The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System

The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System

by Kenneth R. Lang
     
 

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Richly illustrated with full-color images, this book is a comprehensive, up-to-date description of the planets, their moons, and recent exoplanet discoveries. This second edition of a now classic reference is brought up to date with fascinating new discoveries from 12 recent Solar System missions. Examples include water on the Moon, volcanism on Mercury's previously

Overview

Richly illustrated with full-color images, this book is a comprehensive, up-to-date description of the planets, their moons, and recent exoplanet discoveries. This second edition of a now classic reference is brought up to date with fascinating new discoveries from 12 recent Solar System missions. Examples include water on the Moon, volcanism on Mercury's previously unseen half, vast buried glaciers on Mars, geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus, lakes of hydrocarbons on Titan, encounter with asteroid Itokawa, and sample return from comet Wild 2. The book is further enhanced by hundreds of striking new images of the planets and moons. Written at an introductory level appropriate for undergraduate and high-school students, it provides fresh insights that appeal to anyone with an interest in planetary science. A website hosted by the author contains all the images in the book with an overview of their importance. A link to this can be found at www.cambridge.org/solarsystem.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two volumes serve very different purposes: one is a compact, fact-packed field guide, while the other takes a more in-depth look at the solar system. In The Solar System, edited by science journalist Caprara, chapters on the sun, planets, and minor bodies discuss the physical characteristics of these objects as well as the history of their exploration. Several asides explain relevant physical processes extremely well. The entire text is amplified by high-quality images and graphics. The index is brief but useful, and both a bibliography and a short list of web sites are included. Despite the book's small size, it provides a great deal of well-organized information, making it a good addition to any ready-reference collection. [An Astronomy Book Club and Discovery Book Club selection.] In contrast, The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System is a cross between an encyclopedia and an introductory textbook. Beginning with in-depth conceptual chapters that cover our historical and current scientific understanding of the solar system, Lang (astronomy, Tufts Univ.; The Sun from Space) continues with chapters on the Moon, the Earth, and various other planets, and "Remnants of Creation," e.g., comets and asteroids. There is one minor flaw that detracts from this volume's utility as a reference tool (although it does not hamper its value as a textbook): Pluto does not appear anywhere in the table of contents. The author's discussion of Pluto can be accessed only by use of the index. On the other hand, the work overall is very well done, following in the tradition of the author's well-received The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun, with readable, high-quality articles supplemented with excellent pictures and graphics. A directory of web sites and a bibliography for further reading enhance the volume. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Barbarly Korper McConnell, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
'Journeys deep into space have revealed dozens of distinctive worlds of unexpected diversity. Ken Lang presents a richly illustrated and remarkably thorough guide to the new view of the Solar System that has emerged, a view that beckons us on further journeys of discovery.' Edward Stone, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

'... exceptionally good ... so clearly written that it is within the cope of even the complete newcomer to astronomy, but there are also sections, usually in boxes, that will be useful to the serious student ... this is a well-written and splendidly illustrated book, suitable for readers of all kinds. it may be recommended without hesitation and will be a welcome addition to any astronomical library.' Patrick Moore, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'In Ken Lang's brilliant guide, he shows us how to read the character of the worlds of our solar system and how to understand not only the distinctive nature of each one but how they relate as families. I came away from the book with my mind liberated from gravity and the bounds of a human lifespan, images of the development of other worlds over their 4 billion year history crowding through my imagination.' Paul Murdin, University of Cambridge

'... a very readable and informative volume ... it is a fascinating read because the author focuses on the development of ideas about the planets, on the basis of observations available at the time. This gives a strong narrative quality to the text, which enlivens the arguments and allows the reader to appreciate the significance of key new observations.' Astronomy Geophysics

'Competitively priced in hardback, the book should be a best seller.' The Observatory

'... very browseable ... for those wishing for a well documented guide to our present knowledge of the Solar system this is very good value ... Recommended ...'. Astronomy Now

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781139063418
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/03/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,237,701
File size:
42 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Kenneth R. Lang is a Professor of Astronomy at Tufts University. He is a well-known author and has published 25 books. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun (Cambridge University Press, 2001) was recommended by the Library Journal as one of the best reference books published that year. He has extensive teaching experience, and has served as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA headquarters.

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