Stars and Planets

Overview

This intergalactic travelogue takes space lovers where they have never gone before. They visit Mars, disappear inside a black hole, dodge asteroids, and speculate on the future of human endeavors in space, all without leaving their chairs. With links to the best space-related information on the Internet, Navigators: Stars & Planets - by Dr. Mike Goldsmith, illustrated by Chris Moore - is a blast!

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Overview

This intergalactic travelogue takes space lovers where they have never gone before. They visit Mars, disappear inside a black hole, dodge asteroids, and speculate on the future of human endeavors in space, all without leaving their chairs. With links to the best space-related information on the Internet, Navigators: Stars & Planets - by Dr. Mike Goldsmith, illustrated by Chris Moore - is a blast!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
NSTA RecommendsThis is an easy book to browse through, because the written sections can stand alone and are filled with enough interesting details for a child to ponder for quite a while. It will particularly appeal to kids who love to spout amazing facts to boggle their elders. And boggled they will be, by details about lava domes on Venus, the formation of auroras, and the location of ice fields on Mars. The information is recent, precise, and plentiful. . . . This fine book would enrich the talented and interested student's study of a unit on space. It will also appeal to reluctant readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753466827
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 10/25/2011
  • Series: Kingfisher's Navigators Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 941,817
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Mike Goldsmith studied the philosophy of time and space at Keele University, England, where he also obtained his PhD in astrophysics. He was formerly Head of Acoustics at the UK's National Physical Laboratory. An author of more than 20 non-fiction books for children, he was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize for Science, Junior Section, in 2002 and 2004.

Chris Moore is an award-winning illustrator specializing in 'hi-tech, hi-sheen science-fiction illustration'. He has illustrated countless book covers for many book and magazine publishers.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. Humans have stared up into the sky for hundreds of years, pondering what lies above them. Imagine that you were one of those early humans looking into the sky and seeing part of the universe that you could never reach. What would your thoughts be?

2. Despite its vastness and the fact that scientists aren't sure what is at the edge of our known universe, chances are likely that there are other solar systems. What do you think those solar systems may be like? Why? How likely do you think it will be that other solar systems will be similar to ours? Why?

3. Scientists doubt that life as we know it can exist on the other planets in our solar system. Do you think it is likely that other life forms may exist on the other planets? Why or why not? If they do exist, what adaptations would we have to make in order to survive there?

4. Choose one of the quotes from scientists such as the one on page 19. Explain what you think is meant by the speaker and how this comment added to what you know about the stars and planets that whirl around you.

5. Using the information provided in Stars & Planets as well as pertinent websites, describe a day on three different planets. Be sure to make note of temperature, length of days and nights, and what you might see and experience during that day.

6. The footprints of humans on this planet are quite deep already despite the fact that we have only been around for a relatively short period of time. Consider the factors that have contributed to Earth being able to sustain life as we know it. How and why are those factors beginning to change? Which factor do you consider the most important in continuing life as we know it on Earth? Why?

7. What do you find most fascinating about the birth and death of stars? Why?

8. Referring to the books and websites suggested in Stars & Planets, trace the evolution of the space a programs of the United States and Russia. What mistakes were made? What successes occurred? How costly is space exploration? Do you think the exploration is worth the cost or should money be spent in other ways? Why?

9. Create a detailed timeline that depicts the space race. What other countries have been involved in space exploration? In what ways? Why have so few nations attempted to explore the world beyond our planet? How likely do you think it is that space travel will become as commonplace as airplane travel today? Why?

10. What special considerations must be made as more and more space stations are set up in the skies above us? Why are these so important?

11. Unsure about whether there is life anywhere other than our planet, scientists continue to monitor the skies and send signals to other planets. What sort of messages of reassurance would you give to these other life forms, if they exist? Write a series of brief messages and postcards that could be sent to aliens.

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