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Just Visiting This Planet: Merlin Answers More Questions about Everything under the Sun, Moon, and Stars Paperback – July 13, 1998


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Just Visiting This Planet: Merlin Answers More Questions about Everything under the Sun, Moon, and Stars + Merlin's Tour of the Universe + Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Main Street Books; 1 edition (July 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385488378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385488372
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Merlin, a scholar visiting Earth from the planet Omniscia in the Andromeda galaxy, is familiar to readers of Star Date magazine, published by the McDonald Observatory. Just Visiting This Planet is the second collection of questions and answers written by Merlin's alter ego, Neil de Grasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium. (The first collection was Merlin's Tour of the Universe.) Merlin is supersmart, sort of sassy, and he'll answer almost any question about the universe and the curious things in it. He's also really old, having rubbed elbow equivalents with the likes of Archimedes, Galileo, Einstein, and Santa Claus. In this volume, you can find Merlin's explanations for easy puzzlers such as "How many galaxies are visible to the naked eye?" and "Who discovered the planet Saturn?" The smarty-pants extraterrestrial also tackles toughies like "If aliens exploded our moon, what effect would it have on us?" and "What is the meaning of 'apparent magnitude'?" Amateur astronomers and weekend stargazers alike will find a wealth of trivia with which to astound dinner guests, and those who like their science in easily digestible chunks will be pleased--sometimes Merlin gives one-word answers! If you're looking for long explanatory essays, look for a more loquacious little green man. --Therese Littleton

Review

"Tyson has created a space-age Merlin. An astrophysicist and educator, Tyson weaves together imaginative with straightforward science." --USA Today

More About the Author

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, a monthly columnist for Natural History, and an award-winning author. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chad Stellrecht on October 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love to ponder the mysteries of outer space, from planetary factoids to quasar theories. This book is chock full of all this and everything in between. The Q&A are taken from a monthly astronomy magazine and written from the perspective of "Merlin" who is from the Andromeda galaxy. Merlin offers a fun and lively way to discover outer space. I consider this book to be a nice, light read for all ages.
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By Donald W. May on September 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with the first Merlin book, Neil De Grasse Tyson gives us another round of science learning--as well as his special brand of humor. If he were a bit older, I would have to wonder if he were a reincarnation of Isaac Asimov.
Don May
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy Tyson ability to make the complex understandable as well as his sense of humor. He does a great job.
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By bigd2323 on August 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
A fun book. Similar to what doctor Tyson does on his radio show, the whole book is answering questions people have sent to him. A quick easy bit of fun science
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By Luc Vanderkerken on December 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic way of teaching bij Neil deGrasse Tyson !!
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