The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System / Edition 1

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Overview

The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System provides a comprehensive, funamental, and up-to-date description of the solar system. It is written in a concise, light and uniform style, without being unnecessarily weighted down with specialized materials or the variable writing of multiple authors. It is filled with vital facts and information for astronomers of all types and for anyone with a scientific interest in the Earth, our Moon, all the other planets and their satellites, and related topics such as asteroids, comets, meteorites and meteors. The language, style, ideas and profuse illustrations will attract the general reader as well as professionals. A thorough report for general readers, it includes much compact reference data. Metaphors, similes and analogies will be of immense help to the lay person or non-science student, and they add to the enjoyment of the material. Vignettes containing historical, literary and even artistic material make this book unusual and interesting, and enhance its scientific content. Kenneth Lang is professor of astronomy in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Tufts University. He is the author of several astrophysics books, including The Sun from Space (Springer Verlag, 2000), Astrophysical Formulae: Radiation, Gas Processes, and High Energy Physics (Springer Verlag, 1999), Sun, Earth and Sky (Copernicus Books, 1997), Astrophysical Data: Planets and Stars (Springer Verlag, 1993), and Wanderers in Space: Exploration and Discovery in the Solar System (Cambridge, 1991),
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I would recommend this book to anyone generally interested in space science and exploration." Meteoritics & Planetary Science

"...a comprehensive and up-to-date description of the planets and their moons..." Astronomical Society of the Pacific

"Lang answers the age-old question 'Why does the sun shine?' in this clearly written, up-to-date, informative text...this is a wonderful current, comprehensive companion to the study of the sun that would be a solid addition to any academic reference collection, lower-division through graduate." Choice

"A good modern summary and reference for professionals." Choice

"Anyone with a need for information on the solar system should find fulfillment in the pages of this handsome work, and it is a beautiful browsing book." Booklist

Library Journal
These two volumes serve very different purposes: one is a compact, fact-packed field guide, while the other takes a more in-depth look at the solar system. In The Solar System, edited by science journalist Caprara, chapters on the sun, planets, and minor bodies discuss the physical characteristics of these objects as well as the history of their exploration. Several asides explain relevant physical processes extremely well. The entire text is amplified by high-quality images and graphics. The index is brief but useful, and both a bibliography and a short list of web sites are included. Despite the book's small size, it provides a great deal of well-organized information, making it a good addition to any ready-reference collection. [An Astronomy Book Club and Discovery Book Club selection.] In contrast, The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System is a cross between an encyclopedia and an introductory textbook. Beginning with in-depth conceptual chapters that cover our historical and current scientific understanding of the solar system, Lang (astronomy, Tufts Univ.; The Sun from Space) continues with chapters on the Moon, the Earth, and various other planets, and "Remnants of Creation," e.g., comets and asteroids. There is one minor flaw that detracts from this volume's utility as a reference tool (although it does not hamper its value as a textbook): Pluto does not appear anywhere in the table of contents. The author's discussion of Pluto can be accessed only by use of the index. On the other hand, the work overall is very well done, following in the tradition of the author's well-received The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun, with readable, high-quality articles supplemented with excellent pictures and graphics. A directory of web sites and a bibliography for further reading enhance the volume. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Barbarly Korper McConnell, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521813068
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Lang is an award-winning astronomy and planetary science writer, having published ten books which have been translated into seven languages.
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Table of Contents

Preface; Principal units; Part I. Changing Views and Fundamental Concepts: 1. Evolving perspectives - a historical prologue; 2. The new, close-up view from space 3. The invisible buffer zone with space - atmospheres, magnetospheres and the solar wind; Part II. The Inner System - Rocky Worlds: 4. Third rock from the Sun - restless Earth; 5. The Moon: stepping stone to the planets; 6. Mercury: a dense battered world; 7. Venus: the veiled planet; 8. Mars: the red planet; Part III. The Giant Planets, Their Satellites and Their Rings - Worlds of Liquid, Ice and Gas: 9. Jupiter: a giant primitive planet; 10. Saturn: lord of the rings; 11. Uranus and Neptune; Part IV. Remnants of Creation - Small Worlds in the Solar System: 12. Comets; 13. Asteroids and meteorites; 14. Colliding worlds; Appendix 1. Further reading; Appendix 2. Directory of web sites; Index.
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