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The Astronomy Encyclopedia Paperback – June 15, 2002

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-This revision of the International Encyclopedia of Astronomy (Orion, 1987; o.p.) is more than just an update, as many entries have been rewritten and offer greater detail. Seven major essays from the original have been deleted, but there are approximately 500 additional articles and numerous color photos. The more than 3000 alphabetical entries cover celestial objects of all kinds; concepts, theories, and methodology of astronomy; observatories; space exploration; and biographical entries on astronomers, astronauts, and cosmonauts. Articles average 5 to 10 per page, but are thorough in their explication of the essentials. While very readable, the subject matter may challenge some students. However, excellent cross-references ease the search for further clarification. Sidebars add information on constellations, and numerous tables provide data on astronomical formations, planets, the Moon, and stars. A list of almost 150 contributors is included, but the individual articles are not signed. The layout of this edition is fresher and more colorful. Spectacular, informative photos appear throughout and outstanding diagrams help explain concepts and equipment. Also included are star maps and keys to symbols, measurements, conversion factors, and the Greek alphabet. This sophisticated encyclopedia fills a gap between Valerie Illingworth and John O. E. Clark's less comprehensive Facts On File Dictionary of Astronomy (Checkmark, 2000), and Paul Murdin's more expansive but less attractive Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Institute of Physics, 2001). Due to significant changes in the field, libraries will want to replace their older edition with this superior, up-to-date version.
Jeffrey A. French, Euclid Public Library, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With the assistance of more than 40 contributors, astronomy popularizer Moore has revised and expanded The International Encyclopedia of Astronomy, his 1987 contribution to the field. This attractive book covers all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics: celestial objects and phenomena, astronomers (famous and less well known, from antiquity to the present), places (chiefly observatories), projects, instruments, historical developments, organizations, and even journals. The alphabetically arranged articles (over 3000, some 500 more than in the previous work) vary in length from one-sentence definitions to nearly one-and-a-half pages of text. The entries are extensively illustrated (although, strangely, the entries for constellations lack diagrams), and ample cross-referencing mitigates the need for an index. Color-coded insets list information about the constellations (the brightest stars and associated deep-sky objects), planets (vital statistics such as diameter, density, mass, surface gravity, and surface temperature), and other topics, including the nearest stars, the brightest stars, annual meteor showers, and the Caldwell and Messier catalogs of deep-sky objects. Also included are eight star maps, created by renowned celestial cartographer Wil Tirion (The Cambridge Star Atlas), that cover all 88 constellations and include major deep-sky objects. One notable weakness is the absence of either a comprehensive bibliography or references within individual entries. Given the breadth of this work and its price, the only comparable alternative currently in print is The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Universe, edited by Ian Ridpath. Both titles are mid-level surveys of the discipline-too simple to be the only encyclopeda in an astronomy library, too technical for a high school library, but a great choice for patrons with some scientific knowledge. Libraries should consider purchasing both. For those limited to buying just one title, Moore's alphabetical arrangement makes for easier use than Ridpath's thematic organization. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Nancy R. Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised edition (June 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195218337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195218336
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 1.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,235,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is state of the art in information. It can answer any possible question you can ask about astronomy. It is a thick heavy hard covered book. I spent two hours just reading the captions of over 500 pictures and learned things I never thought about. Get it.
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Format: Paperback
Oxford University Press has published a visually spectacular and comprehensive astronomy encyclopedia for the lay-person. They have made liberal use of recent Hubble Space Telescope images to produce a truly beautiful book. However, the number of errors ranging from mistaken numbers, to misattributed photographs, to confused sentences is surprising. Perhaps a second edition will clean up these problems.
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Format: Paperback
A great reference book for anyone's home library. Beautifully illustrated and well indexed subject matter. Found only a few less than obvious errors and understandably a little out-of-date but given its broadly covered topical nature and huge page content it is a magnificent collaborative production. A very handy reference for teachers or anyone with an interest in astronomy.
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