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Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun

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Take an astonishing visual journey through time and space with Solar System, a mesmerizing way to experience the magnitude of the universe through fascinating text, original graphics, and stunning photographs, some rarely- or never-before-seen. Never before have the wonders of our solar system been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Award-winning writer and Take an astonishing visual journey through time and space with Solar System, a mesmerizing way to experience the magnitude of the universe through fascinating text, original graphics, and stunning photographs, some rarely- or never-before-seen. Never before have the wonders of our solar system been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Award-winning writer and broadcaster Marcus Chown combines science and history to visually and narratively explore our neighboring planets, dwarf planets, moons and asteroids, as well as all of the historical figures who aided in their discoveries. From the explosive surface of the sun to the frosty blue dunes on Mars; from the gargantuan rings of Saturn to the volcanoes of Io; from geological maps of bedrock on the Moon, to a simulation of what the Oort Cloud might look like, Solar System offers a window seat from which to view the beauty and magnificence of space.


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Take an astonishing visual journey through time and space with Solar System, a mesmerizing way to experience the magnitude of the universe through fascinating text, original graphics, and stunning photographs, some rarely- or never-before-seen. Never before have the wonders of our solar system been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Award-winning writer and Take an astonishing visual journey through time and space with Solar System, a mesmerizing way to experience the magnitude of the universe through fascinating text, original graphics, and stunning photographs, some rarely- or never-before-seen. Never before have the wonders of our solar system been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Award-winning writer and broadcaster Marcus Chown combines science and history to visually and narratively explore our neighboring planets, dwarf planets, moons and asteroids, as well as all of the historical figures who aided in their discoveries. From the explosive surface of the sun to the frosty blue dunes on Mars; from the gargantuan rings of Saturn to the volcanoes of Io; from geological maps of bedrock on the Moon, to a simulation of what the Oort Cloud might look like, Solar System offers a window seat from which to view the beauty and magnificence of space.

30 review for Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun

  1. 5 out of 5

    Book

    Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown "Solar System" is the visually stunning book about our solar system. This perfect coffee table book is adorned with hundreds of striking high quality images and graphics and complimented with fascinating facts. Award-winning author and former astronomer Marcus Chown provides the words behind the pictures and educates the public on the awe-inspiring wonders of our Solar System. Th Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown "Solar System" is the visually stunning book about our solar system. This perfect coffee table book is adorned with hundreds of striking high quality images and graphics and complimented with fascinating facts. Award-winning author and former astronomer Marcus Chown provides the words behind the pictures and educates the public on the awe-inspiring wonders of our Solar System. This elegant 224- page book covers the planets, moons, asteroids, dwarf planets and other components of our Solar System. Positives: 1. An absolute visual treat. High quality photos on high-quality binding does this dazzling book justice. 2. An accessible book for the masses. A great book for all ages. 3. A great format for a book of this kind. The author provides a topical narrative and a fact sheet on the right hand of the page. The fact sheet is basically a "vital statistics" of each astronomical body. Providing information such as: size, mass, surface temperature, mean density, maps, etc...Great stuff! 4. The book was published in late 2011 so it's current. 5. Not only is the book visually stimulating it is quite enlightening too. The author inserts interesting topics throughout the book. Einstein vs. Newton as an example. 6. Interesting tidbits throughout, like how to spot of a planet. 7. Every planet is obviously covered but each planets most significant moons too and some are quite fascinating. 8. This is the kind of book that can satisfy the curiosity of a child. As a child, I loved reading my Encyclopedia this may have the same effect on your children. 9. Great topics, is there life on Mars? 10. The Asteroid Belt. Killer asteroids. 11. The planet that never was. 12. The fascinating moon of Europa! 13. The safest moon to travel to is... 14. The mesmerizing rings of Saturn. Interesting stuff! 15. The most stunning rock bodies of our Solar System. 16. The mystery of the missing moon. 17. Dark matter...enlighten me. 18. The Kuiper Belt. 19. Dwarf planets. 20. The Oort Clouds and how we know it even exists. 21. Comets! Negatives: 1. If you are looking for an in-depth book about astronomy look elsewhere. 2. No notes, references, bibliography or even web links to speak of. 3. The metric system is used which is common in physics to do so. 4. A section on space ships would have added value. 5. A glossary of terms never hurts. In summary, this is the perfect coffee table top book about our solar system. I was looking for the perfect book to adorn my living room table top and I absolutely found it in this gem. The high-quality pictures are absolutely stunning and the author does a wonderful job of providing concise and lucid words to describe the photos and graphs illustrated. This is the perfect book to give as a gift as it will provide hours of visual fun while enlightening the reader on the basics of astronomy. If you are looking for a visual astronomical treat to put on your table, you won't do much better than this book. A high recommendation. Recommendations: "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier" by Neil deGrasse Tyson, "About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang" by Adam Frank, "Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . ." and "Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax"" by Philip Plait, "Wonders of the Universe" by Brian Cox, and "Cosmos" Carl Sagan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Sundt

    What I love about this book is that, not only does it refresh you on the basics of our Solar System, it answers questions like "at what point does a chunk of matter condense into a sphere rather than, say, that potato shape that asteroids we see tend to have?" or "is Jupiter a failed star?" and does so in a friendly, playful way relatable to both adults and older children. The rich array of pictures (many of them of moons I didn't know had even been photographed) would work for younger kids in a What I love about this book is that, not only does it refresh you on the basics of our Solar System, it answers questions like "at what point does a chunk of matter condense into a sphere rather than, say, that potato shape that asteroids we see tend to have?" or "is Jupiter a failed star?" and does so in a friendly, playful way relatable to both adults and older children. The rich array of pictures (many of them of moons I didn't know had even been photographed) would work for younger kids in any case, rendering this book one that a young person could grow up with and appreciate in many different ways. Spoiler alert: there's still plenty of things we don't know about our planetary neighbors.

  3. 4 out of 5

    TRAM School

    This is a very nice book. I love how it explains how the solar system works, and the poster inside. The photos are real, inside and outside the earth's atmosphere and it gives facts about planets, moons, and comets. There is no introduction - it is all real information so I love it. In one other guide, the introduction took up half of the book! Here is one thing: I do not bother reporting on books that have an introduction that takes up more room than the book, so there is no review on the book This is a very nice book. I love how it explains how the solar system works, and the poster inside. The photos are real, inside and outside the earth's atmosphere and it gives facts about planets, moons, and comets. There is no introduction - it is all real information so I love it. In one other guide, the introduction took up half of the book! Here is one thing: I do not bother reporting on books that have an introduction that takes up more room than the book, so there is no review on the book that had an introduction that took up like half of the whole book. This book gets all the stars. -A (7 yrs)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Take a fascinating journey across time and space with this book based on a bestselling app. Experience Earth’s neighborhood with hundreds of spectacular photographs and graphics. The accompanying text takes readers on a fascinating tour of the planets, moons, and asteroids orbiting our sun. Here, then, within the pages of this book, readers can experience the exquisite beauty and science of space. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was awesome! It is so detailed. I learned so much from this book. Thank you Marcus Chown!! I am extremely fascinated by space and this book answered so many questions I have! I didn’t know that there might be a ocean on Europea?!?! Wow! Definitely read this book if you want to learn more about space!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lucas Chen Chak Fung

    I think this book is an interesting and amazing book to read, because it talks accurately and does a very well illustration of the planets and objects in the solar system. It also talks about hypothesis of there being many other things beyond the solar system. My favourite part was the moon, I think that the author did a great job at using facts and images to make me know more about the Moon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anton Klink

    I truly feel that increased competition from digital media, especially all sorts of tablets, has ushered the paper-based book publishing business into a new era of renaissance. Doing away with traditional layouts, where you had a few small photos inserted among text here and there, and maybe a few separate pages for larger photos, this new layout approach starts with a photo or visual representation of the subject as the main element of almost each page, around which text will then be positioned I truly feel that increased competition from digital media, especially all sorts of tablets, has ushered the paper-based book publishing business into a new era of renaissance. Doing away with traditional layouts, where you had a few small photos inserted among text here and there, and maybe a few separate pages for larger photos, this new layout approach starts with a photo or visual representation of the subject as the main element of almost each page, around which text will then be positioned. The end result is a much more engaging, exhilarating and enlightening experience, which at times even feels like you are browsing a multimedia product on a tablet - except its on paper, with a vastly larger screen, infinitely better resolution and never needs recharging. This book is one latest such examples. The book is full of brilliant explanations, fun facts, witty references and exciting theories. It includes the latest pictures from Kepler, discusses possibilities of alien life, gives possible alternatives to water-based life-forms, which expands the borders of what so far has been considered a habitable zone in any solar system, discusses extrasolar planets and much more. In addition to all the science, neither does it shy away from an occasional nod towards science fiction. Frankly all too many popular science books try to keep a straight face and dare not even mention science fiction for fear of losing credibility. Don't get me wrong, this books is a science book through and through, but since almost any fan of space and science is also a fan of science fiction, it is refreshing that instead of being embarrassed, the authors embrace their own love of science fiction and acknowledge that of their readers as well. For a slight con, the book uses white text on an all black background, as seems to be the trend in recent books dealing with space. This is thematically sound and visually pleasing, but suffers from the same problem as other books with a similar approach. Unless all the printed colours are aligned perfectly, the white on black text is harder to read than black on white. On some pages, the printing is perfect and the text is easily legible. On other pages, the different colours are offset just a tiny bit, which goes completely unnoticeable in the pictures, but makes the text a bit too thin and somewhat blurred. It is till legible, but nowhere near as effortless as black on white. At least the black pages themselves seem to be using a newer printing technology and are no longer the awful fingerprint magnets like some of the older all-black books. You can easily touch and turn the pages without instantly seeing your greasy fingerprints all over the book. I am very selective about the books I keep after having read them and since I try to keep my material possessions to a minimum, I try to find every reason to get rid of them. With this book, I cannot find any. The pictures are fantastic, the explanations are exciting and thus this one's a keeper. For anyone interested in the solar system and the universe - highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    We've all seen the book of the movie, and even films based on theme park rides and computer games. But this could well be the first ever book of an iPad app. Not long ago we reviewed the Solar System for iPad app and now we've got the book based on it. Let's get the downside out of the way first. I can't be as enthusiastic about the book as I was about the app. Not only does it cost three times as much (before discounts) and threaten serious damage to the wrists from its weight, but also the book We've all seen the book of the movie, and even films based on theme park rides and computer games. But this could well be the first ever book of an iPad app. Not long ago we reviewed the Solar System for iPad app and now we've got the book based on it. Let's get the downside out of the way first. I can't be as enthusiastic about the book as I was about the app. Not only does it cost three times as much (before discounts) and threaten serious damage to the wrists from its weight, but also the book can't compete with the interactive aspects of the app which work so well with this material. I also found that, compared with the iPad version, it was eye-straining to read the relatively small white text on a black background. But even so, there's plenty to like here. What we've got is a coffee table format book, which feels not unlike a Dorling Kindersley book in the way it uses two-page spreads with a bit of text, some great photographs and various graphics and little factoids to expand on the topic. Some of these can be quite surprising - at one point Brian May from Queen pops up, looking like a fantasy wizard in his doctoral robes, with a comment about his PhD thesis on the movement of solar system dust. Perhaps to keep the translation from the app simple all the pages are black, which gets a little depressing (I got over my 'decorate in black' phase in my teens, thanks), but this is more than compensated for by the lush photography, with some superb imagery of the different components of the solar system. It was interesting to compare one of the pages of the book with the app - I randomly selected 'Exploring Mars'. The basic text was the same (so as with my main criticism of the app, it could have done with a bit more meat), as was one of the key photographs (which could be panned on the app). The book then has four other photographs while the app has a rather more engaging speeded up video of the Mars rover Spirit in action. On other pages, some of the photographs not in the app were well worth having to expand the general feel of the content, so it wasn't at all bad in the comparison. Overall, then, an excellent photographic guide to the solar system and the astronomical basics behind it. Not as much fun as the app, and perhaps could have done with some more text (and fewer black backgrounds for text) - but an excellent book for any astronomy beginner, and would make a great gift. Review first published on www.popularscience.co.uk - reproduced with permission.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vicente L Ruiz

    A very good book, filled to the brim with amazing pictures that I had seldom seen together. It also does include some interesting facts; there are small tidbits of information here and there that I had never read about, but I won't spoil them for you -and they will be different for every one. It was also fun to find the few instances in which the most recent findings have rendered the book obsolete, such as Pluto's moons, but this is to be expected. Still, the book covers everything in the solar A very good book, filled to the brim with amazing pictures that I had seldom seen together. It also does include some interesting facts; there are small tidbits of information here and there that I had never read about, but I won't spoil them for you -and they will be different for every one. It was also fun to find the few instances in which the most recent findings have rendered the book obsolete, such as Pluto's moons, but this is to be expected. Still, the book covers everything in the solar system, from the Sun to Oort's cloud, which is something not often seen. In my case, the book suffered a bit from a translation into Spanish that I can only categorize as weird in a couple or three places, where uncommon words were used or a sentence simply had no sense. I found it very odd, since the translation in most of the book looked perfect to me. If I had to give a criticism, it is about Pluto. There is no need to repeat three times how ignominious (that's the word used in the Spanish translation) Pluto's demotion from planet to dwarf planet was, specially when the reasons are explained in the same section. Perhaps some people will oversee it, but to me it looks a bit childish. In all, an extremely enjoyable book. Highly recommended to anyone who already likes Astronomy for the amount of information visually packed in the same place, and to anyone not specially into Astronomy because... well, because of the same reasons!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shadallark

    Considering its size this book was a quick read. Having not read much about our solar system in more than a decade or two this was a great reintroduction to "local" space. I would have given the book five stars but it often left me thinking about how much more there was to learn and know about what they were presenting that was simply missing without any suggestions for how to fill in the holes. Definitely recommend to anyone who has an interest in an introduction to our solar system. Considering its size this book was a quick read. Having not read much about our solar system in more than a decade or two this was a great reintroduction to "local" space. I would have given the book five stars but it often left me thinking about how much more there was to learn and know about what they were presenting that was simply missing without any suggestions for how to fill in the holes. Definitely recommend to anyone who has an interest in an introduction to our solar system.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julesmarie

    Spectacular book! 224 pages of gorgeous images and delightful information. I love this, and my students loved looking through it over and over again to show each other their favorite pictures. Only thing is the binding isn't designed to be passed around a 3rd grade classroom... But that's not big enough of a concern to make this less than 5 stars. Spectacular book! 224 pages of gorgeous images and delightful information. I love this, and my students loved looking through it over and over again to show each other their favorite pictures. Only thing is the binding isn't designed to be passed around a 3rd grade classroom... But that's not big enough of a concern to make this less than 5 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Bought this book to read to my 4 year old who loves learning about space and all the planets. Beautiful photos and all around lovely book. Read a little at a time until we were done. Will be fun to revisit in the future and he will get more out of it when he's older. Highly recommended. Bought this book to read to my 4 year old who loves learning about space and all the planets. Beautiful photos and all around lovely book. Read a little at a time until we were done. Will be fun to revisit in the future and he will get more out of it when he's older. Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Even if the text was dry and uninformative, which it is most definitely not, the pictures alone would make this a five-star book. An excellent, highly readable introduction to our solar system.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Very cool book....Review to follow.....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dan Leislar

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian D Zuber

  17. 5 out of 5

    neil hanman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joe Walters

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebekha

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susanna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emma ❁ (Grishaverse trash :3)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danny

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stockfish

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marwa

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Campbell

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