What Do We Know About Stars and Galaxies?

Overview

What is the Goldilocks zone? Is space exploration a good value? Are stars and planets always visible? The Earth, Space, and Beyond series answers these and many other thought-provoking questions. It describes past, current, and future science missions and shows how astronomers and engineers are advancing our knowledge of Earth, the solar system, and the wider Universe.

This book shows that what we can see in the sky is just a tiny part of the Universe. It explains what stars ...

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Overview

What is the Goldilocks zone? Is space exploration a good value? Are stars and planets always visible? The Earth, Space, and Beyond series answers these and many other thought-provoking questions. It describes past, current, and future science missions and shows how astronomers and engineers are advancing our knowledge of Earth, the solar system, and the wider Universe.

This book shows that what we can see in the sky is just a tiny part of the Universe. It explains what stars are, and how the billions of star clusters and galaxies are organized like an immense spider's web.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Building on what young scientists already know, the "Earth, Space, and Beyond" series explores our universe in more detail for middle school astronomers and even young adults. This volume helps readers understand the latest in astronomy, like distances and magnitudes of stars and how astronomers spot stars receding or advancing on us by color ("redshift" and "blueshift" as light waves stretch or squash). Newer telescopes can be mounted on satellites, like the Hubble Space Telescope, while a color photo shows Chile's mountaintop Cerro Tololo Observatory, which searches for supernovae. Growing knowledge of the universe's size suggests it may contain 100 billion galaxies; new ways to measure their distances from Earth reveal that some are 13.2 billion light-years away—that means we're seeing some of the earliest ever formed in the universe. This book is easily the most beautiful of the series, filled with images of star-studded skies, swirling galaxies (spiral, elliptical, starburst), and glowing nebulae, including the superhot "Butterfly Nebula." Especially fascinating is a striking picture of a distant galaxy with dark rings; astronomers think it may show "dark matter," formerly thought invisible. Black holes (where dense gravity sucks in everything) are tracked with telescopes like the Chandra, whose X-ray sensitivity produced a photo of a possible black hole in superdense Sagittarius A* of our own Milky Way. Will the universe end? Astronomers have discovered that galaxies and stars have a finite lifespan, while the universe itself seems to be stretching ever outward. One day, in an estimated 20 billion years, its dark energy will tear it apart. In addition to a very necessary glossary and a list of websites, students will find a chart of star magnitudes and distances with an explanation of why some stars can't be seen. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
VOYA - Jen McConnel
With a voice reminiscent of the Bill Nye videos, these books will appeal to reluctant scientists in the middle grades. Employing a layout similar to many textbooks, this series presents colorful, captioned photographs; sidebars with interesting facts; and bolded words that can be found in the glossary at the end of the book. The sidebars are guaranteed to catch attention with headings like "The Death Star" (Stars and Galaxies) and "The Science of Farts" (Life on Earth). Readers who have outgrown the excellent Magic School Bus series will enjoy the friendly, conversational style of these books: it is as if Ms. Frizzle is still lecturing without the cartoons. Each volume includes a table of contents, a brief glossary, a page of additional resources including both books and websites, and an index. In Life on Earth, there is also a timeline of the discovery of planets, and in Stars and Galaxies, the supplemental pages include a "Fact File," listing the sizes of the brightest stars and their distance from earth. Unlike some nonfiction texts, this series does not overwhelm the reader with scientific jargon and unpronounceable names, but this is not to say that the information presented is light and fluffy. This five-book series presents an age-appropriate introduction to large-scale scientific concepts. These books would be a lovely addition to classroom libraries and younger grades' collections. Reviewer: Jen McConnel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410941626
  • Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Series: Earth, Space, and Beyond Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

What Can We See in the Sky? 4

What Are Stars? 12

A Star Is Born 16

What Is a Galaxy? 22

Dark Matter and Black Holes 30

Galaxies Across the Universe 34

The Hierarchy of Stars and Galaxies 36

Beginning and Ending 40

Fact File 44

Find Out More 45

Glossary 46

Index 48

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