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The universe beyond our own has been an object of scientific inquiry and a preoccupation of avid stargazers from antiquity up to the present day, and this preoccupation has evolved into a complex field in which mysteries are unlocked and discoveries are made on a constant basis. The Astronomy Encyclopedia covers the full width and breadth of the discipline and includes the latest and most important advances.
In more than 3,000 alphabetically organized articles accompanied by 500 stunning color and black and white photographs, star maps, and diagrams, The Astronomy Encyclopedia covers everything both the researcher and general enthusiast wants to knowfrom adaptive optics and cold dark matter to Islamic astronomy and the principle of equivalence. It includes a host of major articles on the cornerstones of astronomical investigation, such as the Milky Way, the sun and planets, optical and radio telescopes, stars, black holes, astrophysics, observatories, astronomical photography, space programs, the constellations and famous astronomers. Also featured are tables which display relevant data such as the brightest stars in the major constellations, annual meteor showers, major variable stars, dwarf stars, and energy production processes in the sun.
More than 100 astronomers from leading universities and observatories, each an expert in a specialized area of the field, wrote and reviewed the entries to ensure their authority. Patrick Moore, distinguished astronomer and longtime host of the popular BBC television program The Sky at Night, serves as the general editor for this most up-to-date and reliable reference work.
A glimpse into humanity's last great frontier, the Astronomy Encyclopedia is both accessible and comprehensive enough for both the serious stargazer and the professional astronomer.
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From Library Journal:
Patrick Moore has hosted BBC's The Sky at Night, the longest-running television program in history, for over forty years. He is the author of numerous books, including The Atlas of the Universe, Stargazing: Astronomy without a Telescope, and Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars.
With the assistance of more than 40 contributors, astronomy popularizer Moore has revised and expanded The International Encyclopedia of Astronomy, his 1987 contribution to the field. This attractive book covers all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics: celestial objects and phenomena, astronomers (famous and less well known, from antiquity to the present), places (chiefly observatories), projects, instruments, historical developments, organizations, and even journals. The alphabetically arranged articles (over 3000, some 500 more than in the previous work) vary in length from one-sentence definitions to nearly one-and-a-half pages of text. The entries are extensively illustrated (although, strangely, the entries for constellations lack diagrams), and ample cross-referencing mitigates the need for an index. Color-coded insets list information about the constellations (the brightest stars and associated deep-sky objects), planets (vital statistics such as diameter, density, mass, surface gravity, and surface temperature), and other topics, including the nearest stars, the brightest stars, annual meteor showers, and the Caldwell and Messier catalogs of deep-sky objects. Also included are eight star maps, created by renowned celestial cartographer Wil Tirion (The Cambridge Star Atlas), that cover all 88 constellations and include major deep-sky objects. One notable weakness is the absence of either a comprehensive bibliography or references within individual entries. Given the breadth of this work and its price, the only comparable alternative currently in print is The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Universe, edited by Ian Ridpath. Both titles are mid-level surveys of the discipline-too simple to be the only encyclopeda in an astronomy library, too technical for a high school library, but a great choice for patrons with some scientific knowledge. Libraries should consider purchasing both. For those limited to buying just one title, Moore's alphabetical arrangement makes for easier use than Ridpath's thematic organization. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Nancy R. Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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