George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt [NOOK Book]

Overview

George is heartbroken when his friend Annie tells him that she's moving to the United States. Her father, Eric, has gotten a job searching for signs of life in the universe. Before they go, Eric gives George a gift: The User's Guide to the Universe, with all the information George could ever need for a cosmic journey. And George is going to need it. When Annie believes that she's being contacted by aliens with an urgent message, George joins her in the United States. Before long, George, Annie, Cosmos Eric and ...
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George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt

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Overview

George is heartbroken when his friend Annie tells him that she's moving to the United States. Her father, Eric, has gotten a job searching for signs of life in the universe. Before they go, Eric gives George a gift: The User's Guide to the Universe, with all the information George could ever need for a cosmic journey. And George is going to need it. When Annie believes that she's being contacted by aliens with an urgent message, George joins her in the United States. Before long, George, Annie, Cosmos Eric and Annie's super-intelligent computer, and Annie's irritating cousin Emmett are off on a cosmic treasure hunt through outer space to save the Earth. This second science-filled adventure includes essays written by leading scientists about the universe and space travel, culminating with Professor Hawking's essay "How to Travel Across the Universe Using Just Your Mind." The book is packed with illustrations, diagrams, and full-color photos of outer space. Lucy Hawking is a coauthor of George's Secret Key to the Universe and the author of two adult novels. She is a journalist who has written for British newspapers and an administrative staff member of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. She has one son. Stephen Hawking is a coauthor of George's Secret Key to the Universe. He is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. His adult book A Brief History of Time sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Simon &
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
George's adventures continue in this new book from Lucy and Stephen Hawking. George travels to America to visit with his friend Annie. Her father, Eric, is having troubles with his latest project: a robot on Mars not performing as it should. Could this be interference from Eric's nemesis, Reeper? Eric is willing to forgive Reeper for his earlier crimes, but George and Annie are still cautious. With help from Emmett, an annoying but very smart new acquaintance, George, Annie and Eric travel to Mars for another wonderful interplanetary adventure. While the story is slow to get started the real story begins around page 50, when George finally arrives in America, it is fun to get to know the characters as well as some background information about both the story and the science. Sprinkled amid the text are eight articles written by some of the leading scientists in the modern world, including the author of the book himself, Professor Stephen Hawking. Hawking and the other scientists make advanced ideas particularly accessible to children, especially when placed in context by George's story. A fun and informative read for children and adults. Reviewer: Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—George and Annie, the middle-school cosmologists in the Hawkings' George's Secret Key to the Universe S & S, 2007, return in a sequel that, if not spellbinding, will please fans of the first book. Annie's scientist dad, Eric, is called from the UK to America to oversee a robot probe bound for Mars. Soon after, Annie invites George to visit and join her on a "cosmic mission." When he arrives, she shows him a coded message she thinks may have come from aliens, which she found on her father's broken super-laptop Cosmos. It suggests that if they can't crack the code, Earth will be destroyed. With the help of Emmett, a super-geek genius, they repair Cosmos and can once again travel the planets and stars. Meanwhile, Eric's robot probe arrives on Mars and behaves bizarrely. Brief essays on cosmology interspersed between the chapters expand on the topics Annie, George, and Eric mention, plus color photos of heavenly phenomena. Fun cartoon drawings throughout carry along the unsubtle tale whose message seems to be "Wow! Isn't science great?"—Walter Minkel, Austin Public Library, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416990574
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/19/2009
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 486,173
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Stephen Hawking
Lucy Hawking is a coauthor of George's Secret Key to the Universe and the author of two adult novels. She is a journalist who has written for British newspapers and an administrative staff member of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. She has one son.

Stephen Hawking is a coauthor of George's Secret Key to the Universe. He is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. His adult book A Brief History of Time sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
Stephen Hawking, a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, is the preeminent theoretical physicist in the world. His book A Brief History of Time was a phenomenal worldwide bestseller. He has twelve honorary degrees and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was made a Companion of Honour. He has three children and one grandchild. Visit him at Hawking.org.uk.
Garry Parsons is the award-winning illustrator of many books, including George’s Secret Key to the Universe, George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt, and George and the Big Bang by Lucy and Stephen Hawking; Billy’s Bucket by Kes Gray; and What’s Cool About School by Kate Agnew. He lives in London. Visit him at GarryParsons.co.uk.
Lucy Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s daughter, is a journalist and novelist. She is the coauthor of George’s Secret Key to the Universe, George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt, and George and the Big Bang, as well as the author of the adult novels Jaded and Run for Your Life. She lives in Cambridge with her son.

Biography

In the universe as a whole, the nature of black holes may be one of the most puzzling mysteries. No less puzzling, in the slightly smaller universe of book publishing, is the astounding popular success of Stephen Hawking's 1988 book on the matter, or anti-matter, as it were: A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.

Clocking in at just over 200 pages, it was, indeed, brief, but it was hardly the easy read its marketers promised. Nor did it stray much beyond the tone of a scholarly lecture, though at times it did take quick autobiographical peeks into Hawking's personal life. Still, it is just the author's persona that may have been the selling point prompting more than 10 million people worldwide to pick up a copy -- and to have it translated into more than 40 languages in the 10 years since its release.

For Stephen Hawking is an instantly recognizable public figure -- even for those who haven't delved into his so far unprovable theories about black holes. Stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- or Lou Gehrig's disease, as it is called in the States -- while he was working toward his doctorate at Cambridge University, this Englishman is known for the keen wit and intellect that reside within his severely disabled body. He uses a motorized wheelchair to get around and a voice synthesizer to communicate -- a development, he complains, that has given him an American accent. He has guest-starred, in cartoon form, on an episode of The Simpsons and has appeared in the flesh on Star Trek: The Next Generation, using the benefits of time travel to play poker with Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. (He has said he doesn't believe in the theory himself, noting that the most powerful evidence of its impossibility is the present-day dearth of time-traveling tourists from the future.)

The son of a research biologist, Hawking resisted familial urging that he major in biology and instead studied physics and chemistry -- as a nod to his father -- when he went to Oxford University as a 17-year-old. In academic writing, Hawking had an extensive career pre-History, starting with The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, coauthored with G.F.R. Ellis in 1973. But in the late 1980s, faced with the expenses incurred by his illness, he took up Bantam Books' offer to explain the mysteries of the universe to the lay public.

"This is one of the best books for laymen on this subject that has appeared in recent years," The Christian Science Monitor wrote in 1988. "Hawking is one of the greatest theoretical cosmologists of our time. He is greater, by consensus among his colleagues, than other expert authors who have written good popular books on the subject recently. And he is greater, by far, than the ‘experts' who have ‘explained' quantum physics and cosmology in terms that support a religious agenda." And The New York Times in April 1988 said, "Through his cerebral journeys, Mr. Hawking is bravely taking some of the first, though tentative, steps toward quantizing the early universe, and he offers us a provocative glimpse of the work in progress."

Since then, A Brief History of Time has been republished in an illustrated edition (1996) and as an updated and expanded 10th anniversary edition (1998). In Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, a collection of 13 essays and the transcript of an extended interview with the BBC, Hawking turned more autobiographical, mixing stories about his studies in college and the beginning of his awareness that he had ALS with thoughts on how black holes can spawn baby universes and on the scientific community's efforts to create a unified theory that will explain everything in the universe. And in The Universe in a Nutshell, his sequel to A Brief History of Time, Hawking takes the same approach as he did in his first bestseller, explaining to the lay reader such ideas as the superstring theory, supergravity, time travel, and quantum theory.

A common current in Hawking's writing -- aside from his grasp of the complexities of the universe -- is a sharp wit. In one of the rare personal reflections in A Brief History of Time, he said he began thinking about black holes in the early 1970s in the evenings as he was getting ready for bed: "My disability makes this rather a slow process, so I had plenty of time." In life, he has a reputation for quickly turning his wheelchair away of a conversation that displeases him, even running his wheels over the toes of the offending conversant.

Even questions about his muse are likely to draw an answer tinged with pointed humor. When Time asked Hawking why he decided to add explaining the universe to a schedule already taxed by his scholarly writing and lecture tours, he answered, "I have to pay for my nurses."

Good To Know

Hawking worked 1,000 hours in his three years at Oxford, roughly an hour a day. "I'm not proud of this lack of work," he said in Stephen Hawking's a Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion. "I'm just describing my attitude at the time, which I shared with most of my fellow students: an attitude of complete boredom and feeling that nothing was worth making an effort for."

Despite his science degrees, Hawking has no formal training in math and has said he had to pick up what he knows as he went along.

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    1. Hometown:
      Cambridge, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1

It hadn't been easy to decide what to wear. "Come as your favorite space object," he'd been told by Eric Bellis, the scientist next door, who had invited George to his costume party. The problem was, George had so many favorite outer-space objects, he hadn't known which one to pick.

Should he dress up as Saturn with its rings?

Perhaps he could go as Pluto, the poor little planet that wasn't a planet anymore?

Or should he go as the darkest, most powerful force in the Universe -- a black hole? He didn't think too long or hard about that -- as amazing, huge, and fascinating as black holes are, they didn't really count as his favorite space objects. It would be quite hard to get fond of something that was so greedy, it swallowed up anything and everything that came too close, including light.

In the end George had his mind made up for him. He'd been looking at images of the Solar System on the Internet with his dad when they came across a picture sent back from a Mars rover, one of the robots exploring the planet's surface. It showed what looked like a person standing on the red planet. As soon as he saw the photo, George knew he wanted to go to Eric's party as the Man from Mars. Even George's dad, Terence, got excited when he saw it. Of course, they both knew it wasn't really a Martian in the picture -- it was just an illusion caused by a trick of the light that made a rocky outcrop look like a person. But it was exciting to imagine that we might not be alone in this vast Universe after all.

"Dad, do you think there is anyone out there?" asked George as they gazed at the photo. "Like Martians or beings in faraway galaxies? And if there are, do you think they might come to visit us?"

"If there are," said his dad, "I expect they're looking at us and wondering what we must be like -- to have this beautiful, wonderful planet and make such a mess of it. They must think we're really stupid." He shook his head sadly.

Both George's parents were eco-warriors on a mission to save the Earth. As part of their campaign, electrical gadgets like telephones and computers had been banned from the house. But when George had won the first prize in the school science competition -- his very own computer -- his mom and dad didn't have the heart to say he couldn't keep it.

In fact, since they'd had the computer in the house, George had shown them how to use it and had even helped them put together a very snappy virtual ad featuring a huge photo of Venus. WHO WOULD WANT TO LIVE HERE? it said in big letters. Clouds of sulfuric acid, temperatures of up to 878 degrees Fahrenheit 470 degrees Celsius...The seas have dried up and the atmosphere is so thick, sunlight can't break through. This is Venus. But if we're not careful, this could be Earth. Would you want to live on a planet like this? George was very proud of the poster, which his parents and their friends had e-mailed all around the world to promote their cause.

Venus

Venus is the brightest object in the sky, after the Sun and the Moon. Named after the Roman goddess of beauty, Venus has been known since prehistoric times. Ancient Greek astronomers thought it was two stars: one that shone in the morning, Phosphorus, the bringer of light; and one in the evening, Hesperus, until Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras realized they were one and the same object.
But Venus is a very different world from the Earth.
It has a very thick, toxic atmosphere, mostly made of carbon dioxide with clouds of sulfuric acid. These clouds are so dense that they trap heat, making Venus the hottest planet in the Solar System, with surface temperatures of up to 878 degrees Fahrenheit 470 degrees Celsius -- so hot that lead would melt there. The pressure of the atmosphere is ninety times greater than Earth's. This means that if you stood on the surface of Venus, you would feel the same pressure as you would at the bottom of a very deep ocean on Earth.
The dense spinning clouds of Venus don't just trap the heat. They also reflect the light of the Sun, which is why the planet shines so brightly in the night sky. Venus may have had oceans in the past, but the water was vaporized by the greenhouse effect and escaped from the planet.
Some scientists believe that the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is similar to conditions that might prevail on Earth if global warming isn't checked.
Since Mariner 2 in 1962, Venus has been visited by space probes more than twenty times. The first space probe ever to land on another planet was the Soviet Venera 7, which landed on Venus in 1970; Venera 9 sent back photos of the surface -- but it didn't have long to do it: The space probe melted after just sixty minutes on the hostile planet! The U.S. orbiter, Magellan, later used radar to send back images of the surface details of Venus, which had previously been hidden by the thick clouds of its atmosphere.
Venus rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth! If you could see the Sun through its thick clouds, it would rise in the west and set in the east. This is called retrograde motion; the direction in which the Earth turns is called prograde.
A year on Venus takes less time than a day there! Because Venus turns so slowly, it revolves all the way around the Sun in less time than it takes to rotate once on its axis.
Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun about twice a century. This is called the transit of Venus. These transits always happen in pairs eight years apart. Since the telescope was invented, transits have been observed in 1631 and 1639; 1761 and 1769; and 1874 and 1882. On June 8, 2004, astronomers saw the tiny dot of Venus crawl across the Sun; the second in this pair of early twenty-first-century transits will occur on June 6, 2012.

Given what he knew about Venus, George felt pretty sure that there wasn't any life to be found on that smelly, hot planet. He didn't even consider going to Eric's party dressed as a Venusian. Instead, he got his mom, Daisy, to help him with an outfit of dark-orange bobbly knitted clothes and a tall pointy hat so he looked just like the photo of the "Martian" they'd found.

Wearing his costume, George waved good-bye to his parents -- who had a big evening planned helping some eco-friends make organic treats for a party of their own -- and squeezed through the gap in the fence between his garden and Eric's. The gap had come about when George's pet pig given to him by his gran, Freddy, had escaped from his pigsty, barged through the fence, and broken into Eric's house via the back door. Following the trail of hoofprints that Freddy had left behind him, George had ended up meeting his new neighbors, who had only just moved into the empty house next door. This chance encounter with Eric and his family had changed George's life forever.

Eric had shown George his amazing computer, Cosmos, who was so smart and so powerful that he could draw doorways through which Eric; his daughter, Annie; and George could walk, to visit any part of the known Universe.

But space can be very dangerous, as George found out when one of their space adventures ended with Cosmos exploding from the sheer effort of mounting the rescue mission.

Since Cosmos had stopped working, George hadn't had another chance to step through the doorway and travel around the Solar System and beyond. He missed Cosmos, but at least he had Eric and Annie. He could see them anytime he wanted, even if he couldn't go on adventures into outer space with them.

George scampered up the garden path to Eric's back door. The house was brightly lit, with chatter and music pouring out. Opening the door, George let himself into the kitchen.

He couldn't see Annie, Eric, or Annie's mom, Susan, but there were lots of other people milling about: one grown-up immediately pushed a plate of shiny silver-iced muffins under his nose. "Have a meteorite!" he said cheerfully. "Or perhaps I should say, have a meteoroid!"

"Oh...um, well, thanks," said George, a bit startled. "They look delicious," he added, helping himself to one.

"If I did this," continued the man, tipping some of the muffins onto the floor, "then I could say, 'Have a meteorite!' because then they would have hit the ground. But when I offered them to you, suspended in the air, they were -- technically -- still meteoroids." He beamed at George and then at the muffins that were lying in a pile on the floor. "You get the distinction -- a meteoroid is a chunk of rock that flies through the air; a meteorite is what you call that piece of rock if it lands on the Earth. So now I've dropped them on the floor, we can call them meteorites."

With the muffin in his hand, George smiled politely, nodded, and started backing away slowly.

"Ouch!" He heard a squeak as he trod on someone behind him.

"Oops!" he said, turning around.

"It's okay, it's only me!" It was Annie, dressed all in black. "You couldn't have seen me, anyway, because I'm invisible!" She swiped the muffin out of George's hand and stuffed it into her mouth. "You only know I'm here because of the effect I have on objects around me. What does that make me?"

"A black hole, of course!" said George. "You swallow anything that comes near you, you greedy pig."

"Nope!" said Annie triumphantly. "I knew you'd say that, but that's wrong! I am" -- she looked very pleased with herself -- "dark matter."

"What's that?" asked George.

"No one knows," said Annie mysteriously. "We can't see it, but it seems to be absolutely essential to keep galaxies from flying apart. What are you?"

"Um, well," said George. "I'm the Man from Mars -- y'know, from the pictures."

"Oh yeah!" said Annie. "You can be my Martian ancestor. That's cool."

Around them, the party was buzzing. Groups of the most oddly dressed grown-ups stood eating and drinking and talking at the tops of their voices. One man had come dressed as a microwave oven, another as a rocket. There was a lady wearing a badge shaped like an exploding star and a man with a mini satellite dish on his head. One scientist was bouncing around in a bright green suit, ordering people to "Take me to your leader"; another was blowing up an enormous balloon stamped with the words the universe is inflating. A man dressed all in red kept standing next to people and then stepping away from them, daring them to guess what he was. Next to him was a scientist wearing lots of different-sized hula hoops around his middle, each one with a different-sized ball attached to it. When he walked, his hula hoops all spun around him.

"Annie," said George urgently, "I don't understand any of these costumes. What have these guests come as?"

"Um, well, they've all come as things you'd find in space, if you know how to look for them," said Annie.

"Like what?" asked George.

"Well, like the man dressed in red," explained Annie. "He keeps stepping away from people, which means he's pretending to be the redshift."

"The what?"

"If a distant object in the Universe, like a galaxy, is moving away from you, its light will appear more red than otherwise. So he's dressed in red, and he is moving away from people to show them he's come as the redshift. And the others have come as all sorts of cosmic stuff that you'd find out there, like microwaves and faraway planets."

LIGHT AND HOW IT TRAVELS THROUGH SPACE
One of the most important things in the Universe is the electromagnetic field. It reaches everywhere; not only does it hold atoms together, but it also makes tiny parts of atoms called electrons bind different atoms together or create electric currents. Our everyday world is built from very large numbers of atoms stuck together by the electromagnetic field. Even living things, like human beings, rely on it to exist and to function.
Jiggling an electron creates waves in the field. This is like jiggling a finger in your bath and making ripples in the water. These waves are called electromagnetic waves, and because the field is everywhere, the waves can travel far across the Universe, until stopped by other electrons that can absorb their energy. They come in many different types, but some affect the human eye, and we know these as the various colors of visible light. Other types include radio waves, microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, X rays, and gamma rays. Electrons are jiggled all the time by atoms that are constantly jiggling too, so there are always electromagnetic waves being produced by objects. At room temperature the waves are mainly infrared, but in much hotter objects the jiggling is more violent, and produces visible light.
Very hot objects in space, such as stars, produce visible light, which may travel a very long way before hitting something. When you look at a star, the light from it may have been moving serenely through space for hundreds of years. It enters your eye and, by jiggling electrons in your retina, turns into electricity that is sent along the optic nerve to your brain. Your brain says, "I can see a star!" If the star is very far away, you may need a telescope to collect enough of the light for your eye to detect, or the jiggled electrons could instead create a photograph or send a signal to a computer.
The Universe is constantly expanding, inflating like a balloon. This means that distant stars and galaxies are moving away from Earth. This stretches their light as it travels through space toward us -- the farther it travels, the more stretched it becomes. The stretching makes visible light look redder, which is known as the redshift. Eventually, if light traveled and redshifted far enough, the light would no longer be visible and would become first infrared, and then microwave as used on Earth in microwave ovens, radiation. This is just what has happened to the incredibly powerful light produced by the Big Bang. After thirteen billion years of traveling, it is detectable today as microwaves coming from every direction in space. This has the grand title of cosmic microwave background radiation, and is nothing less than the afterglow of the Big Bang itself.

Annie said all this matter-of-factly, as though it were quite normal to know this kind of information and be able to rattle it off at parties. But once again George felt a little jealous of her. He loved science and was always reading books, looking up articles on the Internet, and pestering Eric with questions. He wanted to be a scientist when he grew up, so he could learn everything there was to know and maybe make some amazing discovery of his own. Annie, on the other hand, was much more casual about the wonders of the Universe.

When George had first met Annie, she'd wanted to be a ballerina, but now she'd changed her mind and decided on being a soccer player. Instead of spending her time after school in a pink-and-white tutu, she now charged around the backyard, hammering a soccer ball past George, who always had to be goalie. And yet she still seemed to know far more about science than he did.

Annie's dad, Eric, now appeared, dressed in his normal clothes and looking no different from usual.

"Eric," cried George, who was bursting with questions. "What have you come as?"

"Oh, me?" Eric smiled. "I'm the only intelligent life-form in the Universe," he said modestly.

"What?" asked George. "You mean you're the only intelligent person in the whole Universe?"

Eric laughed. "Don't say that too loudly around here," he told George, gesturing to all the other scientists. "Otherwise people will get very upset. I meant, I've come as a human being, which is the only intelligent form of life in the Universe that we know about. So far."

"Oh," said George. "But what about all your friends? What have they come as? And why does red light mean something is going away? I don't understand."

"Well," said Eric kindly, "you'd understand if someone explained it to you."

"Can you explain it to me?" pleaded George. "All about the Universe? Like you did with the black holes? Can you tell me about red thingies and dark matter and everything else?"

"Oh dear," said Eric, sounding rather regretful. "George, I'd love to tell you all about the Universe, but the problem is, I'm just not sure I'll have time before I have to...Hang on a second..." He trailed off and gazed into the distance, the way he did when he was having an idea. He took off his glasses and polished them on his shirt, setting them on his nose at the same off-kilter angle as before. "I've got it!" he cried, sounding very excited. "I know what we need to do! Hold on, George, I've got a plan."

With that, he picked up a soft hammer and struck a huge brass gong, which rang out with a deep, humming chime.

"Right, gather round, everyone," said Eric, waving everyone into the room. "Come on, come on, hurry up! I've got something to say."

A ripple of excitement went through the crowd.

"Now then," he went on, "I've gathered the Order of Science here today for this party -- "

"Hurray!" cheered someone at the back.

"And I want us to put our minds to some questions my young friend George has asked me. He wants to know all sorts of things! For a start, I'm sure he'll want to know what your costume is!" He pointed to the man wearing the hula hoops.

"I've come to the party," piped up the cheerful-looking scientist, "as a distant planetary system where we might find another planet Earth."

"Annie," whispered George, "isn't that what Doctor Reeper did? Find new planets?"

Dr. Reeper was a former colleague of Eric's, who wanted to use science for his own selfish purposes. He had told Eric he'd found an exoplanet -- that is, a planet in orbit around a star other than the Earth's Sun -- that might be able to support human life. But the directions he'd given Eric had been bogus -- in fact, in his search for the planet, they had sent Eric dangerously close to a black hole. Dr. Reeper had been trying to get rid of Eric so he could control Cosmos, Eric's supercomputer. But his evil trick hadn't worked, and Eric had returned safely from his trip inside a black hole.

No one knew where Dr. Reeper was now. He had fled after his master plan backfired. At the time, George had begged Eric to do something about him, but Eric had just let him go.

"Doctor Reeper knew how to look for planets," said Annie, "but we don't know whether he ever actually found one. After all, that planet he wrote about in the letter to Dad? We never got to see whether it really existed or not."

"Thank you, Sam. And how many planets have you found so far?" Eric questioned the hula hoop man.

"So far," replied Sam, shaking his hoops as he spoke, "three hundred and thirty-one exoplanets -- more than a hundred of them in orbit around stars quite nearby. Some of these stars have more than one planet going around them." He pointed to his hula hoops. "I'm a nearby system with planets in orbit around its star."

"What does he mean by 'nearby'?" George whispered to Annie, who passed the message on to Eric. Her father whispered back to her, and she then relayed the answer to George.

"He means, maybe, like, about forty light-years away. So, like, about two hundred and thirty-five trillion miles," said Annie. "Nearby for the Universe!"

"Have you seen anything that might be like the Earth? A planet we could call home?"

"We've seen a few that might -- and only might -- be like a second Earth. Our planet-hunting search continues."

"Thank you, Sam," said Eric. "Now, what I want us to do is answer George's questions -- all of us. Each of you" -- he handed out pens and paper -- "can write me a page or two by the end of the party about what you think is the most interesting part of the science you work on. You can send or e-mail it to me later if you don't have time to finish it now."

The scientists all looked really happy. They loved talking about the most interesting parts of their work.

"And," added Eric quickly, "before we get back to the party, I've got one more brief announcement to make -- one of my own this time. I'm very excited and pleased to tell you all that I have a new job! I'm going to work for the Global Space Agency, looking for signs of life in our Solar System. Beginning with Mars!"

"Wow!" said George. "That's amazing!" He turned to Annie, but she didn't meet his eye.

"So," continued Eric, "in just a few days' time, my family and I will be packing up...and moving to the headquarters of the Global Space Agency in the United States of America!"

With that, George's universe imploded.

Text copyright © 2009 by Lucy Hawkin

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    My 8 year old tore through this book

    I read a bit of it as well, but my 8 year old really read quickly through this book. He wanted to show his Dad and I all the stuff he learned and the photos. It was great to get him excited about science and space.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Terrific approach to learning science of space

    I purchased this and the first book, George's Secret Key to the Universe for my grandson. We read the first when he was eight, taking turns on each chapter and loved it. He is now 10 and still enjoys the story as well as the science. A great introduction to the science of space, provides positive characters of both genders. Photos from the Hubble telescope and others reinforce a fun story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Fearlesspaw

    She bounded in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Sparkstat

    Sparkstar nodded "Ok, hunting or fighting?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Awesome Book!!!!!!!

    Luv this book!!!!!! <3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Abner

    Penispenispenispenis

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    READ IT READ IT READ IT RRADITR READ ITREAD IT R READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT


    Awesome ROCK N ROOL :0)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

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