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The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System Hardcover – October 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0674049987 ISBN-10: 0674049985 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674049985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674049987
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a cool book. Spectacularly illustrated, it conveys some of astronomy's heaviest facts in a light and airy way. Readers should have fun reading it. (Paul W. Hodge, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Washington)

Laid out in 50 brief but beautifully illustrated chapters, The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System is hugely enjoyable. (Jim Wild Times Higher Education 2010-11-04)

Just from a casual look, I can tell that this is the sort of book I would have pored over for hours at a certain phase in my life; if you have a young or young-at-heart stargazer in your home, I would encourage you to check it out. (Michael Merschel Dallas Morning News 2010-10-28)

As may be deduced from the title, this book would be of immediate interest to younger readers and their attention would easily be maintained by the tone and clarity of the writing. That said, more seasoned readers will also find it an enjoyable and fascinating look at the Solar System around us and will no doubt broaden their knowledge. I fully recommend this book to anyone of any age with an interest in the Solar System and how much of a hostile, humbling and amazing place it is to exist. (David Powell Astronomy Now 2011-01-01)

About the Author

David Baker is the Chairman of the Physics Department at Austin College.

Todd Ratcliff is a planetary geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I am a middle school science teacher, and my students love this book as much as I do.
carrie33
On occasion the writing has too much of a gee-whiz tone but otherwise the authors do a great job of communicating the wonders of planetary science at a layman's level.
Frank Lewandowski
I was skeptical that I would enjoy this book, but it was recommended to me by a friend and I decided to give it a try.
Denise L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By k.aleph0 on December 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am really amazed that a book can excite an adult practicing scientist and still manage to capture the attention of non scientists everywhere! The authors have done an amazing job. They take us on an adventurous trip into the extremes of the universe, with self-contained sections complete with photos and explanations. One can "read around" or sit down and read from beginning to end. The reader is assumed to be somewhat educated and definitely curious, but the authors fill in where we are lacking. They investigate the extremes in physical places in the universe as well as extreme events in time and historical happenings. The photos are amazing (and plentiful). Although the book is clearly stimulating for an adult audience, it would also be a great gift for an intellectually curious and talented older child. I have not seen a book this exciting in a good few years, and I highly recommend it for your own pleasure, as well as for potential pleasure for your brighter children or for your friends/family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Denise L. on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was skeptical that I would enjoy this book, but it was recommended to me by a friend and I decided to give it a try. Needless to say, I'm glad I did.

The text is informal, but informative -- it feels like your rocket-scientist Uncle is explaining complex facts and ideas to you in layman's terms. I've always loved looking up at the night sky, but I've never really taken an interest in planetary science. This book went a long way in helping me understand just how complex and interesting the Solar System really is. While the book does cover the "50 most extreme places" in the Solar System, it's structured more like a collection of short 2-6 page essays covering specific topics than a 'Top 10' list.

All the sections are packed with interesting trivia [e.g. winds on Neptune can reach 1,000 miles per hour, Mercury has an average temperature of 336 degrees but has ice deposits, etc]. I think anyone age 10+ would find the book interesting, and the 10-and-under crowd will definitely enjoy the pictures. Some sections are more complex than others, so there's enough to keep both the highly-knowledgeable and casual reader entertained. All the sections of the book are self-contained, so you can read the book cover-to-cover or pick out an individual topic and spend 5-10 minutes reading only that section.

As other reviewers have noted, the images are absolutely terrific. The most interesting thing I discovered reading through this book is not how much we know about the Solar System, but how much we don't know about it. The book includes a glossary of terms in the back as well as a bibliography, if you're serious about learning some real planetary science.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ward V on December 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have collected books like this since I was a kid wanting to be an astronaut. This is one of the best by far. It combines tons of great high def pictures, extreme information and a semi-Guinness-Book-of-World (Universe!) Records feel all in one book. This would be a great gift for almost anyone that is even slightly interested in the natural world, space exploration or atmospheric sciences. It might even spure somebody to pursue a career in this field. You can pick it up and put it down or stay up all night trying to figure out which place really is the most extreme. Fantastic Book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JT on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The kids and I have walked through the extreme places in our universe and have thouroughly enjoyed the journey!!! Mr Baker has written a book that is at home, "at home", as well as smack dab in the middle of acedemia. The pictures are gorgeous and the topics are compartmentalized in such a way that you can read for a short time and be able to knock out a section without losing continuity. Then you can come back later and start fresh in a different place in our universe!!! Text is written so that the casual reader as well as the student or scholar will be able to gleen what they need and learn something new along the way!!! Recommended highly for both the layperson and seasoned veteran alike!!!! Great book to get the kiddos hooked!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Will Mcknight on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for both those just getting into astronomy and planetary science as well as those who are long time enthusiasts like myself. There are a lot of great pictures and diagrams that add depth and help the reader really get an understanding of the phenomena being described. The text is well-written, informative and often witty or just plain funny. While this can be easily digested by youngsters, there is enough scientific depth in each section to teach you something that you certainly didn't know. Personal favorite "extremes" were extreme impact craters, Jupiter's magnetosphere and Frankenmoon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Les on December 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Besides being easy to read and understand, this interesting read is full of information that you can use to impress your friends and family. Your kids think they know more about the Solar System than you? Think again! You will be able to delight them with your new found knowledge of cold volcanoes and stinky moons just for starters. This beautiful book is one you can read all the way through or in short segments that will fit with your busy lifestyle.
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