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Book Reviews


The Big Questions – The Universe
Author: Stuart Clark

Publisher: Quercus

ISBN: 978-1-84916-238-8

Price: £12.99 (Hb), 208pp


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The publishers are to be congratulated on the way this book has been presented. I remember that 20 questions was a popular radio programme some years ago but it could never have covered either the range or the expertise contained in this book.

Each of the 20 questions is answered in some ten pages as effectively as some of the complete books I have reviewed in the past few years that covered only a part of the subject of an individual question. Stuart Clark has produced something readable and interesting in each case and should in my opinion be fairly happy with his work.

The questions are worth stating in order to bring out the flavour of things: What is the Universe? Do other intelligent beings exist? What are black holes? Was Einstein right? How did the Universe begin? What is dark matter? Why is 75 percent of the Universe a mystery? Is there life on Mars? Are there alternative Universes? How will the Universe end? Are we really made from stardust? Can we travel through time? How old is the Universe? What are stars made from? Why doesn’t the Moon fall down? Can the laws of physics change? How big is the Universe? What was the big bang? How did Earth form? Is there evidence for God?

Whilst I do not agree entirely with all his answers the book is still well worth its price for the mental stimulation it provides.

Bill Barlow

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.
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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.
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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!
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Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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