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41. Looking at the Planets: A Book
42. The Solar System: Exploring the
43. 21st Century Astronomy: The Solar
44. The Magic School Bus Hello Out
45. Planets: A Solar System Stickerbook
46. Exploring Our Solar System
47. Beyond Spaceship Earth: Environmental
48. Astronomy: The Solar System and
49. Solar-Thermal Energy Systems:
50. Lost In The Solar System - Audio
51. Kids Discover Solar System, Pyramids
52. Solar System Dynamics
53. Discovering the Solar System (Space
54. Peterson First Guide to Solar
55. Earths In Our Solar System Which
56. Lives of the Planets: A Natural
57. Wonders (of the Planets: Visions
58. The Solar System
59. The Pebble First Guide to the
60. Discover Science: Solar System

41. Looking at the Planets: A Book About the Solar System/With a Glow in the Dark Planet Mobile
by Melvin Berger
 Paperback: Pages (1995-04)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$10.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590203002
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Realistic illustrations give young space buffs a comprehensive look at our solar system with a few basic facts about each planet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Make your own solar system
This book would be a good way to introduce children to the solar system. It focuses on the nine planets, and has a "punch-out" glow-in-the-dark kit that allows you to make your own model of the solar system. The information is of the most basic, which would probably be best for children from four to eight. ... Read more

42. The Solar System: Exploring the Earth and Its Neighbors (The Universe)
by Miquel Perez, Miguel Perez
 Paperback: Pages (1998-10)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$4.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764106856
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The sun, the moon and the planets are explored in this tale of a group of children who make an exciting visit to a planetarium. Afterwards, the boys and girls imagine a space adventure of their own. Full color. ... Read more

43. 21st Century Astronomy: The Solar System (Third Edition)
by Jeff Hester, Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay, Howard Voss
Paperback: 436 Pages (2010-01-12)
-- used & new: US$56.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393932842
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With 21st Century Astronomy, students see the universe through the eyes of a scientist.
21st Century Astronomy’s distinctive writing style, superior art, and supporting media package all work together to teach students how science works, help students visualize basic concepts and physical processes, and keep students focused on the “big picture.”

For the Third Edition, the entire text has been reread from a student’s perspective and rewritten to eliminate jargon and ensure that the book’s hallmark tone resounds throughout every chapter. New Visual Analogy icons help students connect the textual analogies used to describe physical processes with the figures that illustrate them, and new AstroTour animations and simulations developed at the University of Nebraska provide students with opportunities for interactive learning.

... Read more

44. The Magic School Bus Hello Out There: A Sticker Book About the Solar System
by Joanna Cole
Paperback: 16 Pages (1995-10)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$23.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590881299
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Magic School Bus SolorSystem sticker book
This book was cute, but definitely NOT worth the 25$ I paid for it!At that price, I thought it would be a more substantial book, but as it was, it was a mere approx 25 page book with some stickers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic School Bus and stickers, too!
Mrs. Frizzle takes her class on an "extremely" hands-on field trip, and takes her readers on an "extremely" hands on voyage as they can place stickers on the book to create their own scenes.Studentscan learn about different planets, moons, meteors, and more, and youngerchildren enjoy the stickers! ... Read more

45. Planets: A Solar System Stickerbook
by Ellen Hasbrouck
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068984414X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Take a trip through the solar system and discover what?s really up in the sky!Packed with fascinating facts about planets, comets, asteroids and more, Planets is a galaxy of fun for young astronomers...and everybody who gazes at the night sky!

Create your own universe and solar system with reusable stickers of the planets, asteroids, galaxies, and comets! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Planets Book
This book was given to my two year old when he started showing interest in the planets. He absolutely LOVED it! We read it over and over and Over again. He now has it memorized, can tell you the planets in the order from the Sun, and knows the planets by just looking at them. This book has great rhyme and rhythm to it, which makes it easy to for children to remember. It gives a little fact about each planet and I like that it includes Pluto, stating, however, that, "Pluto alas isn't a planet after all. A dark dwarf planet. A distant ice ball.". There are extra bits of info in the back like about comets and solar systems and fun stickers for them to play with. A great space book if your child has a love of the planets!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for all ages
Purchased this for my little boy when he was 20 months old.He's now 22 months, and can now easily identify all of the planets.He also enjoys the stickers.Very good book for teaching the basics of our solar system (especially a young mind).Very clear, easy to understand, and the poem format is a nice way to introduce the planets in order from the Sun.


5-0 out of 5 stars out of this world
I bought this book for my son when he was 2 1/2, (He's obsessed with our solar system), and it's a year later and he still loves to read it. We purchased this one for his friend's 3rd birthday and word is that he can't put it down either.

4-0 out of 5 stars planet pleaser
my grandson loved the book with its bright colors... and, of course, the stickers...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!
This is my absolute favorite book to read to my classroom of 4-6 year olds!It starts with the sun on the left, then goes through all the planets, with short pages and easy text for each one.I love it because it really reinforces the order of planets from the sun, and because the text is so simple and catchy.Plus, as you turn pages, you see all the previous planets on the left.LOVE IT!!! ... Read more

46. Exploring Our Solar System
by Sally Ride, Tam O'Shaughnessy
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2003-11)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$219.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375812040
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Describes what we have learned about our solar system from telescopes and spacecraft, focusing on the characteristics of the planets and their moons. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review from FirstScience Online Newsletter
"Five billion years ago, a starship passing through our region of space would not have slowed down for a second look. There was nothing to see. No Earth, no sun, no solar system. Nothing but a huge tenuous cloud of gas.

Now, as the result of billions of years of evolution, and centuries of scientific research, we can chart our way through the solar system . . . with Sally Ride as our navigator. Starting from the sun and working outward, Sally Ride and Tam O'Shaughnessy take readers on a tour of the nine planets (Editors Note - Now it's 10 they will need a new edition!!) and explain the formation, current conditions, and possibility of life on each.

Filled with crisp, full-colour photographs and lucid prose, this comprehensive volume untangles the complexities of space and allows readers to feel like masters of the universe."

5-0 out of 5 stars With over a hundred color photos and diagrams
Exploring Our Solar System is a definitive guide to space will particularly interest readers ages 10 and older with its survey of the planets by former astronaut Sally Ride, who begins with the Sun and moves outward. Over a hundred color photos and diagrams lends to classroom assignment and research use.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Rocks My Solar System!
This is an outstanding book!My mother bought it for my younger sister but I borrowed it to help me research a report for my 10th grade science class.It is extremely clear and well written, and the pictures are cool!My science teacher liked it so much that she bought a copy for our classroom.I highly recommend Sally Ride's book for kids (and teachers) of any age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular View of Our Solar System!
Wow!This book offers a fabulous introduction to the solar system and our place in it.It is more than the usual description of the sun and 9 planets -- it describes how the solar system was formed, how the planets came to be so different, and why the Earth is unique.And the pictures are spectacular! ... Read more

47. Beyond Spaceship Earth: Environmental Ethics andthe Solar System
by Eugene C. Hargrove
Hardcover: Pages (1992-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$14.95
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Asin: 0962680710
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48. Astronomy: The Solar System and Beyond
by Michael A. Seeds, Dana Backman
Paperback: 512 Pages (2009-01-05)
list price: US$159.95 -- used & new: US$127.89
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Asin: 0495562033
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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With this newly revised 6th edition of ASTRONOMY: THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND, Mike Seeds and Dana Backman's goal is to help students use astronomy to understand science and use science to understand what we are. Fascinating and engaging, this text illustrates the scientific method and guides students to these fundamental questions: "What are we?" and "How do we know?" In discussing the interplay between evidence and hypothesis, The authors provide not just facts, but a conceptual framework for understanding the logic of science. The book vividly conveys their love of astronomy, and illustrates how students can comprehend their place in the universe by grasping a small set of physical laws. Crafting a story about astronomy, The authors show students how to ask questions to gradually puzzle out the beautiful secrets of the physical world. With the use of mathematics set off in boxes, the book's presentation is flexible and allows instructors to teach to differing student levels. This is the only Seeds/Backman text to be written using a traditional planets-first approach. The revision addresses new developments in astrophysics and cosmology, plus the latest discoveries, from Mars' buried water to proto-galaxies at the limits of the observable universe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Visual Intro to Astro! Cool!
Our local community college has adopted this book for the Fall 2009-Spring 2010 academic year. I must say that I am highly impressed with this book's fresh, engaging layout, easy to read fonts, and other features. It's better--light years better-- for the student than the previous text: The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium (with AceAstronomy(tm), Virtual Astronomy Labs Printed Access Card) (Paperback)

Astronomy: The Solar System and Beyond, 6E book offers an array of beautiful images and illustrations that really give the student lasting impressions of astronomy concepts, inspiring wonder, sparking curiosity. This text will be most appreciated by those who are visual learners and those who struggle reading science texts for comprehension. I wish I had had this text when I was taking my beginning astronomy courses! // Use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature to view the book's table of contents!

I love the Flash Reference insert that describes the H-R Diagram, comparative planetology, and motion. I especially enjoy the inner sheets that depict "The Universe Bowl," a helpful image which describes the history of the universe in terms of a football field game. This image allows the student to visualize the formation of the universe from the Big Bang Theory to present. The image takes a difficult concept and makes it approachable to the non-scientist. The Sky Around You, The Cycle of the Seasons, The Phases of the Moon, The Ancient Universe, Atomic Spectra, Three Kinds of Nebulae, Terrestrial and Jovian Planets pages are the best graphics (and explanations)I've ever seen in a beginning astronomy text. Appendix B Observing the Sky introduces naked eye observation and the use of star charts.

Detailed Study & Review sections help the learner to practice chapter topics and to explore problems related to the material. How Do We Know Sections? offer great added commentary and points to ponder on chapter material and related topics with an emphasis on scientific methods. The Celestial Profiles are a fun feature that introduce objects in the solar system, and they are most helpful for comparative planetology. Chapter 4 The Origin of Modern Astronomy offers a lovely summary of astronomical efforts through the ages.

Instructors: this book is worth examining for your introductory course, especially if you want a stimulating text that carries the learner...well...into space! :D // This would also be a fun book for those who are backyard astronomers! Makes a great reference! ... Read more

49. Solar-Thermal Energy Systems: Analysis and Design
by John R. Howell
 Hardcover: 405 Pages (1982-07)
list price: US$64.95
Isbn: 0070306036
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solar-Thermal Energy Systems
There is no gain saying that this is an extremely good text as far as the simulation of Thermal systems is concerned.It is especially very useful for solar-thermal systems.The title of the book couldn't have been more apt.The writing style and the presentation of the relevant background materials is just fine.Targetted primarily at design and simulation engineers,the authors dive from the first chapter into the main fabrics of thermal systems modeling and simulation without the distracting gory tales of how the sun came to be etc,which are the hallmarks of some so-called thermal systems design texts.If you are a thermal system analyst who want to get to the nitty-gritty of thermal systems' modeling and simulations from the word go, i believe the authors had you in mind as far as this book is concerned.
However,someone should please inform Professor Howell et al,that this superb book is long overdue for a thorough review to bring it to modern programming standards.The sample programs at the end of the book will not find the light of the day with modern Fortran and Basic codes.They are spaghetti codes that modern engineers and scientists may not give a second look.Apart from these,the book is what every thermal engineer needs. ... Read more

50. Lost In The Solar System - Audio Library Edition (The Magic School Bus)
by Joanna Cole
 Hardcover: 40 Pages (2010-05-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$13.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0545223377
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The field trip to the planetarium is foiled when the museum turns out to be closed, but Ms. Frizzle saves the day. The Magic School Bus turns into a spaceship and takes the class on a trip zooming through the atmosphere, to the Moon, and beyond!  With up-to-date facts about the solar system, revised for this edition.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars wide age bracket appropriate
The magic school bus series seems to be written for a 4-5 year old while containing material appropriate for a ten year old.The books seem very complete and well written but there is a very wide age range that they seem to be written for. Seem to be very good for a VERY advanced child but not for the normal 4 or 5 year old.

4-0 out of 5 stars comic-book format for learning
I am impressed with the way the comic-book style of this book can really teach.The pages have the storyline text, and then plenty of puns and quips, some dialog, associated reasearch projects done by the class, charts, and great illustrations.

This is a series, so to get you familiar, Ms. Frizzle is a teacher who takes her class on field trips.Their school bus can change and transport them anywhere, so the field trips end up being real experiences.The books do a tremendous job of carrying the story and the visuals.

As a mom, the puns do little for me, but my seven-year-old really likes them and repeats them.Good enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love these books!
My children and I really enjoy reading the adventures of the Friz. It is fun and it truly educates.

5-0 out of 5 stars magic school bus
My grand children love every one of the magic school bus stories and watch and read them over and over again

5-0 out of 5 stars geeky and intellectual, and wonderfully un-American!
This is a great, almost un American book in that kids are told that it's OK, even wonderful and wondrous to be science geeks, be curious.Love the Frizz when she says "take chances, get messy, make mistakes," and encourages her students to explore.In a society that elevates sports and violence for boys, and beauty and cattiness for girls, this series stands out for encouraging gender neutral intellectualism and academic achievement.My geeky 5 year old can't get enough, having finally found fictional characters that reflect her and encourage her.Factual substance-wise, I as a 40 year old have learned tons. ... Read more

51. Kids Discover Solar System, Pyramids & Blood (RESAMPG 2001)
by Kids Discover, Lorraine Hopping Egan, Stella Sands
Paperback: 20 Pages (2001)
-- used & new: US$47.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1105428680
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52. Solar System Dynamics
by Carl D. Murray, Stanley F. Dermott
Paperback: 608 Pages (2000-02-13)
list price: US$89.00 -- used & new: US$70.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521575974
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The force of gravity acting over eons has provided the solar system with an intricate dynamical structure, much of it revealed by recent space missions. This comprehensive introduction to the dynamical features of the solar system also provides all the mathematical tools and physical models needed for a complete understanding of the subject. Clearly written and well illustrated coverage shows how a basic knowledge of the two- and three-body problems and perturbation theory can be combined to understand features as diverse as the tidal heating of Jupiter's moon Io, the origin of the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt, and the radial structure of Saturn's rings. Problems at the end of each chapter and a free Internet Mathematica® software package help students to fully develop their understanding of the subject.This volume provides an authoritative textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on planetary dynamics and celestial mechanics. It also equips students with the mathematical tools to tackle broader courses on dynamics, dynamical systems, applications of chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics.Written by two leading figures in planetary dynamics, it is a benchmark publication in the field and destined to become a classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Effective
As a graduate student in astronomy I highly recommend this book. It gets the job done on a multitude of dynamical topics, and the explanations come in many layers. One can skip to the equations in a relatively easy manner, but in depth derivations are provided.

Among these, the best explanation of what an arbitrary 2-body orbit looks like on the sky.


5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic of the Field
We all know that the solar system is a system centered on the sun (we know that now, needless to say that in Galileo's time you went to jail for saying that). What few of us realize is just how dynamic the solar system really is.

The rings of Saturn were first discovered by Galileo in 1610, but not really understood to be a thin disk of indivudial items until Maxwell in 1859. The rings of Uranus, Neptune and Jupiter weren't really discovered until very recently. Why rings? Why are they spaced the way they are? Why are some of them twisted. And what about comets, some of which have moons of their own?

This is the classic book on how things move in the solar system. It is the world of Newtonian mechanics, but brought forward by 350 years of observatiosn.

This book does not shy away from the mathematics that really describe what's happening. A bit of calculus, including integral calculus, will be needed to get the full impact of what the authors are saying.

3-0 out of 5 stars Richly detailed, with dense mathematics and many typos
I bought this book hoping to learn about subtleties in the solar system such as horseshoe orbits, shepherding satellites in ring systems, etc.I was richly rewarded.The book goes into deep detail on a large variety of secular and resonant phenomena.But a couple of warnings are appropriate.

First, the book has a very high density of equations, and having studied physics I've seen my share.The math is not too difficult, really (mostly expansions, transformations, etc.), but the authors do not shy away from showing all the details of a calculation.In several chapters expansion follows expansion until the reader is lost in a sea of similar variables.Without spending much more time deriving the results myself, there was no hope of following portions of their development.The book might well have benefitted from tighter editing in this regard; perhaps more of this detail could have been relegated to appendices so that the physical conclusions would stand out more clearly.

Second, there are a lot of errors in the book, both typos in equations and in surrounding text.I easily spotted a number of errors which were obvious even to a neophyte in orbital mechanics like myself.They should not have escaped good proofreading.A Google search for "solar system dynamics errata" (without the quotes) will bring you to a pdf file containing detailed corrections.Kudos to the authors for maintaining such a file!I strongly recommend readers download it and keep it handy while using the book.

Bottom line:tough going but rewarding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, Fascinating, Challenging
Three books on our solar system appeared in the past year or so.Each has its own "flavor."I will review them in turn, but browsers should be aware of the others, so they are listed here: See also, "TheNew Solar System," J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, AndrewChalkin, and "The Planetary Scientist's Companion," KatharineLodders and Bruce Fegley, Jr.

If one of the other books, "The NewSolar System" is lacking in mathematics, this volume more than makesup for it.Although my current interest, the Titius/Bode Law, is givenonly one page of description, it is a full and fair assessment of thisastronomical curiosity.The authors immediately follow this on p. 9 by astatement that sums up the flavor of the rest of the book: "...It isNewton's laws that are at work and the subtle gravitational effect thatdetermines the dynamical structure of our solar system is the phenomenon of'resonance'."Planets do not circle the sun independently, theyinfluence each other's orbits in fascinating and subtle ways, some of whichmay take billions of years to evolve.

The manifold aspects of"resonance" can be seen in the Chapter headings: The Two-BodyProblem, The Restricted Three-Body Problem, Tides, Rotation, and Shape,Spin-Orbit Coupling, The Disturbing Function, Secular Perturbations,Resonant Perturbations, Chaos and Long-Term Evolution, and Planetary Rings.

The mathematics appears to be straightforward, but like mostperturbation theory, it is not simple.Calculus is essential, of course. However, I welcome it.It will challenge my curiosity and ability for manyyears to come.

This is a compelling, must-have book for the advancedstudent of the science underlying our solar system and probably of otherplanetary systems as well. ... Read more

53. Discovering the Solar System (Space Guides)
by Peter Grego
Paperback: 32 Pages (2008-11-01)
list price: US$9.48 -- used & new: US$5.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1848350139
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54. Peterson First Guide to Solar System (Peterson First Guides)
by Jay M. Pasachoff Professor of Astronomy
Paperback: 128 Pages (1999-03-01)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395971942
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Budding astronomers--backyard or armchair--will learn not only where to look for the planets in the nighttime sky but also how space missions to the planets and their moons have increased our understanding of Earth, its atmosphere, and the moon.
More than 100 spectacular color photographs, including views from the Hubble Space Telescope of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, as well as the latest Voyager photographs of Neptune.
The latest scientific information on other solar systems and extraterrestrial life, charts showing where to find the planets in the night sky, and much more. ... Read more

55. Earths In Our Solar System Which Are Called Planets, and Earths In The Starry Heaven Their Inhabitants, And The Spirits And Angels There
by Emanuel Swedenborg
Paperback: 100 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YL34HS
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Earths In Our Solar System Which Are Called Planets, and Earths In The Starry Heaven Their Inhabitants, And The Spirits And Angels There is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Emanuel Swedenborg is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Emanuel Swedenborg then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

56. Lives of the Planets: A Natural History of the Solar System
by Richard Corfield
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2007-06-25)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$2.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465014038
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A grand overview of the dynamic and endlessly fascinating backyard of astronomy--our solar system.

Lives of the Planets describes a scientific field in the midst of a revolution. Planetary science has mainly been a descriptive science, but it is becoming increasingly experimental. The space probes that went up between the 1960s and 1990s were primarily generalists--they collected massive amounts of information so that scientists could learn what questions to pursue. But recent missions have become more focused: Scientists know better what information they want and how to collect it. Even now probes are on their way to Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Pluto, with Europa--one of Jupiter's moons--on the agenda.

In a sweeping look into the manifold objects inhabiting the depths of space, Lives of the Planets delves into the mythology and the knowledgehumanity has built over the ages. Placing our current understanding in historical context, Richard Corfield explores the seismic shifts in planetary astronomy and probes why we must change our perspective of our place in the universe. In our era of extraordinary discovery, this is the first comprehensive survey of this new understanding and thehistory of how we got here. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good read.
I needed a book for a book report I was doing. I am also not an astrophysicist, so I was extremely happy that this was such an easy book to read and understand. It gave a fairly comprehensive overview of where we have come with exploration since the beginning of the space age. I enjoyed it.

2-0 out of 5 stars PWNED!!!!!: The Astronomy Book!
As already noted, this is a history of the various satellite missions to the planets instead of the planets themselves.And that's OK; I expected such, having read the reviews and a few sample passages in the store.What shocked me, though, was Corfield's odd and plainly mean-spirited decision to focus on the programs' blunders and failures, however miniscule they may be in comparison to their accomplishments.Strange to see an astronomer, someone who presumably has a big-picture outlook on the world, caught up in such pettiness.

Corfield consistently portrays of scientists as a stupid lot, their beliefs founded on fads and personal prejudice until the evidence knocks them upside their empty heads.Funny thing about that evidence; it seems to show up of its own accord, with no human responsibility for its discovery.(Who's pursuing the truth and amending previous theories, then?Flying spaghetti monsters?)Any researcher who has ever come to a conclusion we now perceive as erroneous, regardless of the limitations of their era or tools, is smirkingly dismissed as worthless and chuckleheaded.(Galileo failed to properly identify Saturn's rings with his 17th-century telescope-heh, what a hopeless moron.)Forgive me for flinging this accusation at an accomplished astronomer, but-Corfield doesn't seem to get how science works.I imagine that "PWNED!!!!!" is a prominent part of his everyday vocabulary.

Corfield's approach makes his account of space exploration opaque.It's not important what the Pioneer missions observed, only that those losers eventually got thrashed by Voyager; it's not important what Voyager observed, only that its team was unforgivably boneheaded for not following the course Corfield would have.Corfield's...interesting priorities don't address the questions one usually has about these programs.His technical explanations also fail to define crucial terminology (H-R diagrams, for example, are mentioned but never explained), leaving laymen in the dark.

The author also makes the poor decision to shove a ten-page climate change denial manifesto into the very first chapter, blaming the phenomenon completely on sunspot activity.(A thin layer of "some people say" weasel words fools no one; take responsibility for you own crackpot theory, buddy.)He introduces the idea of climate change as a collection of "doom-laden forecasts [from] highly-paid think-tank moguls and academics with an eye on their funding".Ah, yes, Big Science, with all those researchers getting rich off global warming!My heart and expectations sank as I read it; it nearly discredited Corfield for me right off the bat.

There are some neat things in here, like a thorough and convincing archaeological exploration of Stonehenge as a giant astronomical clock in the Sun chapter.Corfield also worked on Britain's Beagle 2 mission to Mars, which never reached its landing site; we get a vivid and insightful chronicle from Corfield on the would-be landing day, as it gradually becomes sadly apparent that things have gone awry.Every time I got hooked by something awesome and intriguing, though, Corfield soon steered back to his personal grudges and schoolyard smirks.You can pick out good tidbits from "Lives of the Planets", and it might be worth borrowing from the library if you're interested in astronomy.If you want a solid popular-science book about the solar system, though, I'd recommend Dava Sobel's "The Planets" instead.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sir, Can I have more please?
As a kid, I loved the space race and anything having to do with outer space.Then I went to college and took an astronomy course that could not have been any more uninteresting.Since then, I never wanted to read anything about it again.But 30 years later, I saw this new book at the library and decided that maybe with all of the updated information and a new perspective; I could enjoy the subject again.

The author has created an interesting premise.That the planets are living and changing as does our knowledge about them.They start as one undefined item and then as we learn about them, they take on another life.The book is clearly meant for the non-scientific, however, that becomes a somewhat difficult goal as the author uses many terms that are not explained nor defined - i.e. The sun has a core that is .2 solar radii - what the heck is a solar radii?Then in a wonderful explanation of Stonehenge, he fails to provide any illustration that would really make the discussion meaningful.Likewise the discussion on the stars and their characteristics (aka HR graphing).Why not place an illustration that would make everything clear?

There is quite a bit of information on the various unmanned space probes and probably too much detail on them, but he does keep it interesting with anecdotal stories of his own travails.Additionally, by keeping us informed of upcoming dates for probes that were launched several years ago, it gives you perspective on the amount of time it takes to launch and then how much time must pass before the information is gathered.The author is clearly showing his roots with all of the details, but without the details, something would be missing.

There is much that is very well done in this book and there is much that is not so well done.But overall, I'm very glad that I read it and it has again piqued my interest in the solar system and planets.Some of the information is so fascinating that I want to hear more about it, but there is, of course, no more information to be had.Again, at the end of the book, some type of illustration on the solar system as it stands today would have helped through the final chapter.I think that the information flow is quite good, but the delivery could use a little work.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Universe for Dummies
I can see why people say this has a misleading title , and why intellectual snobs don't like it. Its a really great top level summary of the exploration of our universe - each chapter is a different planet/object Sun, Mercury etc. and the latest theory of the nature/history of each. I've just been to Cape Kennedy so am a late convert to space ... and this is just great for someone like me. Very easy to read ... nice structure ... i.e. a chapter per planet - so you can skip around if you like - its a bit like a collection of short stories ... good intro for dummies (like moi)

3-0 out of 5 stars Once over Lightly, at Best; Certainly not the Place to Start for a History of Planetary Exploration
Perhaps the old axiom is true, although I hate to admit it. Historians should not try to do scientific research and scientists should not try to do history. At least the latter is true for this book by Richard Corfield. He is a brilliant scientist; but if this book is any indication he should stick to what he does best and leave history to the historians. "Lives of the Planets: A Natural History of the Solar System" is intended as a book for a general audience about the history of the exploration of the solar system. Corfield's intention was to take an historical approach toward explaining what we know about this important subject. He promised to relate the latest knowledge about the planets of the solar system as well as how over time we have learned about them. That is a noble objective but one fraught with difficulties, not the least of which is the coalescing of the historical story with the scientific record to create a seamless whole. Unfortunately, the author failed to accomplish this task and "Lives of the Planets" is a poor effort to explain either the history or the science of solar system exploration.

Richard Corfield takes a relatively straightforward approach toward his subject, starting with the Sun and then moving on to Mercury as the innermost planet and thereafter working outward. It may be that this method contributes to the failure of "Lives of the Planets," for an historical approach to each body in the solar system is by definition fragmentary and incomplete since it does not represent reality in any true sense. But beyond this systemic problem with this work, there are other even more disturbing difficulties. Let me suggest only a few of them.

The first is that despite the assertion that this book will offer the latest findings in science about the solar system it fails to do so. The author insists, and he is right about this, that a revolution in knowledge about the solar system has resulted from the space science undertaken since 1957. Although published in 2007 there is less about many of the important and pathbreaking discoveries in this arena than is appropriate given the objective. For instance, Corfield offers a "once over lightly" narrative concerning the knowledge gained about Mars that has resulted from the armada of spacecraft sent to the red planet since the Mars Pathfinder mission of 1997. During that period NASA moved Mars exploration from a set of "one-off" missions to an integrated program in which a succession of probes built systematically on previous accomplishments. The result is that we now have with Mars the most complete portrait of the geophysical properties of any planet of the solar system save Earth. We also have at present controversy over whether or not life on Mars has ever existed and a rich record of debate among scientists, crackpots, and others about the so-called "face on Mars," the Mars meteorite that supposedly encapsulated biological fossils announced in 1996, and other issues. It is an unfortunate missed opportunity.

This problem is repeated throughout the book, as the author fails to note truly significant scientific findings. As one other example, Corfield's discussion of the Voyager mission to the outer planets launched in 1977 is at best superficial. For instance, the author passes without any serious discussion the truly important discovery of volcanoes on Io made by Voyager. Likewise, the critical investigation of the heliopause currently underway by Voyager is almost absent from this story.

Corfield does not discuss in any depth what may be the most dramatic scientific finding of the space age, the manner in which the origins of the Moon was settled by the scientific community. Prior to the voyages of Apollo scientists argued about how the Moon came to be but those missions provided the data necessary to settle the dispute in favor of a theory of origins known as the "big whack" or "big splat." Scientists working independently first advanced the theory in 1974 that the Moon had been formed by debris from a massive collision with the Earth about 4.6 billion years ago. Over the course of the next decade further analysis allowed scientists to resolve most of the questions plaguing other theories of lunar origin by applying the "big splat" hypothesis. Of course, if there is one dramatic moment--as opposed to myriad important but mundane events--in the history of solar system science it is the 1984 conference in Kona, Hawaii, in which scientists around the world presented papers on the sole topic of how the Moon originated and agreed that the primordial Earth had collided with a very large object (as big as Mars and named after the fact "Theia"), with the Moon forming from the ejected material. How could it be that Corfield would omit this fascinating story of scientific analysis and consensus from "Lives of the Planets?"

Something must also be said about the historical inaccuracies of this work, if only because they are so numerous. Dates are too often incorrect, and other details are also sometimes erroneously reported. For instance, I learned in this book that Kennedy made his famous speech announcing the Apollo program in 1962--when actually it was on May 25, 1961--not once but two different times in the narrative. I also learned that Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in an Apollo spacecraft in 1961 rather than in 1967. I am sympathetic to authors who occasionally mistype a date or get a name wrong here or there. It happens to everyone. I am not solicitous of incorrect facts proliferated throughout a book. Authors should be more careful. Because of the large number of errors in "Lives of the Planets" that I found, I have to be skeptical of everything else reported in the book.

Finally, this book contains no references whatsoever. This means that readers have to trust the author to provide a narrative that is fully trustworthy. Because of all of its other problems, one should be careful in using "Lives of the Planets" as an authoritative source for anything.

There is a fascinating history of the fifty years of solar system exploration that has taken place since the launch of Sputnik in 1957 to be written. "Lives of the Planets" is one such attempt, incomplete and inaccurate though it might be. Perhaps an historian will take up this task since the scientist who attempted it in this instance did not deliver on this opportunity. ... Read more

57. Wonders (of the Planets: Visions of our solar system in the 21st Century)
by Prinja
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2006)

Isbn: 184533244X
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58. The Solar System
by Paul P. Sipiera
Paperback: 48 Pages (1997-10)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$4.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0516261754
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Describes the sun, the planets, and the asteroids that make up our solar system ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but there are better books for the cost
This is a good book for 4th - 6th grade children.I'm a 5th grade teacher (and a big astronomy fan).We have this book at our school.It has some nice pictures and information, but the price is too high compared to other books about the universe that contain better pictures and more information.For example I prefer The Reader's Digest Children's Atlas of the Universe.I've read it.It's a much better book.It has much more information, ideas, etc.I haven't read, but I am thinking of getting the DK Space Encyclopedia.It looks good too.I'd recommend either of these books first. ... Read more

59. The Pebble First Guide to the Solar System (Pebble First Guides)
by Joanne Mattern
Paperback: 32 Pages (2009-12)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$2.89
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Asin: 1429638648
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This book examines fuel emergent readers' interest in the natural world with carefully levelled guides designed just for them. Clear photos and range maps accompany easily digestible information in a field guide format. Now even the youngest of readers can become experts on their favourite topics. The book includes: full-colour labelled photographs; bulleted information; table of contents; glossary and extended glossary definitions; bibliography; and, notes for parents and teachers. ... Read more

60. Discover Science: Solar System
by Dr. Mike Goldsmith
Hardcover: 56 Pages (2010-08-17)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.90
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Asin: 0753464470
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Editorial Review

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Solar System is the perfect introduction for young readers to the endlessly fascinating topic of space and the vast, mysterious worlds that make up our solar system. Discover the activity of the flaming prominences of the sun and the bubbling volcanoes of Venus. Examine the apparently lifeless craters on the moon, Saturn's swirling rings, and giant Jupiter's great red spot. Marvel at space travelers such as the comet Halle-Bopp, mighty meteorites, and the Spirit and Viking space probes on their missions to Mars. Budding astronomers will be intrigued and enthralled by the strange and diverse worlds that make up our solar system.
... Read more

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