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The Grand Tour: A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System Paperback – May 23, 2005

ISBN-13: 001-9628135476 ISBN-10: 0761135472 Edition: 3rd

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The Grand Tour: A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System + Infinite Worlds: An Illustrated Voyage to Planets beyond Our Sun
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 3rd edition (May 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761135472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761135470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Excellent graphics distinguish this armchair guide to the solar system. -- Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

A DAZZLING JOURNEY

The trunks are packed, your passport's in order. But instead of sailing to Le Havre for a Cook's tour of the Continent, you're embarking on a voyage through the solar system. That is the wonder of THE GRAND TOUR.

Originally published in 1981 and now completely updated by the scientific findings of the past decade, the revised edition of THE GRAND TOUR includes 10 new chapters, 52 new and/or revised paintings, 24 new photographs, and new drawings and maps. Through its unique marriage of art and fact, the book transports readers to unimaginable places-worlds of pure ice and utter night, of volcanic tumult and swirling acid clouds, of deep cut canyons and startingly beautiful vistas. From the vast reaches of Jupiter to tiny frozen Rhea, orbiting like a snowball around Saturn, it takes us on a journey of astonishing proportions.

Astronomer William K. Hartmann is internationally known as a planetary scientist, painter, and writer. Ron Miller, a former director of the Albert Einstein Spacearium at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is widely known for his astronomical and science-fiction paintings. Their other collaborations include Out of the Cradle, Cycles of Fire, and The History of Earth.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I loved the initial version of this book, and this one is far better.
James Spada
I'd recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in astronomy or the planets, it's a great read and never gets obtusely technical.
S. Breazeal
Planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc. are organized by size rather than type, yielding some very surprising revelations.
Matt Kizer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Breazeal on February 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Written in the style of a traveller's guide book, the authors take you on an interplanetary cruise describing each body in detail. The book runs from the largest (the Sun) to the smallest objects (comets and tiny asteroids) in the solar system. The illustrations are either photos from spacecraft that have visited the various planets and moons, or are hypothetical paintings based on what the surfaces may look like. One particularly striking painting is of the surface of Pluto, with the sun as a mere bright speck in the sky.
I'd recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in astronomy or the planets, it's a great read and never gets obtusely technical. Ron Miller and William K. Hartmann are without a doubt the finest planetary artists around today.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matt Kizer on January 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent book with stunning original hand-painted art. This book discusses the worlds of our solar system rather than the planets. Each body, no matter what pigeon hole or classification it has been placed into in the past, is treated as a unique world with its own landscape, sky, weather, and character. Planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc. are organized by size rather than type, yielding some very surprising revelations.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Edward W. Trieste on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This excellent coffee-table book is a fascinating exploration of the solar system. It is gratifying to see this book, now in its 3rd edition, revised regularly to reflect the many continuing new discoveries of the last 25 years.

This survey, written for the layman, thoroughly covers all of the important worlds of our solar system. It also discusses our solar system's formation and what we know about extrasolar planets.

Most books on the solar system introduce each planet in turn from Mercury outward to Pluto. This book starts with Jupiter and proceeds in descending order by size. This unusual approach emphasizes that these worlds vary as a continuum, encouraging comparison between small planets and large satellites, between satellites and asteroids, between asteroids and comets.

Part I covers the 28 largest worlds in the solar system, from Jupiter to Ceres. Part II covers selected interesting worlds, such as Halley's Comet, asteroids Vesta, Eros, Hektor, and Chiron, and moons Amalthea, Mimas and Miranda. Part III discusses extrasolar planets. A glossary covers terms such as centaurs, differentiation, millibars, and retrograde.

The illustrations and photography are especially worthwhile. Miller and Hartmann dramatically illustrate the wonder and majesty of space with a mix of actual photographs and artist's renditions.

The book reflects the current indecision regarding Pluto. However, the authors opine that the solar system is most sensibly viewed as having eight planets, with Pluto the largest Kuiper Belt object and Ceres the largest asteroid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eugenio Moutelik Aguiar on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I prefer photographs (or images made from spacecraft) over paintings, and I bought this book to raise my kids' interest in space. Well, it was my prejudice. The book has loads of the newest images, including some from the Cassini-Huygens mission, and the paintings are great, in the sense that they are not fantasy, but "down-to-earth" renderings of wiews we could have if we were there. Much better than I expected. And it is not only the images. Great text, great reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Moon Watcher on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
'The Grand Tour' is a nice small-format cofee-table-type book, with a modest selection of actual pictures from various space probes and a greater number of pleasing artwork renditions of the varios planetary bodies (54 in all, according to the cover..I didn't count them myself), and a small number of simple diagrams. The accompanying text seems pretty up-to-date and accurate, but does not go into any great depth explaining subjects such as solar system objects' composition, evolution, atmospheric structure and dynamics, and possible exobiology; most of these subjects are touched upon, but only superficially, and there isn't consistent treatment from object to object, neither in text structure/organization nor content scope. The organizational scheme presenting the solar system bodies from largest to smallest is a novel departure from the standard closest-to-farthest scheme. Buy this book mainly for the artwork, as a visual complement to more scholarly books about the solar system in your library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Piatek on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my daughter, a professor of geology, after reading an interview with Peter Francis. He has an amazing varied background and writes to teach and share the information about these awesome events. Nature and how the marvels of geologic science. I am a novice but am enthralled by the content.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Of all the sciences, astronomy has always been my personal favorite, and it's typically a pleasure to look through a book filled with pictures of planets and stars. The Grand Tour by Ron Miller and William Hartmann is one such pleasure.

The Grand Tour offers a look at the solar system (outside of the sun), but unlike most such books, does not opt for the standard start-at-Mercury and end-at-Pluto approach. Instead, Miller and Hartmann treat their book as a travel guide for some aliens from another star. Such visitors would notice the biggest objects first and work their way down to the smaller worlds.

Thus, the book starts with Jupiter, providing some general statistics (gravity, size, etc.) and a small essay about the largest planet. The big feature, however, are the pictures: both photographs and wonderful paintings that offer views that we haven't received from telescopes or probes. The first in this chapter is an example: a view of Jupiter from the surface of Europa as the planet eclipses the sun.

We then go through the other "major worlds": the remaining gas giants take the next three slots, followed by Earth, Venus and Mars. Then the chapters begin to alternate between moons and planets: Ganymede and Titan precede Mercury, and then five more moons are listed (including our own) before Pluto comes up in a chapter shared with its companion, Charon (this edition of the book was written in 2005, prior to Pluto's demotion from planetary status, though the debate is discussed). There are a few other major worlds, down to the asteroid Ceres, and then a section on selected smaller worlds (moons, asteroids, and comets).
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