Stars And Galaxies (Secrets of Space Series)

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9780805044768: Stars And Galaxies (Secrets of Space Series)

Describes the characteristics and movement of stars, the constellations they form, and the composition and shapes of different galaxies

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Gr 4-6--A previously second-rate series improves with these three new entries that tour the universe from end to end with a combination of nontechnical but reasonably specific narratives. Boxed treatments of special topics or personalities; plenty of full-color photos, artists' renderings, and diagrams; plus appended glossaries, source lists, and web sites add to the presentations. Though Stars does not have a very good selection of illustrative matter--one star field photo looks pretty much like another, and more constellations and types of galaxy are mentioned than pictured--Clay offers a coherent, and sometimes arresting view of the stellar life cycle: "You'll need fewer ingredients to make a star than to make a batch of cookies." Kallen summarizes theories from several world cultures on the history of the universe and then describes the development of scientific ones, from Pythagoras to Stephen Hawking. Black Holes takes on two of the cosmos's most spectacular (so to speak) phenomena, with several swirling painted scenes adding dramatic visuals. Despite minor slips (Newton, for instance, discusses both a black hole's "event horizon" and Karl Schwarzschild without linking the two), these surveys make serviceable additions.

John Peters, New York Public Library

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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