Pluto: Sentinel of the Outer Solar System

Pluto: Sentinel of the Outer Solar System

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by Barrie W. Jones
     
 

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Orbiting at the edge of the outer Solar System, Pluto is an intriguing object in astronomy. Since the fascinating events surrounding its discovery, it has helped increase our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System, and raised questions about the nature and benefits of scientific classification. This is a timely and exciting account of Pluto

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Overview

Orbiting at the edge of the outer Solar System, Pluto is an intriguing object in astronomy. Since the fascinating events surrounding its discovery, it has helped increase our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System, and raised questions about the nature and benefits of scientific classification. This is a timely and exciting account of Pluto and its satellites. The author uses Pluto as a case study to discuss discovery in astronomy, how remote astronomical bodies are investigated, and the role of classification in science by discussing Pluto's recent classification as a dwarf planet. Besides Pluto, the book also explores the rich assortment of bodies that constitute the Edgeworth–Kuiper Belt, of which Pluto is the innermost member. Richly illustrated, this text is written for general readers, amateur astronomers and students alike. Boxed text provides more advanced information especially for readers who wish to delve deeper into the subject.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The recent debate over Pluto's status as a planet has spurred a small flurry of books about the coldest, most distant, loneliest, and strangest official outpost of our solar system. Jones, emeritus professor of astronomy in London's Open University, delivers a detailed, matter-of-fact, and thoroughly accessible look at Pluto's origins, its history, and what it can tell us about our solar system--especially its outer reaches. Pluto's oblong shape and unusual orbit (highly elongated and tilted much farther out of the solar system than other planets) marked it as an outsider from the start. Now no longer considered a planet, it proudly stands as the first in the class of trans-Neptunian objects named for it: "plutino." The author writes in a clear, matter-of-fact style, including sidebars on related subjects from Kepler's laws of planetary motion to calculating a planet's surface temperature using nothing more complex than high school algebra. Jones's thorough approach offers popular science readers pretty much everything known about mysterious Pluto until the New Horizons spacecraft makes its rendezvous with Pluto in 2015. Photos and illus. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"The author writes in a clear, matter-of-fact style, including sidebars on related subjects from Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to calculating a planet’s surface temperature using nothing more complex than high school algebra. Jones’s thorough approach offers popular science readers pretty much everything known about mysterious Pluto...." - Publishers Weekly

"All in all an excellent book which includes some Figures reproduced in colour and archive-quality paper — thoroughly recommended to all those wishing to read up about Pluto ahead of the New Horizons encounter with the 'planet'." Richard Miles, J. Br. Astron. Assoc.

"Presented in a style that gives the feel of a friendly uncle telling stories over coffee at the dinner table. It is a most relaxing and enjoyable read...this book strikes me as a perfect gift for a young teenager with an interest in space." - Brother Guy Consolmagno, Meteoritics & Planetary Science Journal

Library Journal
Pluto's 2006 demotion from planet to dwarf did nothing to diminish its interest to astronomers. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto in 2015—What will it find and why does it matter? Jones (astronomy, emeritus, Open Univ.) addresses these and other questions in this readable volume that fuses the history of astronomical discoveries, the role of classification in science, and the study of the outer solar system. His first chapter is a short course on our galaxy, including the origins of the sun and sizes, orbits, and composition of the planets. He provides additional boxed text marked either "Please Read," to clarify points and offer supplemental information for all readers, or "For Those Who Wish To Go Deeper," with optional information for serious astronomy students. Additional chapters cover the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto and the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. Photos, tables, and clear diagrams enhance the learning experience, as do the glossary and extensive list of recommended journal articles, books, and websites VERDICT Amateur astronomers will likely enjoy this book.—Denise Dayton, Jaffrey Grade Sch., NH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521194365
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/15/2010
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
801,583
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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Meet the Author

Barrie W. Jones is Emeritus Professor of Astronomy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University. A highly regarded university lecturer, he has an outstanding record in the public understanding of science, particularly astronomy, through lectures, local and national radio and TV, articles in popular magazines and in the press.

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Pluto: Sentinel of the Outer Solar System 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not here, back at camp and I'll tell ya.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Too bad I did."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*nods*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ill never forget you
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............
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A famous derp once posted here, so respect him bi†€h
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Willeh!