"Look up on a clear, dark night and you will see the sky is full of twinkling specks of light. What are these stars and planets? How far away are they? Can we learn more about them?"
Simon and Jacqueline Mitton begin The Young Oxford Book of Astronomy by tapping into that sense of mystery and wonder that the endless night sky stirs in each of us. They set out the aims and methods of astronomy, such as how astronomers map and measure the universe. Then they turn to our own solar system, detailing vital statistics in "Fact Files" for each planet, and highlighting important discoveries or remarkable characteristics. Finally, they move to the stars and the great wheeling galaxies of the vast universe. They tell us the life cycle of a star, describe a nova explosion in electrifying detail, and offer a time line that describes what was happening on earth when the light we see today first set out from a galaxy far, far away.
This story of astronomy unfolds alongside hundreds of magnificent color illustrationsthe latest photographs from the world's largest telescopes, the most exciting images from space probes, and many fascinating explanatory diagrams and artists' visualizations. The index and glossary are excellent research tools, and a section devoted to star charts will delight any budding astronomers.
The Young Oxford Book of Astronomy is a great book for a curious child, but adults will find it useful and fascinating as well. It's an da whitesaleide to the greatest show on Earththe starry, starry sky.