Close Encounters

Close Encounters

by Elaine Scott

The Hubble Telescope's remarkable observations of our universe are revealed and explored in brilliant full-color photographs and vivid text.  See more details below


The Hubble Telescope's remarkable observations of our universe are revealed and explored in brilliant full-color photographs and vivid text.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Scott follows up her Adventure in Space: The Flight to Fix the Hubble (Hyperion, 1995) with this equally outstanding explanation of why the effort to repair the orbiting telescope's faulty components was worthwhile. She opens with a telling pair of before-and-after photographs: the first a blur that looks like a fried green egg, the second a sharply focused, dramatically swirling spiral galaxy. After a summary history of astronomy and telescopes, the author goes on to describe the value of this new clarity; scientists can now observe phenomena as close in time and space as local weather on Mars, or as distant as the birth of solar systems, the deaths of stars, and the mysteries of black holes. Artists' renditions and archival portraits of scientists involved with the space telescope enhance the many vividly reproduced full-color photos of deep space. In her matching text, Scott is specific about both how the different instruments on Hubble are used, and what they tell us. Some pages of text are printed on grayed-out star fields, not the best choice for legibility, but that's a minor bobble in this meaty, cogent report.John Peters, New York Public Library
Horn Book Magazine
"How old is the universe? How big is it? How are stars born? How do they die? Do black holes really exist?" Until very recent years, scientists had many conjectural answers to such questions. Scott provides a view of the universe that is now unfolding before the eyes of scientists and the rest of us through fascinating developments in photography. She began her discussion in her 1995 book Adventure in Space: The Flight to Fix the Hubble; here she explains what is being learned from the spectacular photographs sent from the successfully repaired Hubble telescope. The book begins with some history of telescopes and earlier ideas about the universe and goes on to discuss the galaxies closest to Earth and the bodies out in the further reaches. Striking photographs, explained in captions and text, convey the excitement of contemporary astronomers, and the magnitude of time and distance conveyed by these images truly inspires wonder. The informative explanations of cosmic collisions and other occurrences extend a marvelous invitation to readers to further contemplate the "creative force at work in the universe."
Kirkus Reviews
Spectacular full-color photographs and computer images will attract readers to this volume of current information about the universe, but Scott (Twins!, p. 117) assumes a lot of prior knowledge on the part of readers, and there is no glossary of terms nor timeline to help with the context. The discussion begins with early telescopes and scientists, including Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, and proceeds rapidly on to Hubble's Theory of the Expanding Universe. She explains how images from the Hubble Telescope support earlier theories and have changed scientist's ideas about the formation of the universe, the planets in our solar system, and distant galaxies. Throughout are thumbnail sketches of contemporary astronomers and their work. Also included: a discussion of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet collision with Jupiter in 1995, the birth and death of stars and galaxies, protoplanetary disks in Orion, supernovas, and speculation on black holes and life on other planets. The fussy design detracts from the discussion: Text superimposed on photographs is difficult to read; boxes of colored type are inserted in photographs or into the margins. It's a challenging title, with appeal mostly for highly motivated science enthusiasts. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
10.37(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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