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Describes the properties and observations of comets, meteors, and asteroids and explores how scientists use these phenomena to learn more about the universe
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Gr 5-7--While there is a need for fresh, up-to-date material on astronomy, these routine surveys take a step back in quality of presentation. Opening with the incorrect assertion that solar and nuclear energy are the Earth's only sources of heat, the prolific Branley updates his Mysteries of the Planets (Dutton, 1988; o.p.) with a history of the solar system and our exploration of it. He includes phenomena observed by the Voyager and Galileo probes, but barely mentions the sun's inner structure, scants the planets' moons to the point that Ganymede, the largest, isn't even mentioned, and pads the text with tangential side essays on eclipses, the difference between mass and weight, and the like. The full-color photos and paintings do not depict Pluto, but do include an image of the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Marsh's subject is more restricted, enabling her to include a higher level of detail. To her account of the origins, behavior, and study of Asteroids, she adds a tribute to Carolyn Shoemaker and other women astronomers, plus information about how comets and asteroids are named. She does not, however, explain how meteorites of martian or lunar origin reached Earth, and putting the Kuiper Belt "just outside the orbit of the planet Neptune" and extending to a "few hundred times Earth's distance from the Sun" will leave most readers in the dark about its location. The back matter in both books includes several Internet sites, but that's not enough to carry them past Seymour Simon's work or Patricia Lauber's Journey to the Planets (Crown, 1993).
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description 21st Century, 1997. Library Binding. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110805044736
Book Description 21st Century, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0805044736