VOYA - Rayna PattonThis eight-volume series deals with advances in science and technology that impact lives, or as in the case of Modern Astronomy, the understanding of the universe and humankind's very tiny place in it. Other series titles are Modern Robotics, Modern Genetics, Communications and Broadcasting, Forensic Science, Modern Marine Science, Mathematics, and Artificial Intelligence. Each book begins with an introduction giving a quick historic overview of the field, followed by biographies, arranged more or less chronologically, of people whose work was important during the twentieth century and up to the present. Writing throughout is more than adequate. Each biography will engage interested students and help report writers to get a real feel for the scientist or inventor they are investigating. Black-and-white photos and other illustrations are well chosen, and extensive lists of additional resources make each book doubly useful. Modern Astronomy begins with the life and work of George Hale, father of the first large telescopes in the U.S., and continues with Grote Reber and others important in the development of the radio telescope. Other advances include the search for extraterrestrial life; the discovery of "dark matter"; the Hubble telescope (Edwin Hubble); and the mysteries of "dark energy." It is truly fascinating coverage for those already intrigued by worlds beyond as well as those with a dawning grasp of the infinite possibilities of the Universe. Overall these carefully researched and well-presented books should be a worthwhile addition to the high school collection.
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