The Birth and Death of Stars (Isaac Asimov's Library of the Universe)
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Titel: The Birth and Death of Stars (Isaac Asimov's...
Verlag: Yearling, US
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Considers how stars come into being, change and grow older, and eventually come to an endFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 2-5--Asimov uniformly packages topics of varying scope, so that some feel pared down while others are pad ded. The Birth and Death of Stars is one of the pared-down volumes. It briefly describes the title topic, giving a clearer and more accurate explanation of the relationship between a star's mass and its life span than either Si mon's Stars (Morrow, 1986) or Dar ling's longer The Stars--From Birth to Black Hole (Dillon, 1985). Is There Life on Other Planets? briefly explores the origin of life on earth, the known counts against there being life elsewhere in the solar system, and the statistical likeli hood that life exists somewhere else in the universe. Where facts are sparse, this volume is filled out with specula tion on interstellar travel or coloniza tion, debunked science fiction pictures, a list of eight forms of life that might well lurk in an "uninhabited" Earth house, and even a board game of a trip to a neighboring star system. While Franklyn Branley's Mysteries of Life on Earth and Beyond (Lodestar, 1987) covers the same ground with more in formation for more enterprising read ers, this one wins hands down on browsing appeal. Jupiter: the Spotted Giant is much more substantial. It cov ers viewing Jupiter and its Galilean sat ellites with binoculars, the probes that have visited Jupiter and the information they sent back, a description of the Gal ilean satellites, and hopes for the Gali leo probe. Simon's beautiful photo es say Jupiter (Morrow, 1985) covers most of the same ground without the numbers. Considering the paucity of in formation on and recent photos of Mer cury, it is understandable that there are few individual books on that planet. Asimov fills in with information about the Roman god Mercury and astronom ical history about the futile search for a planet even closer to the sun, and suc ceeds in presenting a worthwhile book. It has far more information about Mer cury than Ardley's The Inner Planets (Schoolhouse Press, 1988) for the same age group. Science Fiction, Science Fact makes an attractive browsing vol ume, filled with science fiction art and movie stills, with occasional photos for counterpoint. The text takes up 12 top ics of space travel in science fiction and briefly tells either what has been achieved or how the laws of physics limit what can be achieved. Space Gar bage takes up a concern that is men tioned in some general titles on space exploration, but does not usually get much attention. Asimov also briefly mentions natural debris, and explains how solar flares cause satellite orbits to decay. With the text given about one third of the space on 24 pages in each volume, there's no space for any in- depth coverage. Boxed snippets, some times not on the most appropriate page, further the sense of flying low over the topics. Still, libraries may want these for their clear explanations, easily ac cessible facts, or in some cases, brows ing appeal.
-Margaret Chatham, for merly at Smithtown Library, NY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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