Home Magazine Resources Store

Book Reviews



Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

The Story of Astronomy

Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring and Understanding Alien Worlds

Space Probes: 50 Years of Exploration from Luna 1 to New Horizons

Deep Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe

ARCHIVE

PATRICK MOORE BOOKS



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Book Reviews


The Hunt for

Planet X
Authors: Govert Schilling

Publisher: Copernicus Books

ISBN: 9780387778044

Price: £15 (Hb), 303pp


Check prices on Amazon

amazon.co.uk                  amazon.com


In 2006, the IAU conference in Prague that sealed the fate of Pluto failed miserably to educate the public as to the nature of planets and dwarf planets. Govert Schilling's new book cuts  hrough the confusion like a knife to tell the story of the Solar System's outermost bodies.

The Hunt for Planet X may sound like a speculative title, but it is the never-ending quest for this mythical world that has resulted in the discoveries of Pluto, Chiron, Eris, Sedna, the Kuiper Belt and all the icy objects within it. Schilling, an experienced astronomy journalist who many of you will have heard talk at AstroFest 2009 in February, expertly weaves the tale, from the discovery of Uranus, the first world to be found since ancient times, through to the discovery of the asteroids, Percival Lowell's quest for 'Planet X' that directly led to Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto, theories on the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, and finally modern discoveries of actual Kuiper Belt objects, including the familiar stories of the discoveries of the likes of Eris and Sedna.


Some of the chapters that I found most delightful were those telling the stories of objects such as Chiron and Charon, the details of which I was less familiar with than more modern discoveries. The saga and controversy of Eris' discovery, ending in that farcical IAU conference in Prague, also make for enthralling reading. Schilling takes time to really emphasise that the search for 'Planet X' is a very human story - the personalities, arguments, disappointments and triumphs of the astronomers involved are central to the story, humanising what could have otherwise have been a dry science book. But don't let that mislead you into thinking there isn't any science here
- readers will come away with a thorough knowledge of the denizens of the Kuiper Belt. And it is the first astronomy book I've ever read that references Inspector Morse!

Accessible to beginners, friendly to non-scientists and rewarding to those with an astronomical background, if there is one book that you read about the outer reaches of the Solar System, make sure it is this one.

Keith Cooper

 

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

HOME | NEWS ARCHIVE | MAGAZINE | SOLAR SYSTEM | SKY CHART | RESOURCES | STORE | SPACEFLIGHT NOW

© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.