The Handy Astronomy Answer Book

Overview


From planetary movements and the exploration of our solar system to black holes and dark matter, this comprehensive reference simplifies all aspects of astronomy with an approachable question-and-answer format. With chapters broken into various astronomical studies—including the universe, galaxies, planets, and space exploration—this fully updated resource is an ideal companion for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers, answering more than 1,00 questions, such as Is the universe infinite? What would happen...
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Overview


From planetary movements and the exploration of our solar system to black holes and dark matter, this comprehensive reference simplifies all aspects of astronomy with an approachable question-and-answer format. With chapters broken into various astronomical studies—including the universe, galaxies, planets, and space exploration—this fully updated resource is an ideal companion for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers, answering more than 1,00 questions, such as Is the universe infinite? What would happen to you if you fell onto a black hole? What are the basic concepts of Einstein's special theory of relativity? and Who was the first person in space?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The book is written in understandable language, but the answers are not over-simplified and provide sufficient detail for understanding the concept or feature described, making this book appropriate for readers for high school to college."— American Reference Books

"The range of topics [this book] presents is vast and comprehensive, with many fascinating informational tidbits. [T]his book remains stimulating and useful, whether one dips through its pages haphazardly or reads it cover to cover."— Book Review Digest

"What a super reference book! ... The answers are written so that a non-scientist can glean some understanding. Take this book in small bites and savor each one, then move on to the next topic of interest."— Children's Literature

"The Handy Astronomy Answer Book ... poses hundreds of heady questions about such matters as the Big Bang, sunspots, black holes, quarks, neutrinos and Carl Sagan. [A] handy reference, ... accessible writing and careful structure [convey] the pleasures of science and discovery."— Kirkus Reviews

"This clearly written and up-to-date title—it includes a readable definition and description of the Higgs boson particle—is an informative and browsable addition for young adults and adults."— Library Journal

"includes information on virtually every topic related to outer space ... this book brings the wonders of our universe to life."— Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

"As the third edition, it just keeps getting better and more cutting–edge with its answers. I highly recommend this book. Some of the topics become very technical while others remain very basic so the book appeals to a wide range of audiences."— National Science Teachers Association

"If you have questions about space or astronomy, this book will provide what you want to know."— San Antonio Express-News

"seamless accessibility … combined with its concise and informative prose, engages readers as they move from the Earth, across the Milky Way, and beyond. … generous illustrations throughout ... handy for working on research projects or general reading, is a recommended purchase for media centers and public libraries."— School Library Journal

"True to its title ... all that and more. Amazingly brief entries cover enormous topics."— Seattle Times

From the Publisher
"As the third edition, it just keeps getting better and more cutting–edge with its answers. I highly recommend this book. Some of the topics become very technical while others remain very basic so the book appeals to a wide range of audiences." —National Science Teachers Association

"If you have questions about space or astronomy, this book will provide what you want to know."  —San Antonio Express-News on previous edition

"Concise reference explaining all manner of space topics."  —Dallas Morning News on previous edition

"True to its title . . . all that and more. Amazingly brief entries cover enormous topics."  —Seattle Times on previous edition

"[A] handy reference . . . accessible writing and careful structure [convey] the pleasures of science and discovery. "  —Kirkus Reviews on previous edition

"The range of topics [this book] presents is vast and comprehensive, with many fascinating informational tidbits. [T]his book remains stimulating and useful, whether one dips through its pages haphazardly or reads it cover to cover."  —Book Review Digest on previous edition

"Seamless accessibility … combined with its concise and informative prose, engages readers as they move from the Earth, across the Milky Way, and beyond. … generous illustrations throughout ... handy for working on research projects or general reading, is a recommended purchase for media centers and public libraries."  —Brian Odom, School Library Journal

"This clearly written and up-to-date title—it includes a readable definition and description of the Higgs boson particle—is an informative and browsable addition for young adults and adults." —Frances E. Millhouser, Library Journal

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Each question functions as the heading to an informational paragraph in this lively overview of the history and basic principles of astronomy. The first chapter serves to ground the reader with definitions of general terms. Brief introductions to the astronomical understanding of different cultures throughout history are included as are major individuals and their accomplishments in modern times. This work isn't intended for absolute beginners, as each chapter covers an aspect of astronomy—the planets, the universe, galaxies, etc.—sometimes using terms such as retrograde motion without definitions, assuming the reader will understand. Although the question-and-answer format makes the book seem like one big glossary, the multipage index often serves to point readers to definitions. Full-color illustrations amplify the text beautifully and brilliantly throughout. VERDICT This clearly written and up-to-date title—it includes a readable definition and description of the Higgs boson particle—is an informative and browsable addition for young adults and adults.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly with Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Do your patrons wonder what an astrolabe is or how an X-ray telescope works? In this colorful, wide-ranging volume, notable astrophysicist Charles Liu provides answers to these questions and more about many aspects of the fascinating world of astronomy. The material is subdivided into seven categories: "Astronomy Fundamentals," "The Universe," "Stars," "The Solar System," "Space Programs," "Astronomy Today," and "Exploring the Solar System," which are further divided into subtopics comprised of answers to questions; these well-written entries span an average of one to two paragraphs per topic. Within the text of the questions, pertinent terminology and concepts appear in bold type, making the book easy to skim. The strength of the work lies in this seamless accessibility that, combined with its concise and informative prose, engages readers as they move from the Earth, across the Milky Way, and beyond. A generous complement of illustrations is scattered throughout, adding immensely to what is already an awesome resource. Whether exploring the "God Particle," the origins of the universe, or the development of space travel technologies, this reference, handy for working on research projects or general reading, is a recommended purchase for media centers and public libraries.—Brian Odom, Birmingham, AL
Book Review Digest
The range of topics [this book] presents is vast and comprehensive, with many fascinating informational tidbits . . . Stimulating and useful, whether one dips through its pages haphazardly or reads it cover to cover
American Reference Books Annual
Written in understandable language, but the answers are not oversimplified and provide sufficient detail for understanding the concept or feature described, making this book appropriate for readers for high school to college.
Seattle Times
True to its title . . . all that and more. Amazingly brief entries cover enormous topics.
National Science Teachers Association
A valuable resource that can be used by both teachers and students as a reference or read from cover to cover.
San Antonio Express-News
If you have questions about space or astronomy, this book will provide what you want to know.
Dallas Morning News
Concise reference explaining all manner of space topics.
curledupkids.com
Will no doubt end up a dog-eared and well-used treasure trove of cosmological curiosities sure to please anyone who ever looked up and wondered in awe about our place in the bigger scheme of things.
C&RL News
Provides concise answers to commonly posed questions about planets, stars, space exploration, and the universe, and thus serves both as a ready-reference source and beginner's guide to the cosmos.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
What a super reference book! There are answers to more than 1,000 questions relating to astronomy, which includes the stars, planets, the universe, and just about anything you can imagine. The answers are written so that a non-scientist can glean some understanding, but some concepts do require a basic understanding of scientific principles. This would not be an entry level book, but something that would appeal to an older reader who hears these terms in class or in the news. In this book, the shaded questions and answers seem to be the ones that are easier to understand. The book has tabs to identify the sections—starting with astronomy fundamentals and moving on to the universe, then the galaxies and stars. It returns to something more familiar—the solar system, a large section about the Earth and Moon and another about the space programs as well as astronomy today. These chapters may be much easier for younger readers to understand, as there are questions, such as "Who was the first man in space?" "Who were the first Asian Americans in space?" "What happened when Apollo 11 reached the Moon?" and the like. Astronomy today is also filled with fascinating information about the pioneers and the types of telescopes that are looking at deep space. Exploring the solar system focuses on probes such as Helios, which explored the sun and probes that have been sent to other planets in our solar system and beyond. Take this book in small bites and savor each one, then move on to the next topic of interest. By the time you finish this feast you will have a incredible layman's knowledge of astronomy. There is an extensive index, and more than 100 color photographs are interspersedwithin the questions and answers. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578594191
  • Publisher: Visible Ink Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Series: The Handy Answer Book Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 700,648
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Liu is a professor of astrophysics at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, an associate with the Hayden Planetarium, and department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He received the 2001 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for his book One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents


Introduction ix Acknowledgments xi Index 319 Astronomy Fundamentals 1 Important Disciplines in Astronomy History of Astronomy Medieval and Renaissance Astronomy Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Advances Matter and Energy Time, Waves, and Particles Quantum Mechanics The Universe 33 Characteristics of the Universe Origin of the Universe Evidence of the Big Bang Evolution of the Universe Black Holes Wormholes and Cosmic Strings Dark Matter and Dark Energy Multi-Dimension Theories The End of the Universe Galaxies 59 Fundamentals The Milky Way The Milky Way's Neighborhood Galaxy Movement Age of Galaxies Galactic Dust and Clouds Nebulae, Quasars, and Blazars Black Holes in Galaxies Active Galaxies More Active Galaxies and Quasars Stars 89 Star Basics Mapping the Stars Describing and Measuring Stars How Stars Work Sunspots, Flares, and Solar Wind Star Evolution The Sun Dwarf Stars and Giant Stars Neutron Stars and Pulsars Radiating Stars Binary Star Systems Star Clusters The Solar System 125 Planetary Systems Planet Basics The Inner Solar System Gas Giants Moons The Kuiper Belt and Beyond Asteroids Comets Earth and The Moon 161 Earth Orbit and Rotation The Atmosphere The Magnetic Field Van Allen Belts Neutrinos Cosmic Rays Meteors and Meteorites The Moon Tides Clocks and Calendars The Seasons Eclipses Space Programs 193 Rocket History Satellites and Spacecraft The Sputnik Era Communications Satellites First Humans in Space Early Soviet Programs Early American Programs The Apollo Missions Early Space Stations The Space Shuttle Astronomy Today 225 Measuring Units Telescope Basics Photography and Photometry Spectroscopy Interferometry Radio Telescopes Microwave Telescopes Solar TelescopesSpecial Telescopes Terrestrial Observatories Airborne and Infrared Observatories Space Telescopes Infrared Space Telescopes X-Ray Space Telescopes Ultraviolet Space Telescopes Gamma-Ray Space Telescopes Exploring the Solar System 263 Exploration Basics Exploring the Sun Exploring Mercury and Venus Exploring Mars Failed Mars Missions Mars Missions in the Twenty-First Century Exploring the Outer Planets Exploring Asteroids and Comets Life in the Universe 297 Living in Space Life on Earth and on the Moon Life in Our Solar System Searching for Intelligent Life Exoplanets Life on Exoplanets
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