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Celestial Mechanics: The Waltz of the Planets (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy) Paperback – January 24, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0387307770 ISBN-10: 038730777X Edition: 2007th

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Celestial Mechanics: The Waltz of the Planets (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy) + An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics (Dover Books on Astronomy) + Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering)
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Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2007 edition (January 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038730777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387307770
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

"Celletti (Universita di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’) and Perozzi (Telespazio Rome) present a complicated subject in an engaging manner that is accessible to general readers. The writing is clear and authoritative, and the diagrams and tables help the nonexpert reader to visualize the key ideas without having to wade through the mathematics usually found in a book on this subject. … Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates." (T. Barker, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), August, 2007)

"The celestial mechanics can be considered as the mathematical part of the astronomy, requiring a high level in mathematics and reserved to specialists … . The Waltz of the Planets offer a different insight, providing very basic mathematical tools to the reader, sufficient to enable him or her to understand the main topics of celestial planetary dynamics. The purpose is to present this discipline as accessible, interesting and amusing … . A book to recommand to students, astronomers … and celestial mechanicians." (Anne Lemaître, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 30 (1), 2008)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Celestial mechanics studies the motion of bodies (stars, planets, satellites, etc.) under gravity. This book provides a quick overview of the subject, focusing especially on recent developments. The book presumes some knowledge of astronomy, but it's suitable for any amateur astronomer. (It contains virtually no math.) My primary objection to this book is that it doesn't explain many of the phenomena that it mentions. The book includes both a glossary that defines jargon and a guide to further information.

Contents:

Ch. 1: history of the subject; terminology regarding orbits
Ch. 2: chaotic orbits and the multi-body problem
Ch. 3: orbital resonances: their role in the motions of moons and asteroids, and their exploitation by interplanetary probes
Ch. 4: spin-orbit resonances: tidal forces; synchronous resonance; geosynchronous satellites; obliquity; precession and its exploitation in archaeoastronomy
Ch. 5: stability of the solar system; paths of comets, meteorites, and asteroids
Ch. 6: danger of asteroids colliding with the Earth
Ch. 7: motions of the moon; eclipses; the moon's role in the creation of life; novel trajectories to the moon
Ch. 8: spacecraft flight: "halo" orbits; space debris around Earth; interplanetary trajectories (Hohmann transfer orbits, gravity assists)
Ch. 9: planetary rings: their structure; the Roche limit; shepherd satellites
Ch. 10: newly discovered objects in the solar system (Centaurs, etc.)
Ch. 11: planets around other stars and the search for them (nulling interferometry)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Paul Sebek on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had always been curious about how and why things worked in our solar system. This book did a good job of answering my questions. As stated in the product description, only "elementary mathematics" are employed, but the instances of math usage are for illustrative purposes only, and are NOT essential for understanding the material presented. In fact - in my opinion - getting value from this book requires no practical application of mathematics on the part of the reader at all. However, I did find the text to be quite technical (as expected), and a basic understanding of astronomical terms and concepts is necessary in order to grasp the material. (Example glossary term: "Resonance: A commensurability among the periods of motion of two or more celestial bodies. The most common resonances are the mean motion resonances, which involve the revolution periods of different celestial bodies, and the spin-orbit resonances between the revolution and the rotation periods of the same celestial body.") I give it five stars for telling me what I wanted to know. This is not only a good beginner's book for someone who is interested in a further study of celestial mechanics, but it would also provide useful information for a beginning astronomer as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Warren Coleman on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book on celestial mechanics is very thorough and a good value.
Though written by Italian astronomy colleagues it is in good
to excellent English. It has little mathematics except geometry and that was a disappointment to me. Good coverage of chaos theory as it applies to celestial mechanics. Primarily deals
with the Solar System.
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