Home Magazine Sky Chart 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


Planets: A Very Short Introduction
Author:David A Rothery

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 978-0-19-957350-9

Price: £ 7.99 (Pb), 125pp


Check prices on Amazon

amazon.co.uk                 amazon.com


As you might imagine, I have read a number of books about the planets and our changing understanding of exactly how they formed, how they are today and what they can tell us about the Earth and its place in the cosmos. Well, don't let the sub-title of this book give you an impression that it is somehow not of any real value. It is one of a number of books that Oxford University Press have released under the banner, 'A Very Short Introduction', such as Ancient Philosophy, Dinosaurs, Diplomacy, Human Rights and Terrorism, to name but a few. It is among these bedfellows that 'Planets' has been published.

A quick search on the Internet reveals David Rothery as an accomplished writer with a number of publications to his name. So his background in planetary geology makes him the ideal candidate to write this book. Although this small paperback cannot cover every nook and cranny of planetary knowledge, the writing style is exceptionally clear and precise and not afraid of pointing out common misunderstandings. At the beginning there is a good discourse on planetary formation, a subject that has changed markedly over the last decade. It then goes on to cover each planet more or less in turn, giving plenty of room to unravel many of their idiosyncrasies. For good measure, it also includes chapters on the asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects and exoplanets. Many of these particular objects are just beginning to be understood. Rothery covers the discovery of exoplanets very well, showing the many methods now available to astronomers seeking out these far off and enigmatic worlds.

Because this book is clearly targeted at the beginner, I would feel a little happier with a few more illustrations and images, especially in colour although there is only so much you get into such a small book. Those that are included, however, have been chosen extremely carefully. I feel assured that this small but up-to-date publication would not disappoint anyone interested in gaining a basic grounding about our planetary domain.

Greg SmyeĞRumsby

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 | STORES | SPACEFLIGHT NOW

© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.