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Discusses the nine known planets of our solar system, their characteristics, and movements, as well as the possibilities of other undiscovered planets and extraterrestrial life.
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Grade 5-7 Branley departs from the typical survey-of-planets motif and explores the type of questions that astronomersand childrenmight pose about our solar system. Why do planets vary in size or have rings? How large are Jupiter's storms? Are there planets around other stars? It is an ambitious concept, and Branley tackles it with intelligence and interesting answers. Some of the questions, such as planets around distant stars, touch upon the frontiers of research, and Branley can provide only speculative and sometimes controversial answers. However, by asking these kinds of questions, readers experience the excitement of modern astronomy. The book contains a few errors of dated information, a problem that reflects more on the rapid changes in the planetary sciences than a shortcoming in the book. For instance, the book's example of a brown dwarf star, a large planet that just missed becoming a star, is an erroneous observation, and the speculative explanation given for Venus' "backwards" rotation differs from the latest theory. There are a number of useful diagrams, but unfortunately, all of the planet photographs are printed in black and white; they lack detail and do not show the true beauty of the planets. Alan Newman, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Dutton Juvenile, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0525672400