Far-Out Guide to Asteroids and Comets

Far-Out Guide to Asteroids and Comets

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by Mary Kay Carson, Library Association Staff
     
 

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Have you Ever Seen a Comet or a Shooting Star? They may look pretty, but these giant space rocks can cause major destruction. Scientists think that an asteroid that crashed to Earth caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Now, scientists keep a close watch on comets and asteroids using high-powered telescopes and spacecraft. Learn about the amazing missions, the

Overview

Have you Ever Seen a Comet or a Shooting Star? They may look pretty, but these giant space rocks can cause major destruction. Scientists think that an asteroid that crashed to Earth caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Now, scientists keep a close watch on comets and asteroids using high-powered telescopes and spacecraft. Learn about the amazing missions, the dedicated scientists who plan them, and many far-out facts about asteroids and comets.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The "Far-Out Guide to the Solar System" series offers a multitude of facts to report-writers, focusing on what astronomers know and the many perplexing questions still to be answered. In this lively volume, young researchers will learn that comets and asteroids are chunks of rock and metal left over in our solar system from the Sun's birth. While asteroids orbit mostly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter, comets arrive from beyond our planets, circle the Sun in elliptical orbits, and acquire tails when the Sun warms their ice, changing it to gas. In one of the boxed "Far-Out Facts" scattered through the text, readers discover that meteoroids are broken chunks of comets and asteroids that usually burn up in Earth's atmosphere, but could comets and asteroids slamming into ancient Earth have brought water and chemicals needed for life? Now scientists are tracking these bodies in case one approaches Earth too closely. Four pages of "Fast Facts about Asteroids and Comets" raise more questions; for example, did an asteroid's impact on Earth 65 million years ago cause dinosaurs to die out? An "Asteroid and Comet Timeline" introduces Stardust, a space probe that flew through the tail of comet Wild 2, parachuting back to Earth in 2006 with dust particles trapped in gel—surprisingly, scientists discovered some particles formed when the Sun was very young. What's next for comets and asteroids? Rosetta spacecraft is underway to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko to measure its ice, chemicals, and effects of the Sun. Dawn will study two very large asteroids, Vesta and Ceres, through 2015. Illustrations are photos (color when possible) and computer-generated paintings. Included are a helpful glossary, a bibliography, and a list of websites about asteroid and comet exploration. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780766031883
Publisher:
Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/2010
Series:
Far-Out Guide to the Solar System Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
7.84(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

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