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Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler!

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Packed with real science and fueled by imagination, a beautifully illustrated travel guide to traveling in our solar system Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter's sixty-four moons where you can photograph its swirling storms. For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very Packed with real science and fueled by imagination, a beautifully illustrated travel guide to traveling in our solar system Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter's sixty-four moons where you can photograph its swirling storms. For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very quiet if you can make it during the off-season. With four-color illustrations and packed with real-world science, The Vacation Guide to the Solar System is the must-have planning guide for the curious space adventurer, covering all of the essentials for your next voyage, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Written by an astronomer from The American Museum of Natural History and one of the creators of the Guerilla Science collective, this tongue-in-cheek reference guide is an imaginative exploration into the What if of space travel, sharing fascinating facts about space, the planets in our solar system, and even some moons!"


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Packed with real science and fueled by imagination, a beautifully illustrated travel guide to traveling in our solar system Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter's sixty-four moons where you can photograph its swirling storms. For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very Packed with real science and fueled by imagination, a beautifully illustrated travel guide to traveling in our solar system Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter's sixty-four moons where you can photograph its swirling storms. For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very quiet if you can make it during the off-season. With four-color illustrations and packed with real-world science, The Vacation Guide to the Solar System is the must-have planning guide for the curious space adventurer, covering all of the essentials for your next voyage, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Written by an astronomer from The American Museum of Natural History and one of the creators of the Guerilla Science collective, this tongue-in-cheek reference guide is an imaginative exploration into the What if of space travel, sharing fascinating facts about space, the planets in our solar system, and even some moons!"

30 review for Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler!

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Got this from the Intergalactic Travel Bureau. Well, one has to be prepared for when traveling does become a suitable option again. I'm even bringing my own food. Got this from the Intergalactic Travel Bureau. Well, one has to be prepared for when traveling does become a suitable option again. I'm even bringing my own food.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Such a fun and creative concept: the Intergalactic Travel Bureau's promotions for trips within our solar system. Using this framing device, Olivia Koski created this thoroughly scientific (yet completely accessible) way to learn about our nearest plantery neighbors and the space between us and them. Are you a thrill-seeker? a daredevil? Mercury or Mars may be best for you: Sail the methane seas, repel the Martian canyons, sky dive in Neptune... Maybe you need a more contemplative and restorative t Such a fun and creative concept: the Intergalactic Travel Bureau's promotions for trips within our solar system. Using this framing device, Olivia Koski created this thoroughly scientific (yet completely accessible) way to learn about our nearest plantery neighbors and the space between us and them. Are you a thrill-seeker? a daredevil? Mercury or Mars may be best for you: Sail the methane seas, repel the Martian canyons, sky dive in Neptune... Maybe you need a more contemplative and restorative trip? (with the realization that it will take a long time to get there, and you likely won't be able to return...) consider the outer gas giants... or one of their moons, Saturn may be the right fit, or Jupiter's Ganymede moon. Each planet, and many of the satellites around the planets, get detailed descriptions of what the geology, the atmosphere, and the activities one could do there (with a fully protective suit, of course). It's just enough suspension of belief and creativity to feel sci-fi/speculative. Koski collaborates with Steven Thomas for great illustration, this retro travel poster style then combining with the latest astrophysics to make all of this seem somewhat plausible. Love the dedication to the concept, and totally worth the read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Such a clever idea for a primer on the planetary science of the solar system. It is what it says on the cover: a Lonely Planet-style guidebook for a potential tourist for each of the planets including moons, the asteroid belt, Pluto and other KBOs and a few other details. The book focuses on what it would be like for the traveler to get there and be on or near the various planets and major planetological features, as well as including a handful of fictional features like imaginative tourist acti Such a clever idea for a primer on the planetary science of the solar system. It is what it says on the cover: a Lonely Planet-style guidebook for a potential tourist for each of the planets including moons, the asteroid belt, Pluto and other KBOs and a few other details. The book focuses on what it would be like for the traveler to get there and be on or near the various planets and major planetological features, as well as including a handful of fictional features like imaginative tourist activities. This educates without overwhelming, and even for someone who's quite familiar with solar system features at least a pop-science level, there's still plenty here to pick up. It's also nowhere near as exhaustive as it might be, leaving the whole thing at a manageable length for what could be quite dry material.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Absolutely adored this! I've always been intrigued by the solar system and this "Vacation Guide" filled me with inspired wonder as the authors melded established facts and data with science-backed speculation about these fascinating planets, their moons, our moon...and Pluto. It made for a truly engaging read. I loved how the authors described things and laid information out in more tangible and memorable ways. In some texts, it's like you get lists of details and facts, but unless maybe you're Absolutely adored this! I've always been intrigued by the solar system and this "Vacation Guide" filled me with inspired wonder as the authors melded established facts and data with science-backed speculation about these fascinating planets, their moons, our moon...and Pluto. It made for a truly engaging read. I loved how the authors described things and laid information out in more tangible and memorable ways. In some texts, it's like you get lists of details and facts, but unless maybe you're a scientist yourself, then sometimes those things don't mean a whole lot to you or don't stick in your mind very effectively. You can tell me that Saturn is mainly comprised of hydrogen, or you can explain how it would float if placed in a bathtub full of water, should there be one so large. I think one paints a more vivid image. Really, my only complaint was that it would occasionally get into its vacation guide roleplay a little too much and the humor could be a little overdone at times, especially in conjunction with the exuberant audio narrator. I eventually got used to it, though I can see how it might be grating for some people. As a speculative-fiction writer, I discovered a wealth of inspiration in this book and it's been a helpful resource for a project I already had in the works. I feel like this book is very accessible to a wide audience, so can easily say that I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the topic!

  5. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    An interesting approach to examining the solar system and introducing the planets and other areas of interest. More pop-sci than heavy science, although it delightfully incorporates physics and astronomy in a travel guide voice. The various planetary features were fun to learn about, along with the beginning notice of the challenges of living in space and/or on objects that are not Earth, although the breathless awe the authors project towards private space companies just hits wrong in this year An interesting approach to examining the solar system and introducing the planets and other areas of interest. More pop-sci than heavy science, although it delightfully incorporates physics and astronomy in a travel guide voice. The various planetary features were fun to learn about, along with the beginning notice of the challenges of living in space and/or on objects that are not Earth, although the breathless awe the authors project towards private space companies just hits wrong in this year of 2021 with the billionaires joy-riding off into space while the rest of the planet is nose-deep in a pandemic. Granted, the book was written in 2017, well before this whole plague times, but regardless the blithely cool tone just didn't age well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Irregular Reader

    More reviews at www.theirregularreaderblog.worldpress...! Is the grind of life on Earth getting you down? Want to get away? Look no further! Vacation Guide to the Solar System is your one-stop guide to the farthest reaches of our celestial neighborhood. Want to know what to pack for a trip to Pluto? What to do when you arrive on Venus? What bungee jumping on Neptune would be like? Wonder no more! In all seriousness, this book provides a huge amount of information, packaged in art deco, retro-futur More reviews at www.theirregularreaderblog.worldpress...! Is the grind of life on Earth getting you down? Want to get away? Look no further! Vacation Guide to the Solar System is your one-stop guide to the farthest reaches of our celestial neighborhood. Want to know what to pack for a trip to Pluto? What to do when you arrive on Venus? What bungee jumping on Neptune would be like? Wonder no more! In all seriousness, this book provides a huge amount of information, packaged in art deco, retro-futuristic kitsch. In addition to sci-fi information like baseball tournaments on the moon and ice skating (with heated skates to melt the rock-like ice) on Pluto, the book is also packed with the latest information on our neighboring planets, celestial bodies, comets, dwarf planets, and alien moons. The book itself is stunning, with gorgeous retro travel posters and illustrations combined with actual photos from NASA's archives. The whole thing was put together under the umbrella of Guerrilla Science (you should check out their website here). Guerrilla Science is a rouge collection of scientists and artists whose goal is to bring science to wide audiences through interactive and innovative installations and events. Their Intergalactic Travel Bureau provided the seed for this book. This is a great source for information on our solar system, appropriate for kids and adults alike. Fans of astronomy, science, and science fiction should jump on this book. Anyone who likes entertaining nonfiction (Mary Roach's Packing for Mars immediately springs to mind) will enjoy this book. An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I received my copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grumpus

    Cool travelogue written as if the planets and their moons were vacation destinations. May be a little too much detail if you're not into space/astronomy but it is a quick read. Cool travelogue written as if the planets and their moons were vacation destinations. May be a little too much detail if you're not into space/astronomy but it is a quick read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Many have discussed the possibility of living on Mars. Few have discussed sending humans to other planets. The author goes through our solar system and discusses the challenges of visiting each planet. This is a reasonable introduction for juveniles to the solar system. Most well read science geeks will get a bit bored with this book's childish tone. Nonetheless, Koski's compilation of travel time, temperatures and atmosphere conditions is accurate science. Each planet in the solar system is cov Many have discussed the possibility of living on Mars. Few have discussed sending humans to other planets. The author goes through our solar system and discusses the challenges of visiting each planet. This is a reasonable introduction for juveniles to the solar system. Most well read science geeks will get a bit bored with this book's childish tone. Nonetheless, Koski's compilation of travel time, temperatures and atmosphere conditions is accurate science. Each planet in the solar system is covered as well as the satellites around the planets. A bit of creativity and imagination will help the reader enjoy this book. Will definitely recommend for kids interested in the solar system.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Clever, clever, clever. My brain is not in the mood to fully digest this book, but I've had fun skipping through it. Set up like a travel guide ("What to See" - "Getting There" - "Weather and Climate" etc) this science-based book provides info about our neighboring planets and their moons. The author details how to train for space travel, what to pack, best time to go, and suggestions for what to do on the varying planets. Ski on Pluto. Deep sea excursions on Europa. And ... excellent illustrati Clever, clever, clever. My brain is not in the mood to fully digest this book, but I've had fun skipping through it. Set up like a travel guide ("What to See" - "Getting There" - "Weather and Climate" etc) this science-based book provides info about our neighboring planets and their moons. The author details how to train for space travel, what to pack, best time to go, and suggestions for what to do on the varying planets. Ski on Pluto. Deep sea excursions on Europa. And ... excellent illustrations! Obviously some of this is tongue-in-cheek, but it does present recent research and facts and is a creative way to explore and learn about the universe.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trinia

    This was a fun read , chock filled with lots of facts about our solar system. What sets this book apart is the format that the authors used to give you the details. They made it into a fun travel guide including topics such as: What to do? Activities when on each planet. When to travel? How long it takes for a text to send, etc. The comparisons between a normal vacation and one on Venus, for example, was really fun to imagine. Great read for adults and kids!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danni Green

    I found this on a the bookshelf of a friend of mine who is also a friend of the authors'. I enjoyed it immensely. It's clever and creative, taking the reader on a journey through the solar system with a touch of imagination and a heavy amount of useful information. I learned a lot about the planets that I didn't know before. I will definitely consult this book before my next interplanetary vacation! I found this on a the bookshelf of a friend of mine who is also a friend of the authors'. I enjoyed it immensely. It's clever and creative, taking the reader on a journey through the solar system with a touch of imagination and a heavy amount of useful information. I learned a lot about the planets that I didn't know before. I will definitely consult this book before my next interplanetary vacation!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Cute, light read of factoids about the solar system. I think this will honestly be a nice quick reference for writing science fiction, because it highlights the details a writers looks for -- what color is everything? What is the light like? -- that are hard to get from a wikipedia article. and the illustrations are charming. I'm really wanting to write something that takes place in orbit of Saturn now. Cute, light read of factoids about the solar system. I think this will honestly be a nice quick reference for writing science fiction, because it highlights the details a writers looks for -- what color is everything? What is the light like? -- that are hard to get from a wikipedia article. and the illustrations are charming. I'm really wanting to write something that takes place in orbit of Saturn now.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    This was a delightful way to get to know interesting facts about the solar system, complete with beautifully rendered travel posters, a fun writing style, and a plethora of facts you'll have so much fun with, you won't even know you're learning. This was a delightful way to get to know interesting facts about the solar system, complete with beautifully rendered travel posters, a fun writing style, and a plethora of facts you'll have so much fun with, you won't even know you're learning.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sardonyx

    I enjoyed this thoroughly! It answered some important questions for me. Like what would it be like to descend to the "surface" of Jupiter! Utterly dreamy! I enjoyed this thoroughly! It answered some important questions for me. Like what would it be like to descend to the "surface" of Jupiter! Utterly dreamy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ray Smillie

    Well written with interesting facts plus some good humour. Tells you what you need to know for your planned visits to the other planets in our solar system (pleasing to see they included the demote Pluto), along with some of their moons. I would have truly loved this if it had been around when I was a bairn.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elysa

    This travel guide to the solar system was a fun weekend read. It's a combination of real science and imagined activities and places to visit on the planets. It was amusing and informative. Unfortunately, now I want to travel through the solar system. This travel guide to the solar system was a fun weekend read. It's a combination of real science and imagined activities and places to visit on the planets. It was amusing and informative. Unfortunately, now I want to travel through the solar system.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Reija

    Delightful guide to closest planets and moon. I love writers funny way to descripe worlds which makes me feel them much better than some dry list of facts. If you want to know how does it feels to visit just space, visit Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe there is lovely chapter of that. Grap your space helmet and be ready to trip of lifetime with big smile on your face. Delightful guide to closest planets and moon. I love writers funny way to descripe worlds which makes me feel them much better than some dry list of facts. If you want to know how does it feels to visit just space, visit Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe there is lovely chapter of that. Grap your space helmet and be ready to trip of lifetime with big smile on your face.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    What a fascinating and creative book! It's worth picking up for the stunningly detailed and stylized illustrations by Steve Thomas alone. Before each planet or moon destination is detailed in their own chapter, the authors explain what physical condition you must be in, how to train, and what to pack before you can vacation into space. The honesty is refreshing, although the section on the physical risks and potential causes of death almost terrify me too much to want to go into space. The "At a What a fascinating and creative book! It's worth picking up for the stunningly detailed and stylized illustrations by Steve Thomas alone. Before each planet or moon destination is detailed in their own chapter, the authors explain what physical condition you must be in, how to train, and what to pack before you can vacation into space. The honesty is refreshing, although the section on the physical risks and potential causes of death almost terrify me too much to want to go into space. The "At a Glance" pages that start each chapter are useful to go back and compare the travel time from Earth, temperature, diameter, day length, and gravitational pull of each destination. Plus, along with the original art, this book contains NASA's closeup photos from space. One thing I wish the book did provide is the name of cities where you could launch to and from both on Earth and other planets. It would be useful to have a map or chart with astroport codes so you can pick the most convenient ones, much like with airports. It could also be handy to include suggested travel timelines for how long to stay in order to take advantage of a range of sites in each chapter's section on "What to See." At times some of the scientific descriptions of the destinations flew over my head, but that makes me hope that at some point they could make each chapter into videos using Thomas' art style to fully demonstrate just how things like the swirling storms or rotation of the rings work. Overall, this is a book you should check out. Plus, to me it is awesome that it was written by one woman who was a laser engineer and one with a PhD in astronomy. Their Guerrilla Science program sounds fascinating, so I hope to one day check out a live event or thar they will write another fun science book with this same art style.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Thielen

    This book is a blast! Guerilla Science is an entity that connects people to science in “new and unexpected ways,” and if a tourist guide to the solar system isn’t unexpected, I don’t know what is. Guerilla Science authors Olivia Koski and Jana Grcevich combine sharp writing, sharper wit, plenty of science fact and science fiction whimsy to imagine an “Intergalactic Travel Bureau,” from whence this guide has come. It opens with a list of what the intergalactic tourist needs to prepare for. Close This book is a blast! Guerilla Science is an entity that connects people to science in “new and unexpected ways,” and if a tourist guide to the solar system isn’t unexpected, I don’t know what is. Guerilla Science authors Olivia Koski and Jana Grcevich combine sharp writing, sharper wit, plenty of science fact and science fiction whimsy to imagine an “Intergalactic Travel Bureau,” from whence this guide has come. It opens with a list of what the intergalactic tourist needs to prepare for. Close quarters, space suits and gravitational changes, of course, but they also give you advice on what to pack (lightly) and what to expect when brushing your teeth or – ahem – attending to your bodily functions. Following that is a chapter on visiting the moon and subsequent chapters on each planet of the solar system. This includes dwarf planet, Pluto. After all, as the book relates, “Pluto is still – and always will be – the same celebrated getaway spot favored by those who crave the most isolated locales.” You’ll learn about the devices to take to roam planetary surfaces, explore mountains and caves or observe – from a safe distance – the tumultuous winds of some planets that have no surface for exploration. (It is a bummer to be told that the liquid diamond lakes of Uranus are unexplorable due to tremendous pressure and temperature, but that’s the way it goes.) You get great tips on the many moons to visit on side trips, too! Each chapter opens with an arty “travel poster,” akin to those you’d see in a travel agency, and is followed by pertinent information about the planet, including how long it takes for your text message to reach Earth. (From Jupiter, friends and family will get word from you in 33 to 54 minutes.) If you love space science, if you have an imagination, if you love travel to exotic locales – this book is for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Rippel

    This is a fun way to learn about the solar system, i.e, a travel guide to all the planets including Pluto plus the interesting moons. Each chapter begins with an "at a glance" page giving basic facts: diameter, mass, color, speed around Sun, weight of 150-pound person, atmosphere, rings, moons, temperature, length of day and year, distances from Sun and Earth, travel time, text message time at speed of light, seasons, amount of sunshine reaching the planet, etc. This guidebook often gives perspec This is a fun way to learn about the solar system, i.e, a travel guide to all the planets including Pluto plus the interesting moons. Each chapter begins with an "at a glance" page giving basic facts: diameter, mass, color, speed around Sun, weight of 150-pound person, atmosphere, rings, moons, temperature, length of day and year, distances from Sun and Earth, travel time, text message time at speed of light, seasons, amount of sunshine reaching the planet, etc. This guidebook often gives perspectives not mentioned in other astronomy books. Mercury's daily rotation is 176 days. This slow rotation means the "terminator line" between daytime and nighttime moves around the planet at a walking speed of only 2.2 miles per hour. So this book recommends hiking the "eternal sunset" to avoid daytime's blazing Sun (800 degrees) and night's freezing cold (-290 degrees). Since Mercury's low gravity means people weigh only one-third their Earth weight, "extreme athletes love the challenge of walking the entire 9,500-mile distance around the planet in one shot." (page 71). I think the guidebook is exaggerating here because 9,500 miles at 2.2 miles per hour would require 179 days. Walk 179 days in "one shot?" I don't think so. Better ask your travel agent. This is a fun and, at 234 pages, quick read about the planets and moons in our solar system.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Brasher

    If you or any of your friends write science fiction set in space, this is a great resource. If you just like to imagine how things could be or if space interests you, this is a great bit of infotainment. It's a lot of accessible real science about realistic space travel and how things work on the moon and the planets in our solar system. Mixed in with this science is a lot of clever speculation about what tourism would look like in a more space-faring future. I love the dry humor throughout. It d If you or any of your friends write science fiction set in space, this is a great resource. If you just like to imagine how things could be or if space interests you, this is a great bit of infotainment. It's a lot of accessible real science about realistic space travel and how things work on the moon and the planets in our solar system. Mixed in with this science is a lot of clever speculation about what tourism would look like in a more space-faring future. I love the dry humor throughout. It does start getting repetitive, and I think there may be a bit too much detail, especially when they start describing and naming multiple canyons, craters, mountains, dark spots, etc. on the same planet or moon. I think it might have been stronger if it had been a bit shorter. The first section is especially awesome. So are the parts about the moon and Mars. I'm going to have to read through a lot of it again to take notes on what space travel (and possible colonization) would really be like. It's a fun and interesting book, beautiful with its helpful illustrations and retro-chic travel posters for outer space. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes non-fiction and science lite. More accurate rating: 4.5

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kucharski

    Absolutely fantastic book. If you want to learn about our solar system in probably the most relate-able and personal way, read this book. Going through the universe spot by spot, how one would get there what to see, the touch and feel of the place is conveyed to perfection. The books is also witty, and contains lovely images. The descriptions of the liquid and cloud gases and the colors, the weight of the gravitational pull, what would happen if you skied or climbed a terrain brings the physical Absolutely fantastic book. If you want to learn about our solar system in probably the most relate-able and personal way, read this book. Going through the universe spot by spot, how one would get there what to see, the touch and feel of the place is conveyed to perfection. The books is also witty, and contains lovely images. The descriptions of the liquid and cloud gases and the colors, the weight of the gravitational pull, what would happen if you skied or climbed a terrain brings the physical world of the far away- right to the point of our having contact. Also, the last chapter of one's return to earth is also touching. Highly recommend this book. Fave quote about Rachmaninoff Crater. Rachmaninoff night concert under the stars. An orchestra won't make a sound because there is no air for it to move through. Think of it as Mercury's salute to John Cage. About Charon: A particularly dark region near Charon's north pole has been nicknamed Mordor after the menacing region in.... "Lord of the Rings." One does not simply walk into Mordor, since it is difficult to walk in only 3 percent gravity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    When I was in middle school, I spent many hours playing the computer game Where in Space is Carmen San Diego, and I voraciously memorized trivia about the planets and moons of our solar system (as well as the mythologies they were named after). This book - a stylish, beautifully designed fictional travel guide to the solar system - brought back fond memories of that game. This book is gorgeous and has some fun information in it. I definitely learned some new facts and got inspired by the crazy v When I was in middle school, I spent many hours playing the computer game Where in Space is Carmen San Diego, and I voraciously memorized trivia about the planets and moons of our solar system (as well as the mythologies they were named after). This book - a stylish, beautifully designed fictional travel guide to the solar system - brought back fond memories of that game. This book is gorgeous and has some fun information in it. I definitely learned some new facts and got inspired by the crazy variety of environments that revolve around our sun. My big complaint with this book is that it shares a shortcoming with a lot of "ain't it cool" science books and TV shows: it shares a lot of interesting facts about the solar system without really explaining why (what scientific forces or concepts explain these phenomena) or how we know about them. I suppose I'm asking for a drier, less approachable book, but I found the level of explanation lacking and want to look up more. Oh, also - this book has amazing NASA images, but I wish they had included more. These were some of the best parts of the book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is clever: current and detailed information about all of the planets in the solar system (plus their moons and various dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt), presented in the form of an imagined travel guide. I would sit and read this same content in a much dryer package, but this was imaginative and engrossing. It made me think about using unexpected genres or forms to write about other technical or jargony topics (e.g. new model school design). I liked the small form factor of the book, but t This is clever: current and detailed information about all of the planets in the solar system (plus their moons and various dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt), presented in the form of an imagined travel guide. I would sit and read this same content in a much dryer package, but this was imaginative and engrossing. It made me think about using unexpected genres or forms to write about other technical or jargony topics (e.g. new model school design). I liked the small form factor of the book, but the images would have benefitted from a larger canvas. A lot of the activities sections of each planet's chapter imagined sky diving or doing winter-sports-type activities in low gravity or on (methane-) icy surfaces. Which, I suppose, is what a lot of the environments present as possibilities. I just wonder if there are some further stretches of imagination possible for what exotic leisure pursuits might be. I think that as a result of this, I will finally remember the proper order of the outer gas giants: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Both delightful and extremely useful, this is an ideal introductory guide to anyone contemplating an exploration of the solar system. It was timely, too. I had been planning a small getaway with the family; nothing too ambitious, perhaps the Moon or Mars. But this guide really opened my eyes to the touristic and historical attractions of the outer planets as well. I was particularly taken by the descriptions of some of the geological features of Saturn and Jupiter's moons, which would be well wo Both delightful and extremely useful, this is an ideal introductory guide to anyone contemplating an exploration of the solar system. It was timely, too. I had been planning a small getaway with the family; nothing too ambitious, perhaps the Moon or Mars. But this guide really opened my eyes to the touristic and historical attractions of the outer planets as well. I was particularly taken by the descriptions of some of the geological features of Saturn and Jupiter's moons, which would be well worth a visit. It even manages to make Uranus and Neptune seem worth a side trip, and to be honest these planets always seemed like snoozers to me. My only quibble is the guidebook doesn't give enough background on the cuisine of the outer planets. Surely if I want to travel that far, I should know what to expect in the cooking, shouldn't I? I hope the authors can remedy that omission in the next version of the guide.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Metodi Pachev

    An instant favorite! This is a very insightful book on the planets and moons in the solar system (dwarf planets including), even some asteroids. Reading it is a funny way to uncover each celestial body's secrets. Not to mention that the illustrations are incredibly appealing. All the texts are written in a witty informative style. In addition to that, the book offers a powerful message: Earth remains the best place to live in our solar world. Everyone can make their own conclusions to that. I am An instant favorite! This is a very insightful book on the planets and moons in the solar system (dwarf planets including), even some asteroids. Reading it is a funny way to uncover each celestial body's secrets. Not to mention that the illustrations are incredibly appealing. All the texts are written in a witty informative style. In addition to that, the book offers a powerful message: Earth remains the best place to live in our solar world. Everyone can make their own conclusions to that. I am only wondering why the book does not talk about the Sun itself. It would make it more comprehensive to gain insights into (our very own) star, without which life as we know it would be unthinkable. The book offers details on each celestial body's physical and chemical characteristics with descriptions of its geophysical features. Apart from the beautiful drawings, there are some photographs, too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karin Walters

    In other reviews, I read the words "charming" and "creative" so I'm wrestling with why this rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe 2 stars is too harsh. However "it was ok" seems accurate for my experience. 1) Didn't care for the audiobook narrator. Which is everything in audiobooks. A little like a cheerful robot. 2) I was perhaps oversold by the cover 3) I didn't go into this book with the right expectations: reading the title and perhaps the synopsis probably would have helped but I was surprised at how In other reviews, I read the words "charming" and "creative" so I'm wrestling with why this rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe 2 stars is too harsh. However "it was ok" seems accurate for my experience. 1) Didn't care for the audiobook narrator. Which is everything in audiobooks. A little like a cheerful robot. 2) I was perhaps oversold by the cover 3) I didn't go into this book with the right expectations: reading the title and perhaps the synopsis probably would have helped but I was surprised at how, let's say "listy" this book was about facts in the solar system were. That's fine though, because I got used to it but... 4) The vacation references were too corny for my taste. I felt like after I had adjusted my expectations to accepting that this was just a non-fiction highlights of the solar system that the dumb vacation references (a little like an over-perky tour guide--sky diving in Saturn!). I'm suspecting that the reason that I was annoyed by the corniness is related to #1

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    What a fun little book to read and review! I left it on the coffee table after reading it, just to see what my family would think of it; they all picked it up at one point or another and very often exclaimed, "Hey, Mom....did you know...?" about a planet that caught their eye. That was precisely my test for the leap from three stars to four here. It was pretty much a three star read for me, but the interest level was high for my kids and they stayed engaged in the book for 30-40 minutes at a tim What a fun little book to read and review! I left it on the coffee table after reading it, just to see what my family would think of it; they all picked it up at one point or another and very often exclaimed, "Hey, Mom....did you know...?" about a planet that caught their eye. That was precisely my test for the leap from three stars to four here. It was pretty much a three star read for me, but the interest level was high for my kids and they stayed engaged in the book for 30-40 minutes at a time, accidentally learning about our solar system because the book was attractively done and interesting. You can read the publisher's blurb for the specifics, but I'll say that anyone with curious kids between the ages of 9-13 will probably appreciate this book. It's a good one to initiate interest in science without being overtly scholarly.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dmitrii

    Cute idea and excellent execution in this guide to our Solar System (from the perspective of a travel guide). Here is a description of skydiving into Saturn: “...You'll start your fall in a layer of wispy, yellowish ammonia ice clouds. After falling ten minutes or so you'll have traveled more than sixty miles, and you'll start to encounter thicker, redder ammonia hydrosulfide ice clouds. Finally, you'll reach some more familiar, white water vapor clouds. The entire fall will be very dark—the sun Cute idea and excellent execution in this guide to our Solar System (from the perspective of a travel guide). Here is a description of skydiving into Saturn: “...You'll start your fall in a layer of wispy, yellowish ammonia ice clouds. After falling ten minutes or so you'll have traveled more than sixty miles, and you'll start to encounter thicker, redder ammonia hydrosulfide ice clouds. Finally, you'll reach some more familiar, white water vapor clouds. The entire fall will be very dark—the sunlight is only 1 percent that on Earth at the cloud tops, and rapidly gets darker the deeper into the atmosphere you fall. Eventually the skies will fade to pitch-black. Feel free to fall for a bit into the dark abyss. You're in no danger of hitting the ground because there is no ground to hit, but it is possible to go so deep that your suit implodes under the pressure...”

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