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  • Alternative view 1 of Universe
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5.0 7
by Ian Ridpath, Pam Spence, Giles Sparrow, Carole Stott, David Hughes
The definitive guide to the universe, from the Solar System to the farthest limits of space, for the whole family is now available in paperback.

Martin J. Rees, well-known cosmologist, is the author of Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe (2001, pb) and Our Final Hour: A scientist's warning: How terror, error, and environmental


The definitive guide to the universe, from the Solar System to the farthest limits of space, for the whole family is now available in paperback.

Martin J. Rees, well-known cosmologist, is the author of Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe (2001, pb) and Our Final Hour: A scientist's warning: How terror, error, and environmental disaster threaten humankind's future in this century (2004, pb), as well as other books for the trade and academic audiences.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
It is not surprising that it takes a large format book of 512 pages to grapple with the concept of the universe. Profusely illustrated with photographs, illustrations, and diagrams, this volume is organized in three sections. The first is an introduction and overview of the basic concepts of astronomy. The second section looks at the solar system, the Milky Way, and space beyond. The last section is a guide to the night sky including star maps. Each spread is packed with information in the form of text and images about basic topics, such as matter, chemical elements, particle physics, and black holes. It is the most basic of premises that are the most startling. Is it possible that this unimaginably immense entity we call the universe is in fact governed by one set of basic laws? Stephen Hawkins is quoted as saying that the search for the ultimate laws of nature may be in sight. To add to our sense of wonder: photographs of star formations, jarring to any sense of scale that is meaningful. For those who ponder the night sky, monthly star charts include both northern and southern latitudes. Planet locator charts show where the planets can be found for the next seven years. This is a stunning resource for readers of all ages. 2005, DK Publishing, Ages 10 to Adult.
—Kristin Harris
This book's introduction promises the reader an unforgettable journey into the splendor and majesty of the cosmos. Through visually stunning photographs (largely from the Hubble Space Telescope) and digital illustrations, it delivers on that promise. Open the oversized volume at any point and the pictures virtually leap out from the page. An abundance of mostly white-on-black text reveals not only what and where, but also who, when, and why. The book covers every facet of the heavens in an awe-inspiring fashion, yet does not intimidate non-science types. An introduction explains what the universe is, theories about its beginning, basic astronomy principles, and space exploration from ancient times to the present. The second section serves as a guide to all objects contained in the universe. Here the reader enters familiar territory-planets, stars, asteroids, comets, meteors, and galaxies. The details included, however, will not be found in ordinary science textbooks. Common knowledge becomes captivating with information such as a 3-D view of the inside of a comet. The third and final section features the history and patterns of our constellations. Most impressive is a month-by-month atlas of the night sky as viewed from different areas of the world. Each map spans a double page. Universe is the ultimate coffee table book, yet it is more than just a collection of beautiful pictures. The comprehensive combination of illustrations and facts will both pique the interest of casual students and satisfy the curiosity of serious astronomy aficionados. 2005, DK, 512p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix., $50 Oversize. Ages 11 to Adult.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Rees (cosmology & astrophysics, Cambridge Univ.) and an expert team of contributors (including Ian Ridpath, editor of Norton's Star Atlas) have created a visually stunning reference that makes browsing irresistible. Every page of this oversized volume is full color, with an eye-pleasing balance of text and graphics. Three main sections divide the text. The 100-plus page introductory section (arranged in four parts) covers the universe and astronomy as a whole, offering brief but effective explanations of such concepts as the Big Bang theory, the origins of the universe, naked-eye astronomy, and space science history from ancient astronomers to modern-day exploration. The second section, "Guide to the Universe," examines in detail our solar system, the Milky Way, and regions of space beyond; the celestial objects profiled include planets, comets, asteroids, meteors, and various stars. The final section, "The Night Sky," a guide to the constellations for amateur sky watchers, includes a monthly sky guide (with instructions) that is current through the year 2012. Page corners of the "Universe" section are color-coded, making it easy for readers to move from section to section. Bottom Line While the information here is not detailed or in-depth enough to satisfy scholars or serious amateurs, it is still a wonderful beginning reference for the average backyard astronomer. Highly recommended for medium and large-sized public libraries.-Denise Dayton, Jaffrey Grade Sch., NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.38(w) x 12.25(h) x 1.32(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Universe 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been an amateur astronomer for a little over a year now. I have bought all sorts of books. I have purchased college textbooks and childrens picture books. Of all the books I have bought this is my favorite one. The writing is acurate and detailed yet the pictures that make up the most of every page are amazing. I highly recomend this book especially now that it is available in softcover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, it gives detailed descriptions of all 9 planets 'if you include pluto', many stars and galaxies/black holes. Plus it is not textbook style, it has plenty of pictures. It also has star maps in it for star gazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must have even for seasoned astronomers. It potrays the Universe in easy to understand yet very informative steps. I recieved it as a gift and never regretted it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think that this is a book for both young and older readers, it is a teriffic book. I am going to be an ASTRONOMER so this book is helping me with knowledge!!! I would hope many young readers come across this book and take a good look at it!! sincerley, Amber
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though UNIVERSE: THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL GUIDE is marked for ages 9 - 12, this is a book that appeals to everyone who is searching for more information and insight to the increasingly complex networking of space we call the Universe. The writing is straight-forward and at a level at which youngsters can understand, but it is also an eloquently written and lavishingly illustrated resource book for every age and every mind fascinated by the mysteries of the heavens. Beginning with a study of the structure of the atom, the images and words spiral outwardly to discussions of the cosmology (theories of the beginning and the end of the universe), 'our' solar system, the galaxies beyond revealed in ultraviolet, optical and x-ray images, and catalogues of the heavenly bodies from known moons (Mars) to fragments or remnants of stars. If for no other reason (and who would possibly be able to stop with this) this book offers a detailed and comprehensive atlas of the stars with a monthly night sky guide. For those whose astronomical knowledge is limited, here is a beautifully designed, comfortable volume to allow learning about the wonders of the night. UNIVERSE is definitely the most user-friendly visual guide available. Highly recommended - not only for 9 - 12 year old minds but also for children of wonder of every age! Grady Harp