Space Encyclopedia: A Tour of Our Solar System and Beyond

illus. by author. 192p. chart. chron. diag. further reading. glossary. index. photos. reprods. websites. National Geographic. 2013. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781426309489.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—This factual and beautifully designed overview presents new astronomical information that will enlighten and entice readers. Dazzlingly illustrated with full-color NASA satellite photography, as well as original art created, photographed, and computer painted by the author, it's a page-turner. The use of analogies helps bring complicated information down to earth, e.g., a galaxy moves in the accelerating universe the way the person on a moving walkway moves, not of his own accord, but because the walkway moves. User-friendly tools such as a glossary and index help guide researchers to information and illustrations. The glossary defines terms such as "dark matter" (the unknown substance making up 23 percent of the universe, detectable only by the gravity it exerts). The index leads users to a fuller description of dark matter and expands the information to include dark energy, "a mysterious thing," the existence of which was not even known until the late 1990s. The picture-book or coffee-table-book format (depending upon your point of view) makes this an attractive browsing item, but the accurate, factual information makes it an essential addition.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Images of space--photographs, artistic renderings, and computer-generated composites--dominate this survey of astronomy and planetary science. On a series of two-page spreads with dramatic black backgrounds, images and diagrams plus thoughtful text cover topics such as the solar system; stars and galaxies; technologies for space exploration; and the possibility of life on other planets. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind.

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