep you turning the pages and finish the book in no time. The futuristic discription is gloomy, yet possible. He also does a decent job with technology, a must in any sci-fic book.

What he lacks is a better character development and a cheerer (that's not a word, right?) ending. Amanda, the sexy yet intellengent wife of Lars, devoices her husband in order to protect him from Humphries?!? What?! I thought this girl was supposed to be INTELLENGENT!!! And then there's George; dude was saved by Lars, probably his best friend, from a hopeless situation, and how does he thank him? By exiling him from Ceres, the moon, and the Earth....what?! I know Ben wants to keep the story open for the next book, but dude, at least make some sense!

Anyhow, besides the terrible ending the book is pretty decent and entertaining. I personally didn't read book One, I might, but book Three is out of the question, I read the review and can't stand any more mishape of Lars and Amanada (she stayed with Humphries, the man she hates, for years?!...well guess she's not so smart after all)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Slow Starter
Not being a major fan of Ben Bova, I was interested in the comments made by some reviewers who obviously are fans. The harsh criticisms levelled at "The Rock Rats" were quite interesting. While I would not lambast the book as complete rubbish, it certainly lacked something that the previous novel, The Precipice (The Grand Tour; also Asteroid Wars), had.

The plot basically follows on from the first novel, (with some large jumps in time), and focuses on Martin Humphries' attempts to tighten his grip on control of the asteroid belt and its super-abundant resources and profits. Of course, being a rather morally challenged villain, he uses some nasty methods. Up against this behemoth of industry is Lars Fuchs, protege and beneficiary of Dan Rudolph. With a large number of subplots going on, there is much more to it than this simplistic summary.

One reviewer commented that the story jumps about a bit. While this is true, with jumps of dossiers on characters and so on, I feel this does not detract from the novel itself. The brief episodes add an air of anticipation, I thought, as I wondered how these people would fit in. The only thing that annoyed me a bit was the so-called "dossiers" were in very novel-like language, hardly anything like that of real dossiers. They just didn't seem convincing.

The plot itself takes longer to wind up than the previous novel of the series. For about the first 100 pages, I found it a bit of a chore, to be honest. Once I got into the second century of pages, things started to move, finally. The adventure was back and the conflict reached a new level.

I would also add this: Lars Fuchs seems an odd sort of main character for this type of role. He just seems a bit more wishy washy than most, and seemed less than adequate. When he finally gets some substance, the novel ends. This might be overly critical, but I thought the character of Dan Randolph had much more substance, as did many of the subsidiary characters.

While not as good as "The Precipice", I still enjoyed this installment of "The Asteroid Wars". The read is simple and does not require lots of brain power. It is a good relaxing jaunt through the solar system neighbourhood that Earth is in.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointment.
I purchased this book and it's predecessor together based on the author's name. Ben Bova. A fourth of the way through the first book I felt cheated.

The progression of the story isn't smooth at all. It jerks and jumps and drags. The situations aren't believable and there are large gaps in the rationalization of "WHY".You know, "WHY" this or that happens."WHY" these people do this or that. The reasons just aren't there.Worst of all, the characters don't behave like actual people, their decisions are obviously made to push along this stubborn mule of a story. And believe me, this mule doesn't wanna go anywhere.

Like I said earlier, I purchased books I and II together.I forced myself to read the second book as punishment for believing the hype of a big name science fiction writer. Surprise, surprise, it was like trying to slog my way through mud. Mud that's up past your shins.You're forced to go slow,you can see all this mud in front of you and you just want to get to the end.

I do not recommend this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad editing and redundant narrative trumps space pirates
Book one was great, but Rock Rats is missing something.In addition to a few grammatical errors the book is over simplified.I found that I despised the way Bova reintroduced the characters and plot lines from the first book.There was a tendency to use narrative instead of letting character dialogue and scene description tell the story.But hey, its got space pirates, that's good.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Asteroid Wars Heat Up
Ben Bova has written an exciting follow-up to "The Precipice".Once again, Martin Humphries and Lars Fuchs clash in this fast-paced novel.

At the end of The Precipice, Humphries was exiled from Selene and forced to give up all of his shares in Astro Manufacturing.Despite this, he still crashes Lars' and Amanda's wedding and gives them Starpower I as a wedding present.Martin secretly hopes that Lars will head to the Asteroid Belt alone and leave Amanda on Selene where he can get his hands on her, but she surprises Martin by leaving with Lars.

Martin has also developed a trading center on the asteroid Ceres.Here, Martin's company can supply the "Rock Rats" with all the supplies they need.In response, Amanda convinces Lars and Pancho to develop their own company to compete against Martin.Pancho's Astro company will provide the goods.Thus, Helvetia, Inc. was born and is now larger than Martin's company.

Understandably upset by Lars' latest move, Martin sends some of his own thugs to raid Helvetia's warehouse.In the ensuing melee, Lars loses all of his inventory and some of his employees are killed.But Matin doesn't stop with the warehouse.Soon, ships are disappearing and Martin's company is laying claim to many different asteroids.Even the chief director of the habitat project is killed.

Lars tracks down the killer and infuses a little frontier justice of his own.A court is convened, but Lars is found innocent.But Humphries is incensed.He sends Dorik Harbin, a hired assassin who's hooked on several different kinds of drugs, into the belt to hunt down Lars and kill him.However, Lars manages to give Harbin the slip, and Harbin is forced to return to Selene empty-handed.However, once there, he meets and begins a torrid affair with Diane Verwoerd, Martin's assistant.Martin has his own plan for Diane; namely, having her impregnated with his clone.But, Martin still has his sights set on Amanda and making her his own.Will he succeed?

This is a very good book.Although I preferred "The Precipice" slightly more, "The Rock Rats" is loaded with action, and the conflict between Martin and Lars explodes with fury.Bova fans won't want to miss this exciting continuation of the Asteroid Wars. ... Read more

4. Asteroids III (Space Science Series)
by William F. Bottke, Alberto Cellino, Paolo Paolicchi, Richard P. Binzel
Hardcover: 785 Pages (2002-12-01)
list price: US$95.00 -- used & new: US$64.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816522812
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Two hundred years after the first asteroid was discovered, asteroids can no longer be considered mere points of light in the sky. Spacecraft missions, advanced Earth-based observation techniques, and state-of-the-art numerical models are continually revealing the detailed shapes, structures, geological properties, and orbital characteristics of these smaller denizens of our solar system.This volume brings together the latest information obtained by spacecraft, combined with astronomical observations and theoretical modeling, to present our best current understanding of asteroids and the clues they reveal for the origin and evolution of the solar system.This collective knowledge, prepared by a team of more than one hundred international authorities on asteroids, includes new insights into asteroid-meteorite connections, possible relationships with comets, and the hazards posed by asteroids colliding with Earth.The book's contents include reports on surveys based on remote observation and summaries of physical properties; results of in situ exploration; studies of dynamical, collisional, cosmochemical, and weathering evolutionary processes; and discussions of asteroid families and the relationships between asteroids and other solar system bodies.Two previous Space Science Series volumes have established standards for research into asteroids. Asteroids III carries that tradition forward in a book that will stand as the definitive source on its subject for the next decade. ... Read more

5. Pirates of the Asteroids (Lightning)
by Isaac Asimov
 Paperback: 144 Pages (1988-06-01)

Isbn: 0340426098
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6. Asteroid Rendezvous: NEAR Shoemaker's Adventures at Eros
Hardcover: 130 Pages (2002-09-02)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$8.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521813603
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) was the first dission to orbit and eventually land on an asteroid. A phenomenal success, the mission returned with hundreds of thousands of images, spectra, and other measurements about the large near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros. Some of the scientists and engineers who made NEAR such a success describe the mission here in their own words, from the initial concept studies, through the development phase, launch, cruise operations, the flyby of asteroid Mathilde, the near-catastrophic main engine failure in 1998, the heroic rescue and recovery of the spacecraft, the amazing year-long up-close look at one of Earth's most primitive celestial neighbors, and, finally, the daring attempt to land the spacecraft on Eros at the end of the mission. The book is illustrated throughout with images from the mission and explanatory diagrams. Jim Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Cornell University Astronomy Department whose research focuses on the geology, chemistry, and mineralogy of planets, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions.He is a member of a number of space science teams, including the NASA Mars Pathfinder and NEAR.Author of some 70 first and co-authored journal publications, he is a frequent contributor to popular astronomy magazines and radio shows.The International Astronomical Union recently awarded him the honor of having asteroid 8146 Jimbell named after him.Jacqueline Mitton is the Press Officer and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member of the International Astronomical Union, and a Member of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.She is the author or co-author of 16 astronomy books; her most recent being The Cambridge Dictionary of Astronomy (2001). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Along for the ride
The book is a collection of nine research papers written by the NEAR Shoemaker's scientists themselves. The book is somewhat technical but not overly so, and is written for an adventurous reader that likes some of the science thrown in. I found it to be a fascinating story and I appreciate the authors attempt to make me feel like I was along for the ride. Good job, I look forward to your next mission!

5-0 out of 5 stars Asteroid Rendezvous Very Interesting. Fill in the gap asteroid exploring. Great
NEAR was renamed NEAR Shoemaker in honor of Gene Shoemaker the famous astronomer/scientist who did much asteroid and comet research but passed away before NEAR examined theEROS asteroid. Extremely well written and fantastic pictures and illustrations.

The NEAR spacecraft runs into a serious problem by a too short "burn". Near shuts down in the safe mode. Later the scientists are able to save the mission by swinging the spacecraft and using earth as a sling shot to change the trajectory of NEAR to reach EROS but the mission takes longer. Near survives a couple of near catastrophes but due to back up procedures the scientists are able to save the mission.

The mission was OVER 100% successful. First as an extra the NEAR spacecraft takes images of another asteroid Mathilde. It is a very dark object and through NEAR images and data from NEAR on how Mathilde is affecting the spacecrafts passing the scientists determine this class C asteroidhas lots of carbon and is not solid but a bunch of debris compacted with void space. Not dense and a spacecraft first taking images of a class C asteroid.. They intentionally blow a cover off the camera to get more light to get images. Unfortunately this causes contamination problems for later taking images of EROS but they are able to compensate.

Many fantastic images of EROS taken and you can actually see small boulders. Many impact craters and a huge uplift crack found from an ancient impact. There is much debris/regolith on EROS. Data from NEAR Shoemaker allows scientist to determine EROS is in a completely different class than Mathilde. Eros is a class S asteroid. Itsmostly silicon and has an elongated bent potato shape with a much more homogeneous composition and denser; similar to Mar's Phobos moon. The scientists are able to determine EROS probably originally was an old asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but because of collisions became a Near Earth Orbit asteroid and is a big one about the size of Cape Cod near Boston.

Near Shoemaker had a magnetometer, A near infrared Spectrometer,a Multi spectral imager, x ray solar monitor sensors, a laser range finder and an x ray/gamma ray spectrometer so much more was done than just taking pictures.

Some historical firsts. First encounter with a class C asteroid. First encounter with a near earth asteroid. First spacecraft to orbit a small body in space. First spacecraft to land on a small space body.

Myself personally I have much more interest in a manned Mars mission and eventual colonization but this NEAR Shoemaker mission was spectacular. #1 it was a low cost mission that was completed on time and under budget. #2 It is extremely important to determine the composition of Near Earth Orbit objects that could threaten Earth. Remember the dinosaurs had a very bad day when an asteroid slammed into the Earth 65 million years ago. Also there has been many impacts on the earth since then. #3 the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft was never designed to land on EROS. The great group of scientists and technicians were able to safely land NEAR on EROS and NEAR was still mostly functional. The solar panels for power were still working as well as the x ray/gamma ray spectrometer getting data about EROS exterior composition. They also got great images as the spacecraft descended.

So many more questions raised about asteroids from the NEAR Shoemaker data from asteroids Mathilde and Eros.

The scientists ,technicians and builders of NEAR are to be commended on achieving an OVER 100% mission. Great job! A truely remarkable mission and a great book describing it. No difficult math. You don't need a degree in astrophysics to enjoy this book. Great for anyone interested in planetary exploration and asteroids. A nice addition to our families library.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Account of a Unique Space Science Mission
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission completed in 2001 was the first to orbit and eventually land on an asteroid. That fact makes it significant. The fact that the mission was an unqualified success-when a success for NASA was truly critical in the aftermath of two successive failures with Mars probes in 1999-makes it rare. The fact that it was conducted by the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory over the protests of the mighty Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA's traditional solar system exploration center, makes it politically sensitive. The fact that the NEAR team performed the mission on the cheap, spending less than $150 million, makes it unprecedented for deep space probes. The fact that it returned thousands of images, spectra, and other measurements about the large near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros makes it scientifically relevant.

After a long gestation period, NEAR began its voyage to Eros on 17 February 1996, the first mission flown under NASA's new Discovery program, a series of low-cost planetary science projects. NEAR finally moved into orbit around Eros on 14 February 2000, roughly a year later than intended.

Throughout 2000, NEAR explored Eros offering spectacular pictures and a rich harvest of spectroscopy data. At the conclusion of the mission, on 12 February 2001, the mission team landed it on the surface of Eros. Although the NEAR spacecraft was not designed to survive landing, its instruments remained operational until 1 March 2001.

In "Asteroid Rendezvous" several of the scientists and engineers who conducted the NEAR mission describe it in their own words from initial concept studies through development, launch, and cruise operations. The book is liberally illustrated throughout with both stunning images from the mission and explanatory diagrams.

"Asteroid Rendezvous" is long on description and celebration and short on analysis and critical examination. Even so, it is a very interesting book, and a fine start in documenting the history of this important mission. It will be of interest to amateur astronomers and general readers who want to know about the American space program. It will serve as grist for future serious historical studies of planetary exploration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book About A Great Space Mission
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission was the first of NASA's "Faster, Better Cheaper" spacecraft.Its primary mission was to orbit the asteroid 433 Eros, thereby becoming the first robotic explorer to orbit and eventually land on an asteroid.On the journey to Eros, NEAR flew by the main-belt asteroid Mathilde as well as our home planet, the Earth and returned dozens of pictures; however, the journey to Eros was almost lost when a software error caused the main engine to shut down prematurely.Due to the efforts the engineers and scientists supporting this project, the space probe was saved and the NEAR mission became one of the most successful NASA missions.In the end, the mission returned with hundreds of thousands of images, spectra, and other measurements about the large near-Earth asteroid Eros.

In this book, the author, Jim Bell, a planetary scientist and professor at Cornell, has assembled nine different articles about various aspects of this mission into one concise book about all aspects of this specular mission.The book opens with a chapter providing an overview of Eros and then moves into two chapters dedicated to the spacecraft and its mission, and its trip to Eros, from launch to rendezvous.The remaining chapters cover the different discovers made by the NEAR spacecraft, such as its overall landscape, its history, and several on its geology.There is also one chapter, which explains the photography planning, and eventual execution of this plan.

In general, I did not find the book to be very technical and there is a glossary of terms to help the layman as well as numerous photographs, figures and graphs are found throughout the book to further explain a given topic.

If you are interested in planetary exploration or the space program in general, this book would an excellent addition to your library. ... Read more

7. The Ultimate Asteroid Book
by J. Lee Lehman, Lee J. Lehman
Paperback: 75 Pages (1998-03)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0914918788
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The asteroids are a series of small, heavenly bodies whose orbits fall mainly between those of Mars and Jupiter. The largest asteroid is 620 miles in diameter, the smallest, less than one mile. The use of the asteroids brings an influx of new symbols, and the addition of new symbols means the number of ideas which may be communicated is increased. It is as if you were working with a language which contained a vocabulary of ten words. You could create many more meanings than ten by combining these words in different ways. But consider how much richer the possible communication becomes if you suddenly have more than twice as many words to play with. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Asteroid Book
I would not recommend this book for anyone.Out of 278 pages only 226 have actual information on a very small number of asteroids. An ephemeris takes up the rest of the pages. The author relies heavily on mythology to explain their meanings. Other than a few actual discussions of Sappho,Eros,and Amor it offers little insight. I've been an astrologer for over 40 years. I began to study asteroids in 2001 as I had grown tired of the cookie cutter delineation method. I knew there had to be more. Luckily, I found Martha Lang-Wescott whose books give you precise meanings and aspects.I do not use all of her methods, but I can still give highly accurate readings. I own "Mechanics of the Future", "The Orders of Light", "Architects of Time", and "Angles and Predictions." There's more information in her books than you can assimilate all at once. You'll need to commit to spending a great deal of time getting comfortable with 49+ asteroids and the TNP's. It's truly worth it because it adds such dimension to your readings. I believe at least one of her books is sold on Amazon. If not, you can find her books at [...] and you'll be very satisfied with your purchase. I ordered the Lehman book thinking it would be a source of additional information, but it wasn't. Teresa L. Reedy

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the ultimate
This really doesn't list all the asteroids, but it is a good one with a general ephemeris of the most common asteroids in the back. Good for psychological analysis.

3-0 out of 5 stars My opinion:
This book has articles on many asteroids going beyond the first four,using interpretations and sample charts of famous persons. But what boggles my mind is that in this,and other books dealing with asteroids beyond the first four, for interpretation of asteroids in the chart, the authours only interpret ASPECTS between the asteroid and other bodies. I cannot find one book that has interpretations for asteroids beyond the first 4 in each SIGN and HOUSE! All I can find is info on ASPECTS! I want info on asteroids in the signs and houses!

5-0 out of 5 stars IT'S ABOUT SPACE

8. The Asteroid Ephemeris 1900 to 2050: Including Chiron and the Black Moon Lilith
by Neil F. Michelsen, Rique Pottenger
Paperback: 224 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$208.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0935127666
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This unique ephemeris provides daily longitudes, weekly declinations and stations for the asteroids Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta.Longitudes for Chiron and the Black Moon Lilith (True and Mean) make this the only source for these astrological factors.

Use this reference to add specificity and detail to your astrological work.Gain insight into issues of mother love, work, wisdom, marriage and the use and abuse of power.

See the important connections between parents and children.Explore the significance of Chiron - teacher, healer, idealist - in your chart.Investigate the Black Moon Lilith - widely used in Europe, now available in an American ephemeris.

- 150 years of positions (1900-2050)
- Longitudes and declinations
- Station times and mean positions
- Retrogrades clearly marked ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I use this book when doing readings of natal, solar and more.It is a wonderful source, however, the only thing I find hard in working with this book is the symbols are not clearly defined as to Lilith and Ceres.When looking of course the two symbols are similiar, however, Ceres is more defined to me. ... Read more

9. The Aftermath: Book Four of The Asteroid Wars
by Ben Bova
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.33
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Asin: 0765343169
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the wake of the Asteroid Wars that tore across the solar system, Victor Zacharius makes his living running the ore-carrier Syracuse. With his wife and two children he plies the Asteroid Belt, hauling whatever cargo can be found. When the Syracuse stumbles into the middle of a military attack on the habitat Chrysalis, Victor flees in a control pod to draw the attacker’s attention away from his family. Now, as his wife and children plunge into the far deeps of space, Victor has been rescued by the seductive Cheena Madagascar. He must do her bidding if he’s to have a prayer of ever seeing his family again.

Elverda Apacheta is the solar system’s greatest sculptor. The cyborg Dorn was formerly Dorik Harbin, the ruthless military commander responsible for the attack on Chrysalis. Their lives and destinies have been linked by their joint discovery of the alien artifact that had, earlier, profoundly affected industrialist Martin Humphries. Similarly transformed by the artifact’s mysterious powers, Apacheta and Dorn now prowl the Belt, determined to find the bodies of the many victims of Harbin’s atrocities so that they can be given proper burials.

Kao Yuan is the captain of Viking, owned by Martin Humphries, who’s determined to kill Dorn and Elverda because they know too much about the artifact and its power over him. But Viking's second-in-command, Tamara Vishinsky, appears to have the real power on board ship. When Viking catches up to Apacheta and Dorn, their confrontation begins a series of events involving them, the Zacharius family, and Martin Humphries and his son in the transformation of the human solar system…
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars by the seat of your pants
The Aftermath, like all of Bova's Grand Tour books, is a page turner.

Bova writes 2 to 5 page chapters that each have a different character's point of view. The plot is fired by constant conflict.

Aftermath is more towards the classic science fiction side of things opposed to hard science, but has both mixed in there in this space opera.

Even if a reader hasn't read any of the other Asteroid books or any of the other Grand Tour books a reader could read Aftermath as a standalone book and find it enjoyable, entertaining, and thrilling.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Eventual Reunion
The Aftermath (2007) is the seventh SF novel in the Asteroid Wars series and the fourth in this sequence, following The Silent War.In the previous volume, an alien Artifact was found and worked its changes upon various humans.It brought out the insanity in Martin, but changed Dorn and Elverda in other ways.The Artifact was moved to hide it from the rest of humanity.

In this novel, Victor Zacharias is a former architect from Earth who has become a belter.He and his family operate the ore ship Syracuse, buying ore from rock rats and transporting it to the smelters.

Pauline Osgood was born on Luna.She met Victor in Selene and then married him on Earth.She has borne two children for him.

Angela is the eldest child of Victor and Pauline.Angie is about eighteen and has a boyfriend on Chrysalis, the habitat at Ceres.

Theo is the second child in the Zacharias family.He is almost sixteen and interested in science and technology.Yet he is a terrible klutz.

Dorik Harbin was born in the Balkans and became a soldier in his teen years.He also became a drug addict to escape his dreams of death and destruction.Eventually he attempted suicide and was rebuilt as a cyborg.Since his exposure to the Artifact, he has changed his name to Dorn.

Elverda Apacheta is a sculptress from an Andean background.She is very well known for carving The Rememberer, a two kilometer long asteroid in Earth orbit.After her exposure to the Artifact, Elverda became Dorn's partner.

In this story, Victor is having problems adjusting to the teenage Theo.He forbids Theo from touching any of the ship controls because of his destructive way with machines.Theo believes that his father doesn't trust him at all.

Pauline points out the problem to her husband and Victor lets Theo watch the controls as long as he doesn't touch them.Theo is standing watch one day and notices a confrontation between an attack ship and Chrysalis station.He summons his father and they watch as the attack ship destroys the station.

Victor tries to change course away from the station like the other ships around Ceres, but somehow attracts the attention of the attacker.It fires on the Syracuse and damages the antennas and releases most of the fuel. Victor drops his cargo to shield the Syracuse from the attacker's weapons.

Then the attack ship moves around the released rocks to approach them.Victor jettisons the control pod from the Syracuse and flees to draw the attack ship away from his family.The attacker follows the pod and leaves Pauline and her children stranded in the Syracuse.

The ore ship is moving toward Jupiter without any communications.Theo cuts thrust and determines their orbital parameters.The Syracuse will return to the vicinity of Ceres in slightly more than eight years.The ship only has sufficient fuel to reduce the orbital delay to about four years.

Theo and Angie cease their juvenile bickering and learn to cooperate during their long voyage.Angie even learns to do technical tasks and to backup Theo in his spacewalks.They become a team.

This tale frustrates Victor for years after his rescue from the control pod.It provides Theo and Angie with an opportunity to mature as they try to keep their family alive in the slowly returning Syracuse.It also takes Dorn and Elverda out to reclaim bodies from the Asteroid Wars.

The story portrays the immediate aftermath of the Asteroid Wars.It brings all these characters -- and a few others -- together in a grand conclusion.Read and enjoy!

Recommended for Bova fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space misadventures, persevering parents, and the maturation of young folks.If anyone has not yet read this tetralogy, the first volume is The Precipice.See my listmania for other books in the Asteroid Wars Series.

-Arthur W. Jordin

5-0 out of 5 stars Right up there with Jupiter
I'm a big Bova fan now.This is up there with Jupiter.I loved the story of Dorn and sculptor, and the Zacharias family.It was just good from beginning to end.
This is the 4th book of the Asteroid Wars.I read The Precipice, the 1st book and enjoyed it, but it was too much like a soap opera- who is in love with who?.And from reviews, I saw that the next few books had the same characters and the same bubble-gum soap opera throughout.In fact, I was so tired of the characters created in The Precipice, that I wanted all of them, except for Pancho and Ambrose, to just die or go away.I just wanted no part of that of the original cast.

I am happy to say that this book starts with a clean slate of new characters and it is well done.The best thing about Ben Bova's books is the pacing.I like the constant scene changes and different perspectives.With several story lines going on and coming together.It's keeps the book very readable.It's a nice format for him.Sometimes Bova writes average quality books and sometimes he hits home runs.In this book, Bova is at his best.Well played Ben Bova.

4-0 out of 5 stars A moral question
I will not add anything to the summaries given by other reviewers, but I will state that I, like most of them, found this novel an excellent read and well worth purchasing.

For those of you who do read this book, pay particular attention to Bova's approach to murder, justice, and self-defense; he develops this theme towards the end of the novel.He seems to lack a moral distinction between the three concepts, while I am utterly certain there are very real differences.Read what he has to say, then think about what you believe.

Kudos to Ben Bova for writing a novel that does not merely entertain, but also poses extremely worthwhile moral questions for his readers' consideration.The best sort of storyteller!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Aftermath: Book Four of The Asteroid Wars
I got books one through three of Ben Bova's Asteroid Wars series at a clearance price and when I finished them I realized that there must be a fourth so I scooted out to Amazon and sure enough there it was.Bought it!

I enjoyed the audios a lot.The series is laid out in an epic format with interesting characters if a little thin and one dimensional in motivation.But this is space opera after all.The fact that I popped the full price for the fourth tells you how much I liked the first three ...
The good thing is something is always happening, but Bova writes episodically in a way that overlaps themes and characters ... so I'm still wondering what happened to some of the characters and there's a kicker in the 3rd volume (don't want to put in a spoiler) which is only partly resolved in the fourth volume.Another issue is that some characters are left dangling and even those that are tied up without too many loose ends, there are unresolved issues -- Pancho Lane's clean up had the feel of "... I can't kill her off, but I want to move on, so I'll just do something quick and expedient to get her out of the story line."So right now, too many loose ends for a five star review, but for keeping me interested for four volumes and entertained the whole way ... four stars are well earned. ... Read more

10. The asteroids, or minor planets between Mars and Jupiter
by Daniel Kirkwood
Paperback: 70 Pages (2010-08-20)
list price: US$17.75 -- used & new: US$13.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177572338
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PREFACE. THE rapid progress of discovery in the zone of minor planets, the anomalous forms and positions of their orbits, the small size as well as the great number of these telescopic bodies, and their peculiar relations to Jupiter, the massive planet next exterior,-all entitle this part of the system to more particular consideration thrill it has hitherto received. The folIowing essay is designed, therefore, to supply an obvious want. Its results are given in some detail up to the date of publication, presents in a popular form the leading historical facts as to the discovery of Ceres, PaIlzls, Juno, Vesta, and Astrza a tabular statement of the dates and places of discovery for the entire group a list of the narnea of discoverers, with the number of minor planets detected by each and a table of the principal elements so far as computed. In Part 11. this descriptive summary is followed by questions relating to the origin of the cluster the elimination of members from particular parts the eccentricities and inclinations of the orbits and the relation of the zone to comets of short period. THE first observer who watched the skies with any degree of care could not fail to notice that while the greater number of stars maintained the same relative places, a few from night to night mere ever changing their positons. The planetary character of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn was thus known before the dawn of history. The names, however, of those who first distiglished them as wanderers are hopelessly lost. Venus, the morning and evening star, was Iong regarded as two distinct bodies. The discovery that the change of aspect was due to a slight planets change of position is ascribed to Pyt hagorae. At, the beginning of the seventeenth century but six primary planets and one satellite were known as members of the solar system. Very few, even of the learned, had then accepted the theory of Copernicus in fact, before the invention of the telescope the evidence in its favor was not absolutely conclusive..... ... Read more

11. Far-Out Guide to Asteroids and Comets (Far-Out Guide to the Solar System)
by Mary Kay Carson
Paperback: 48 Pages (2010-09)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$7.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159845191X
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12. Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids
by Seymour Simon
Paperback: 32 Pages (1998-05-27)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688158439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Whether they appear as distant specks in an astronomer's telescope or shoot brilliantly across the evening sky, comets, meteors, and asteroids have fascinated sky gazers throughout history. But where do these racing celestial bodies come from, and what can they teach us about our universe? Join Seymour Simon for a look at the fiery mystery and wild wonder of these luminous bodies of night.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great kids book on Comets,Metors and Asteroids. ONLY

The book does explain the basic difference between comets, asteroids and meteors. Also the basic different classes of meteor composition are discussed. There are some good pictures of a few comets and an explanation of the comets head and tail and their revolution around the sun. Deep space comets and nearer spaced comets are discussed. A nice picture of the 4,150 foot wide impact crater near Winslow Arizona is shown.

This is a very good book for kids 5-8 years old to read and parents to read and show pictures to the little ones. 5 stars as a kids book to get them to read more and increase their reading pleasure. Also they will learn a little about Comets, Asteroids and Meteors too. It was written as a kids book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for lying on your back on a warm summer's night!
We're giving this book as a gift after having enjoyed it with our own family. We're amateur "stargazers", and our young friends enjoyed having this book as reference during visits with us. It's difficult toexplain certain terms regarding the evening skies. This book helps toclarify, and does so beautifully! ... Read more

13. Guide to the Universe: Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets (Greenwood Guides to the Universe)
by Andrew S. Rivkin
Hardcover: 206 Pages (2009-10-15)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313344329
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This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets—those small bodies that revolve the Sun—and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.

The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intriguing questions. It defines a dwarf planet and explains why Pluto is one. It looks at how such small bodies form, what they are made of, and what kind of atmospheres might they have. And it asks—and answers—whether asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets present a hazard to the Earth or to spacecraft.

... Read more

14. Doomsday Asteroid: Can We Survive?
by Donald W. Cox, James H. Chestek
Paperback: 340 Pages (1998-06)
list price: US$23.98 -- used & new: US$2.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573922714
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Sixty-five million years ago, a gigantic asteroid collided with Earth. The resulting dust clouds and fire storm blotted out the sunlight, destroying much of the animal, plant, and fish life - most notably, the dinosaurs. What would happen if another giant asteroid found itself on a collision course with Earth? This is the most comprehensive current book for general readers to address the threats and potential benefits of asteroids. Space experts Cox and Chestek explain the major differences between comets and asteroids and describe what might happen should the Earth suffer a collision with either one of them, a distinct future possibility. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cox and Chester go for impact with "Doomsday Asteroid"
"Doomsday Asteroid" presents an interesting perspective on the problems surrounding Earth's defense against cosmic impact.

Part of the defense that Cox and Chester expound upon is a space-based telescope, orbiting the Sun ahead of the Earth, that can provide early warning of an impending collision.

If nothing else, "Doomsday Rock" should be read because of the stirring prologue from Arthur C. Clarke's 1973 novel "Rendezvous With Rama".In addition to providing the impetus for the now-famous Rama saga, the prologue also lends it's name to the Spaceguard Survey that NASA undertook in 1992.

What detracts from the book is the lack of attention to smaller rocks that threaten the Earth.Although much less likely to cause global destruction, asteroids as small as 100 meters can cause vast devastation in urbanized regions and, in the case of a sea strike, coastal areas.

Despite that flaw, "Doomsday Asteroid" is a solid, informative read. ... Read more

15. Commander Toad and the Dis-asteroid (Commander Toad Series)
by Jane Yolen
Paperback: 64 Pages (1996-07-16)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698114043
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Commander Toad and his spaceship Star Warts answer a mysterious call for help from a flooded asteroid. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Hold on, the planet is going down the drain!
This is probably the most disappointing of the Commander Toadbooks, which my sons, ages 4 and 8, truly ENJOY and even beg for! It is a fun read, but not as outstanding as the other books in this series.

The crew receives amessage from a planet inhabited only by doves. It turns out that their beans have swollen and clogged the storm sewer drains, causing the entire planet to flood. Very far-fetched, indeed.

The birds sent an SOS to Star Fleet when their wings grew tired from having no place to land. Mistaking their bird language, Commander Toad's crew brings a shipload of beans, which the birds don't really want. They just need dry ground on which to rest.

In the end, Commander Toad saves the day by swimming underwater to pierce the swollen beans with his official Star Fleet gadget. Then he must hold on to a statue of the Mayor while everything unattachedgoes down the drain! Swallow your disbelief!

The reason this book is not as good as the remainder of the series is because, in a few cases, the pictures don't mesh with the story. I.e. the text says Doc Peeper goes to the planet's surface, but the image doesn't show him in the sky skimmer. Also, the plot is even moreoddball than usual.

Incredibly fun series of books. Try _Commander Toad and the Space Pirates_ or _Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy_. ... Read more

16. The Precipice (Asteroid Wars)
by Ben Bova
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (2002-12-15)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812579895
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth. Now the planet is spiraling into environmental disaster, with floods and earthquakes destroying the lives of millions. Randolph knows the energy and natural resources of space can save Earth's economy, but the price may be the loss of the only thing he has left--the company he founded, Astro Manufacturing.
Martin Humphries, fabulously wealthy heir of the Humphries Trust, also knows that space-based industry is the way of the future. But unlike Randolph, he doesn't care if Earth perishes in the process. And he knows that the perfect bait to ensnare Dan Randolph--and take control of Astro--is his revolutionary new fusion propulsion system.

As Randolph--accompanied by two fascinating women who are also brilliant astronauts--flies out to the Asteroid Belt aboard a fusion-propelled spacecraft, Humphries makes his move. The future of mankind lies in Randolph's hands.

The Asteroid Wars have begun.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

2-0 out of 5 stars just not there
Sorry Ben, I can't even finish it. You should get a new editor. Lots of great ideas that just don't manage to pan out. I just kept hoping (expecting) it would get better. Then I read the reviews here and realized, its not going to get better. It just as superficial all the way through. I have so little time to read and live in these wonderful Sci-Fi worlds. I need to use my time to enjoy one that truly takes me away from the present day. I honestly don't mean any disrespect but I cannot recommend this book to anyone. This one needed another draft. In fact, I'm wondering if maybe you are letting someone else write your books now, outsourcing, taking advantage of writer mills maybe. I'm sorry. It just wasn't up to the stature of your reputation.

2-0 out of 5 stars My Last Bova Book
I've read Bova off and on for the last decade or so with mixed results. I've never been wowed by this author and my view of his books could best be described as tepid. But the back cover for Precipice was intriguing enough that I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, in this case, I was wowed at the awfulness of this book.

Truthfully, the first two-thirds of this book aren't bad. They aren't all that good, but they're not terrible. Sure you have Bova's repeated jabs at the Religious Right (oops, New Morality) and belaboring the consequences of global warming, that's the foundation of the story after all. I don't have a problem with global warming as a plot device, after all it's been done many times. But to say that Bova belabors the point would be a gross understatement. Still, it (again, the first two-thirds) was relatively entertaining.

But that last third...it was interminably slow. I couldn't wait for it to end. Bova wrung out every single drop of tension and/or drama and instead swapped it for melodramatic fluff. And his characters were absurd caricatures. Humphrey's infatuation with Amanda (a peripheral character at best) seemed superfluous. Having her marry another peripheral character in a later scene could only be described as embarrassing. Bova could have stripped out the meaningless interplays by the minor characters (Amanda, Cardenas, George, et al) and the story would have suffered not a whit.

And then there was the way it ended - a total let down. Obviously the intent was for this to be a series but I've never seen a first book in a series ended with a cliffhanger like this. I can almost imagine him saying, "Ha ha, now you HAVE to read the next book."

I can forgive Bova for harping on the stupidity of ignoring global warming. I can overlook his continual railing against the Religious Ri...sorry, New Morality...even having his main character compare them, albeit obliquely, to the Nazis. What I can't forgive is the sloppy writing, soap opera-like characters, and tedious padding.

Bova, you and me is quits.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great page turner!!!!
I liked the book.This is my first Ben Bova book, and I like his writing.The things that I liked about the book:
1.Solid science.From the description of the Lunar environment to the Fusion drive to the types of asteroids, Ben gets it right on the science in this fiction.Very plausible.
2.Politics, Religion, and Business are part of the story and are treated seriously.We live in a complicated world.In the future, society will be just as complicate if not more.All three play a part in every meaningful endeavor.
3.3rd person narrative.I like complete descriptions of the environments and people and technology.I am weary of the 1st person narrative (see my review of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".
4.Character development.Ben puts in a lot of effort to create 3-D characters.I appreciate that.All except for two characters seem realistic.
5.This book is an absolute page turner.Very short, easily digestible chapters; lots of scene changes, and lots of plot twists; and complete descriptions make this an extremely readable book and fun book.Readability and the science are the best features of this book.

What I did not like about the book:
1.A tiny bit of implausible technology found in the __________ suit.This is too bad.
2.Global Warming!!!!It helps drive the plot and the story, but it's a little over the top.
3.The author's dislike of the religious right is palpable.Nice job Ben setting up the "New Morality" as a nice trusty prop (or strawman) for your characters to knockdown throughout the book."Ooh look I was able to knock down the card board cut-out of religious people.Let's pick up the cardboard cut-out and knock it down again!!!!".Also, I find it interesting that the religious right in Ben Bova's future is powerful enough to ruin a scientist's career if they pursue their scientific endeavors.But in today's reality, a scientist's career is ruined by the scientific establishment if he/she even entertains the concept that life could have been started by an Intelligent Designer.
4.Stop writing about love Ben.You turn the book into a soap opera.The soap opera works for one book but makes me hesitate to pick up the sequels.
5.There is one character who is so apparently so BEAUTIFUL it's as if the goddess Aphrodite came down to earth to dwell with mankind.I've yet to even meet or see such a woman this beautiful, apparently.This woman is Jennifer Lopez + Angelina Jolie with enhancements.Ben you don't need a demigoddess to drive your story.Honestly, every other sentence goes "she would look voluptuous in an oversized eskimo's parka".
The other unbelievable character is Humphries."Humpheries is sooooooo evil.""How evil is he?""Humphries is soooo evil that you can imagine him having the evil Vincent Price laugh after every scene."Let's compare him to another bad guy.Darth Vader is someone who is evil but he is also cool.Humphries is easy to hate, but he is not cool.Darth Vader is evil but you don't want him to die.For all I care Humprhies can be capped just as soon as he is introduced in this book.Perhaps that is what Ben intended to create, but I doubt it.
I started out giving the book 4.5 stars, but the soap opera knocks it down to 3.5 stars.I'll give it 4 this time, but I am not interested in reading about these same characters again in the sequel.I'll read an unrelated Ben Bova book next.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
I have read 4 or 5 books by Bova.I like the fairly straightforward near future sci fi writing style he has, and I particularly liked the two moon books.This book reminds me of the moon books except it has less of the beaurocratic new morality thesis and more of the ego-maniacal power hungry Humphries character.Humphries ability to have spooks everywhere and to know everything that is going on is a little far fetched, but nota major flaw.

This book is basically abour Dan Randolph wanting to go the asteroid belt with a new fusion drive to mine asteroids to save earth.The downside is that there is 400 pages of this and at then end they only just get there.The in-between stuff kept me interested enough to plow through the book fairly quickly for me, but for some others I could see boredom setting in.

I liked this book better than Jupiter, which I found really dull and drawn out.I appreciate Bova's prescience about fundamentalists controlling govt and the repurcussions of that, but sometimes these people annoy me just like they do in real life!But i have to give it to the guy, he wrote a lot of this stuff before the Bush years which tend to mirror his idea of the New Morality and "God" dictating science, and how people live.

This book is average but an easy read...Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mankind on the brink!
With the mindless inevitability and unstoppable madness of a great mass of migratory lemmings, mankind is hurtling over a metaphorical precipice. Global warming and climatic change has driven humanity to the brink of extinction. The greenhouse effect has taken hold, icecaps are melting, damage from superstorms is beyond calculation, ocean levels are rising, coastlines are flooding and famine and pestilence are endemic. The ultra-right wing self-serving religious group, "The New Morality", has stepped into the political void ruling earth with a vicious, dictatorial stranglehold insisting upon blind obedience to its dictums which include, among other things, a prohibition against new science such as nanotechnology that might be crucial to saving the earth.

Dan Randolph is the CEO of Astro Manufacturing, a business behemoth which, unlike so many of its other corporate competitors, realistically pursues its profits but does so with a healthy dose of optimistic compassion and altruism. Recent financial difficulties, caused by the restrictions imposed on Astro by The New Morality, have forced Randolph to seek a business partnership to finance the development of a practical fusion rocket- a rocket built with the most up to date innovations in nanotechnology that will allow mankind to reach the Asteroid belt, a virtually limitless supply of industrial resource minerals and, perhaps even more important, an unimaginably vast source of fresh water in the form of ice.

The only pockets deep enough to contemplate bankrolling such a venture belong to Martin Humphries, a corporate baron who easily admits his only motives are wealth and power. While he also recognizes the likelihood that the fusion rocket is mankind's potential saviour, his only interest in the project is what it can do for his pocketbook. In the bargain, he positively lusts after the possibility of absorbing Astro Inc into his own corporate empire and putting Dan Randolph out onto the streets.

Randolph and Humphries recruit the crew for the ship, Starpower I - Pancho Lane, a wily, strong-willed and often outspoken but very feminine woman who is nevertheless comfortable with her skills and top-notch abilities as a pilot; Amanda Cunningham, on the other hand, is an equally feminine but rather more shy soft-spoken woman who is most uncomfortable with her innate ability to suck the oxygen from a room merely by virtue of her outrageous beauty; Lars Fuchs is a dedicated scientist, an intense man who quietly focuses on whatever engineering or science problem has been placed in front of him that day. Against the direct orders of The New Morality and under Humphries' very nose, Randolph and his crew take off on Starpower I and begin their long voyage to the Asteroid Belt.

Ben Bova has found a brilliant recipe that works and he certainly hasn't changed it in "The Precipice" - one part hard-core sci-fi; one part corporate potboiler; one part political intrigue; and one part primetime soap opera. His characters are wonderfully deep and realistic. Although that deeply entrenched sexism still seems to come through, it seems to manifest itself primarily in his male characters. The female protagonists are strong, talented, well-spoken and are pushovers to no man's whim. Humphries is the ultimate bad buy that every reader will love to hate and there won't be a single reader that isn't cheering Randolph on as he battles against Humphries and The New Morality.

Ben Bova's science is wonderful, well-explained without being simplistic and used to great advantage in the development of the story - nanotechnology; fusion rockets; invisibility cloaks (for those that think this is unrealistic drivel, I would recommend you take a look at Machio Kiku's "Physics of the Impossible"; solar flares and gamma radiation; interplanetary space travel and its inherent dangers; the realities of permanent space bases on the moon and beyond; the structure of asteroids; the climatic effects of global warming; and much more.

I have yet to meet the Ben Bova novel that I didn't enjoy and, for what it's worth, this is one of the best. "The Precipice" is part of the "Grand Tour of the Universe" series and the first in a sub-series trilogy entitled "The Asteroid Wars". I'm certainly looking forward to the second and third novels in the series, "The Rock Rats" and "The Silent War". Count me as a continuing fan, Mr Bova.

Paul Weiss ... Read more

17. Asteroids: A History
by Curtis Peebles
Paperback: 280 Pages (2001-09-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$17.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560989823
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Asteroids suggest images of a catastrophic impact with Earth, triggering infernos, tidal waves, famine, and death -- but these scenarios have obscured the larger story of how asteroids have been discovered and studied. During the past two centuries, the quest for knowledge about asteroids has involved eminent scientists and amateur astronomers, patient research and sudden intuition, advanced technology and the simplest of telescopes, newspaper headlines and Cold War secrets. Showing how asteroid research is increasingly collaborative, Peebles's Asteroids provides insights into the evolution of scientific ideas and the ebb and flow of scientific debate.Amazon.com Review
Asteroids are many things to many people. For some observers, those"mountains in the sky" point to the cataclysmic origins of the universe.Others see untold wealth in the planetary fragments, which harbor greatstores of precious metals. Still others see in asteroids the likelihood ofglobal destruction--after all, one of them, slamming into the earthmillions of years ago, may very well have condemned the dinosaurs toextinction, and deep space harbors untold potential threats to the earth.

In this engaging volume, Curtis Peebles surveys the science of asteroids,offering a highly readable account of the many ways in which they form outof the flotsam and jetsam of larger celestial bodies, the dust and debrisof space. He adds to this scientific overview an anecdotal history ofasteroid discovery and detection, which, he writes, was often the work ofgifted astronomers working with less than ideal equipment, and all toooften dismissed by their professional counterparts. Peebles discusses indetail the rules by which asteroids are catalogued and named--some, forinstance, bear the monikers of eminent scientists, others of their patrons,and still others of more unlikely honorees, such as the group of asteroidsnamed for the various Beatles. He also touches on efforts to protect Earth from asteroid impacts--the father of that planetary defense being none other than the poet Lord Byron--which he calls "the only natural disaster that human society can prevent."

Students of the history of space science will profit from Peebles's carefulresearch, while astronomy buffs will enjoy his lucid narrative. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for those interested in the topic
Once upon a time, asteroids were "the vermin of the skies," as Peebles indicates. However, with the success of the NEAR mission and with concerns over the cataclysmic effects of asteroid impacts making their way even into popular culture, they are of great interest today.

The book lives up to the title, providing a very brief background on the birth of modern astronomy with Kepler and Galileo before getting to the discovery of the first asteroids. The first clue was the large gap between Mars and Jupiter, where astronomers in the 1700s began looking for a missing planet. By early in the next century, they'd found several, though they were all too small. And by the early 1900s, astronomers were getting a little tired of them, there were so many (about 2,000).

Skipping up to modern times, we now have dedicated instruments that are all but swamping the system with findings: The Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project, using automated techniques, found over 25,000 new asteroids in less than two years.

Peebles also focuses on different categories of asteroids, since not all are found between Earth and Mars: some approach the Earth (sometimes unnervingly closely), while others, in the Kuiper Belt, are beyond the orbit of Neptune. The discovery of each of these classes is described in separate chapters as well as, when appropriate, the theory behind the formation of each and how it was developed.

Two chapters serve as something of footnotes, one on the different sources of asteroid names (dead astronomers, Greek mythology, places, etc.), and the other on the controversy in San Diego over streetlighting. The latter seems somewhat out-of-place in this book, though the story is worth telling: basically, there was a great fight over whether the city should install streetlights with a low impact on the nearby Palomar Observatory or a higher impact. The former were disliked by some due to their orangish, unflattering lighting. To make a long story short, the astronomers win in the short-run but lose in the long-run as a new administration comes in and, at significant expense, votes to install the high-impact lighting. Peebles does not describe the resulting effects at Mt. Palomar, which is a great absence from the book and effectively undercuts much of his argument.

The final chapters cover the potential for asteroid impacts, the discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9 and its subsequent impact on Jupiter, and the possibility of defending against impacts.

Some minor goofs: Minor Planet Center director Brian Marsden (one of the most significant figures in modern solar system astronomy) is referred to as "Bruce Marsden" once, and the NASA administrator during the Challenger disaster, James Beggs, is consistently referred to as "Biggs."

My only other criticism is that the recounting gets a little tedious at times: asteroid X is discovered, then asteroid Y, then asteroid Z, and so on. But that would be a little hard to avoid in this sort of history, and Peebles manages to provide enough background, covering theory, techniques, and historical circumstances, to stay out of that rut most of the time.

It's an excellent book for those interested in the topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile despite a quirky complaint...
An outstanding introductory and reference work on the current thinking behind the asteroid phenomenon, including the controversies over naming, geological studies etc. Covers in some depth the main periods of asteroid discovery, from visual to photographic to automated. Also deals briefly with issues of asteroid origin; a very interesting discussion of the analysis of "groups" of asteroids, identified by similarities in their orbital elements, as well as interesting treatment of Jupiter's effects on sweeping out lanes in the asteroid belt. Excellent treatment of the NEA threat, from its inception up through the SL-9 impact.

Quirky treatment of light pollution in the middle of the book, in the context of the naming phenomenon (an asteroid was named for the city of San Diego after a light pollution ordinance was passed, but later rescinded, though the asteroid kept its name). It was an interesting discussion, and a story that deserves to be told, but didn't belong in the middle of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the asteroids and comets hunters
A very good book to anyone that desires to acquire a good glimmer about the subject of Near Earth Objects and their threat to our civilization.

It covers all aspects from technical to politics and is a real tribute to many dedicated professionals and amateurs astronomers, geologist and others various scientists which are making history in asteroid and comets hunting. It also make me disapointed to know that the Southern hemisphere, were I live, is like a blind concerning the NEOs search effort.

Only one aspect prevent me too score 5 stars: In my opinion, the too long discussion on chapter 8 about he streetlights issue of San Diego.

A wonderful start book for anyone who intend to initiate in the NEOs study.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good history of the "vermin of the skies."
Although it's a little dry in places and could use some more illustrations and a few more photographs, the book does a decent job of introducing the reader to the history of asteroids, their discoverers, the implications for mass extinctions on earth, and the efforts being taken today to detect them and deflect them before they have a chance to make a bad impression. ... Read more

18. Asteroids, Comets and Meteors (Solar System)
by Rosalind Mist
Paperback: 24 Pages (2009-06-01)
-- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1848350716
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19. Asteroid Impact
by Douglas Henderson
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2000-09-01)
list price: US$16.99
Isbn: 0803725000
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Sixty-five million years ago, Earth was alive with pterosaurs, marine reptiles, and dinosaurs.But some event brought the Age of Reptiles to an abrupt end--an event believed by many scientists to be the collision of a large asteroid with Earth.Douglas Henderson draws on well-respected theories from physics, geology, astronomy, and paleontology to re-create the asteroid's impact.With breathtaking paintings and a clear accessible text, he explains this fascinating subject in vivid detail. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Asteroid Impact
"Asteroid Impact" written by Douglas Henderson is a wonderful little book that explains, in not too technical terms, how and what happens when an asteroid impacts with the Earth.This book is written for readers that are from 6 to 9 years old, making the reading content along with the brilliant illustrations, a wonder for those of any age."Asteroid Impact" draws on many well-respected theories from paleontology, physics, geology and astronomy making for very engaging reading.

The book takes the reader back in time to about sixty-five million years ago, when the Earth was alive with the dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals, as we see an asteroid plunge through the Earth's atmosphere and slam directly into the Earth.Making a real mess for the life living at the time.The book has some really good painting art combining plants with dinosaurs in it, also of what happens when an astroid hits the Earth.

The text is easy to read and makes for some very good reading... it's engaging and makes the reader think as to what can happen if an impact should occur of the same magnitude as the one that hit the Yucatan Peninsula.Just as the Earth's life has died out after the great extinction in the Mesozoic Era... the time the dinosaurs lived... began.Now, the Mesozoic was to end with another great extinction... an astroid impact would bring a catastrophe to the late Cretaceous world. I would highly recommed this book for the early reader from 7 years of age and on.This book tells the tale without too much of the technical jargon but conveys and makes the point abundantly clear as to what has happened.The typeface is easy to read and is larger for the younger readers as they read into the book they get to see what is happening by the picture art.

"Asteroid Impact" has a question and answer section in the back of the book and an index and bibliography for the reader to do further research albeit rather limited. But, it gets the reader a start in the right direction, to satisfy some of the built up curiosity."Asteroid Impact" is a solid 5 star book as it is engaging, interesting, informative, and educational.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scary, creepy, and worth every penny
Okay, so "creepy" and "scary" aren't usually words associated with childrens' books...but let's face it, the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period wasn't exactly nice and tame either...
When I first read this book, it gave me goosebumps...in fact, every time I read through it, it gives me goosebumps...the artwork is simply astounding. Henderson is the best of the best: you ARE there when you are looking at his paintings...and these paintings are nothing less than terrifying in their realism. I highly recomend this book to anyone and everyone. Buy one. Buy tons, because this is the closest you will ever get to experiencing the K/T Impact Event.

5-0 out of 5 stars ASTEROID IMPACT A SMASH!
Douglas Henderson's newest children's book ASTEROID IMPACT is without doubt the best nonfiction dinosaur book for kids to hit the shelves since,well, Henderson's last book. Lavishly illustrated with 28 breathtakingfull-color scenes (including the cover) and 6 color diagrammaticillustrations, the book sets up and depicts the scenario of an asteroidimpact and its aftermath at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 millionyears ago.

No one is better than Henderson when it comes to renderingdinosaurs and other Mesozoic denizens in their natural habitats, and thisbook contains what I consider to be some of his best paleolife work ever.Unsurprisingly, he also shows the same affinity and aptitude forastronomical art, presenting a series of awe-inspiring space scenes thatsimply boggle the mind with their artistry. He starts the 40-page book withseveral eye-poppingly beautiful scenes of life in Late Cretaceous NorthAmerica and its environs just prior to the impact, then beginsinterspersing them with some of the best space art this side of ChesleyBonestell as he begins showing the asteroid's approach. When themountain-sized rock finally comes hurtling through Earth's atmosphere andsmashes into the ocean near what is now the Yucatán Peninsula, so preciselydesigned and brilliantly executed are the images that one has theoverwhelming impression of viewing an actual documentary film of theevent.

The book's text is no less an accomplishment, concise andintelligently written, unlike the (sadly) greater majority of cliché-riddendinosaur books for children that inhabit bookstore shelves, volumes thatimpart little of real substance and uncaringly continue to perpetuateoutmoded ideas. This is Henderson's second outing as writer/artist(DINOSAUR TREE, published by Bradbury Press in 1994, was his first soloeffort) and the time and care taken to ensure that this book is accurateand accessible is evident on every page. At no time does he insult hisyoung audience by "dumbing down" his text, yet another commoncomplaint concerning the current crop of dinosaur books aimed at kids.Henderson presents his data in clear, simple language without sacrificingany of the underlying scientific content. A rare feat, and one to be laudedin an age where science, our one true connection to the real world, isall-too-often relegated to the background or, worse, ignored entirely infavor of mindless "entertainment".

Buy this book. Better yet,buy two. Give one to a child who'll appreciate it and keep the other foryourself. ... Read more

20. Asteroids, Meteorites, and Comets (The Solar System)
by Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
Hardcover: 270 Pages (2010-08)
list price: US$39.50 -- used & new: US$39.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816076960
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introductory text.
As the title indicates, the Elkins-Tanton monograph is an introductory text on asteroids, comets and meteorites. The text also includes discussions of moons, planetary impacts and space mission to investigate comets and asteroids. The seven chapters and three appendices are illuminated with detailed gray-scale graphics and diagrams as well as high-resolution black and white photos of moons, comets and other celestial bodies. These are augmented by eight pages of good quality color images in the center of the book. Scientific and astronomical facts and data are presented in clearly readable tabular format throughout the text. While some mathematical concepts and formulas are presented in context, this book is not a text on celestial mechanics. The text incorporates a number of valuable features including an extensive index, bibliography, glossary, a list of Internet resources and astronomical societies.

As a course text, this book would be appropriate for 6th grade through high school and could be used as a supplementary text for undergraduate university courses. While advanced mathematics are not required to understand the content, the reader's comprehension will be enhanced with a basic knowledge of algebra. Replete with interesting facts and data, the book is easy to read not requiring background knowledge of astronomy or physics. The lack of advanced organizers and end-of-chapters activities or resources diminishes the functionality of this book as a primary course text.
... Read more

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