How to Read the Solar System (4C10)

Date: 23/01/2018

Title: How to Read the Solar System

Author: Brian May, Chris North and Paul G. Abel

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Good morning everyone! This is Mary from 4C. We’ve all learnt about the basics of the Solar System at school. However, how much do you remember and what is it actually? The book How to Read the Solar System by expert astronomers and co-presenters of The Sky at Night, BBC’s popular astronomy TV series, Chris North and Paul Abel, is an essential guide to the wonders of our huge home. For those who are interested in our galaxy and amateur astronomers, this book is a great choice to read.

The authors take us to a fascinating tour of the stars and planets to reveal their secrets, as well as letting us view and interpret them.

The Space is a mysterious and exciting area for humans to discover. In this book, we are given the opportunity to look at all the major players, including our familiar neighbours like the Sun, the planets and their moons, the occasional visitors to our planet which are asteroids, meteors and comets, as well as dwarf planets and far beyond. Talking about dwarf planets, Pluto catches my eyes the most.

Do you know why Pluto was reclassified and if it’s not a planet anymore, then what could it be? Pluto seemed to be different from the other planets when it was discovered because of its eccentric orbit and small mass. Scientists argued that it might not be alone. On 5th January, 2005, scientists in California discovered another small moving point of light. It was Eris, a world they believed that was bigger than Pluto. A decision had to be made. Either open the doors to potentially hundreds of new planets or Pluto is for the chop. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union put it to the vote and decided to call Pluto a dwarf planet instead.

Not only introducing us the spectacular planets, the 2 astronomers recount the history of how everything came about. They open with a romp through the history of the field from the earliest recorded celestial observations, made in Bronze Age China, through the discoveries of the ancient Greeks, to the work of Renaissance scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo. The myths that once shaped astronomy and the latest science discoveries are also explained.

There’s a whole other world waiting for us to explore. Knowing more about the universe by reading How to Read the Solar System amazes me just how intelligent we humans are. The book is available in the public library so do spend some time checking it out. Hope you enjoyed my sharing. Thank you.

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