The PlanetsLarge Print - 2005
After the huge national and international success of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system. THE PLANETS tells the story of each member of our solar family, from their discovery, both mythic and historic, to the latest data from the modern era's robotic space probes and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Whether revealing what hides behind Venus' cocoon of acid clouds, describing Jupiter's 'Technicolor lightning bolts and shimmering sheets of auroras, ' or capturing first-hand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the first pictures from Voyager were beamed to earth, Dava Sobel's unique tour of the solar family is filled with fascination and poetry.
In lyrical prose THE PLANETS gives a breathtaking, close-up perspective on those heavenly bodies that have captured the imagination of humanity since that first glimpse at the glittering night skies. This is an extraordinary book of science, history, biography and storytelling. Timely and timeless, THE PLANETS will engage and delight as it unravels the mysteries of the cosmos. From the Compact Disc edition.
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There is a chapter for each planet (Pluto, the sun, and the moon have chapters too) and each chapter takes a different approach. In most you get some of the same facts like the rotation speed and atmospheric composition and such so you do get some text book like information but there is more to it than that. Venus is about beauty and includes poetry, Mars is told in the voice of a fragment found on Earth, Saturn talks about the music of the spheres, and Jupiter explores the astrology of the planet. It is a rather brief introduction to each planet and does not go in-depth very much but the unique approach makes it less a study of the science of the planets and makes it a stargazer’s wondering look at the universe. It is meant to teach you something but also to show you the wonder, imagination and glory of the planets.
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