Bad Astronomy and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £10.99
  • You Save: £2.20 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Bad Astronomy: Misconcept... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the UK. Former Library books. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Your purchase also supports literacy charities.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing Hoax (Bad Science) Paperback – 14 Mar 2002


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.79
£4.05 £0.01
£8.79 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing Hoax (Bad Science) + Death from the Skies!: The Science Behind the End of the World
Price For Both: £19.72

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass; 1 edition (14 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471409766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471409762
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Inspired by his popular web site, www. badastronomy.com, this first book by Plait (astronomy, Sonoma State Univ.) debunks popular myths and misconceptions relating to astronomy and promotes science as a means of explaining our mysterious heavens. The work describes 24 common astronomical fallacies, including the beliefs that the Coriolis effect determines the direction that water drains in a bathtub and that planetary alignments can cause disaster on Earth. The author sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and UFO sightings and explains the principles behind basic general concepts (the Big Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). Though some may find him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly because his clear and understandable explanations are convincing and honest. This first volume in Wiley′s "Bad Science" series is recommended for all libraries, especially astronomy and folklore collections. ?Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado Lib., Denver ( Library Journal, March 15, 2002)

"...everything′s beautifully explained. He gives the neatest explanation of tides I′ve ever seen...for that alone, this book should be in every school library on the planet." (New Scientist, 4 May 2002)

"...the book might be a better student introduction than many more sober tomes..." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 7 June 2002)

"Bad Astronomy is a book which is both timely and welcome. I would recommend it without hesitation, and I have no doubt that it will be widely read..." (The Observatory, October 2002)

For skeptics, always fans of science: The first two books in a series devoted to "bad science," Bad Astronomy by Philip Plait and Bad Medicine (Wiley, $15.95) by Christopher Wanjek, may warm even a Scrooge′s heart. In short chapters, Plait tackles misperceptions about why the moon looks larger on the horizon and why stars twinkle before moving on, dismantling conspiracy kooks who doubt the moon landing and offering a top 10 list of bad science moments in movie history. Wanjek, a science writer who has also written jokes for The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, takes an edgy and funny tack in debunking myths such as humans using only 10% of their brains, the utility of "anti–bacterial" toys and the safety of "natural" herbal remedies, ones often loaded with powerful chemicals. (USA TODAY, December 3, 2002)

"...a good read...Plait′s book is readable, entertaining, not exclusively for astronomers, and often very funny..." (Astronomy & Space, June 2003)

"...a great book to dip into..." (Popular Astronomy, January 2004)



"The author sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and UFO sightings.... Plait succeeds brilliantly because his clear and understandable explanations are convincing and honest." ( Library Journal, March 15, 2002)

"...everything′s beautifully explained. He gives the neatest explanation of tides I′ve ever seen...for that alone, this book should be in every school library on the planet." (New Scientist, 4 May 2002)

"...the book might be a better student introduction than many more sober tomes..." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 7 June 2002)

"Bad Astronomy is a book which is both timely and welcome. I would recommend it without hesitation, and I have no doubt that it will be widely read..." (The Observatory, October 2002)

"...a good read...Plait′s book is readable, entertaining, not exclusively for astronomers, and often very funny..." (Astronomy & Space, June 2003)

"...a great book to dip into..." (Popular Astronomy, January 2004)

From the Back Cover

Advance praise for Philip Plait?s Bad Astronomy

"Bad Astronomy is just plain good! Philip Plait clears up every misconception on astronomy and space you never knew you suffered from." Stephen Maran, Author of Astronomy for Dummies and editor of The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia

"Thank the cosmos for the bundle of star stuff named Philip Plait, who is the world?s leading consumer advocate for quality science in space and on Earth. This important contribution to science will rest firmly on my reference library shelf, ready for easy access the next time an astrologer calls." Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Borderlands of Science

"Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative, useful, and entertaining book. Bad Astronomy is Good Science. Very good science..." James "The Amazing" Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, and author of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

"Bad Astronomy is a fun read. Plait is wonderfully witty and educational as he debunks the myths, legends, and ′conspiracies? that abound in our society. ′The Truth Is Out There′?and it′s in this book. I loved it!" Mike Mullane, Space Shuttle astronaut and author of Do Your Ears Pop in Space?


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Consider the humble chicken egg. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By SecretSweets VINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a must if you have had enough of old wives tales about why the sky is blue and how the moon affects the tides. Plait explains many many astronomical misconceptions in a very intelligent yet entertaining way. Here is a wonderful way to teach your kids (and yourself) why summer turns to autumn, why stars twinkle and why the world did not end during the Great Planetary Alignment of 2000. This book also examines the moon landing hoax, which I found highly amusing.
Even if you are not into astronomy, this book is one that will make you laugh at some of the tall tales you were told in your youth regarding the planets, the moon and the stars. The added bonus is these fun facts are written by an intelligent 'astronomer, teacher, lecturer and all-around science junkie' who works in the physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State University. I think it's safe to say that this man knows his stuff!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Normann Aaboe Nielsen on 2 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Misunderstanding the laws of nature will often bring misery to people, in terms of loosing money, faith or opportunity. For example, the guys that looks for some secret plot to fake the Lunar landing (Apollo 11) must miss a lot of the wonders of the planetary expeditions brings these years. For the hard-core believers of faked / bad astronomy, this book will bring nothing of interrest; they have already made up their minds.
For others, however, especially for young students of nature, this book is a "must-read". Old wives tales, like the water running clock-wise out of the sink in the Northen Hemisphere and anti-clock-wise on the Southern (or was it the other way around?) and several more similar yarns are dealt with in a serious but entertaining way. To say it short: The book is funny!
The book is of course an edited version of the now famous website where the author brings more and updated news. The book is dated, but it is a must for a teacher of physics / science for the schools.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By hat@dbestern.com on 23 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
Plait does it well, even on his website. He admits his mistakes and ruthlessly attacks those spreading false wisdom, even stopping for the easy mopping up of the common misconceptions. Anybody with a remote interest in astronomy would do well to obtain a copy of Bad Astronomy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lara on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much to my surprise, I already knew quite a few of the things the author touches on (yay, me) but this was a fun and interesting way to refresh my knowledge on things I haven't given much thought to since leaving high school, and add to the high-school level of stuff I did know.

Learning about some of the misconceptions out there was probably the most interesting part though. I had never even heard of the egg balancing theory covered in chapter one, and it is quite alarming to think there might be people out there who don't believe our Sun is a star, for example, but Plait explains these things in such a humorous, charming way that it is a pleasure to read his explanations even if you already know the science behind them. I must say that I enjoyed the chapter about the "big moon illusion" (the illusion that makes the Moon look larger near the horizon than it looks when it is directly overhead) the most, as this was something that has always puzzled me and I'd never been able to find a proper explanation for it before. But I was positively shocked to learn the truth about those companies that offer to name a star after your loved one (hint: it's a scam- tsk tsk!).

This is a book along the lines of Bad Science, so if you enjoyed that then give this one a shot. I love knowing that people like Ben Goldacre and Philip Plait exist, poised and ready to bust silly myths, and name and shame websites and media organisations that either couldn't be bothered to actually get things right, or are outright misleading and taking advantage of the ignorance of others. Plait's passion for astronomy and science really shines through this book and is quite frankly contagious: I would recommend this book for that reason alone.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F Henwood TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Philip Plait's book is an entertaining examination of common misunderstandings astronomical, along with witty debunks of the moon landing `hoax' and practitioners of pseudoscience like creationism. The best parts of the book are these very sections debunking the hoax moon landing conspiracy theories, and the fantastical pseudo-science of Velikovsky, along with astrology and creationism.

He refutes the photographic evidence for the moon landing hoax conspiracy with breezy ease (you cannot see stars in the pictures of astronauts because of the short exposure times required too take pictures, given the brightness of the moon's surface. So stars won't show up). Astrology of course is so vaguely formulated that it makes no predictions whatsoever to which it can be held, unlike proper scientific theories, which stand or fall on the theories it makes. Creationism makes use of existing science in order to knock away the foundations of actual science. It can sometimes assume the guise of real science but one thing it cannot do - like astrology- is to make predictions. See Jerry Coyne's excellent Why Evolution is True and also Simon Singh's Big Bang for a fuller discussion of this point.

As regards Velikovsky, his ideas are not so well known now, thought he still has his followers, and there's plenty of his sort of ilk out there. Velikovsky's theory that Venus was ejected from Jupiter as a comet, which passed a mere 1000 kilometers from Earth around 1500 BC. This is impossible. The energy required for Jupiter to have done such a thing would have destroyed Jupiter itself. If Venus had passed a mere 1000 kilometers from the Earth, then: `Imagine! A planet the size of the Earth passing just 1,000 kilometers ... terrifying ... Venus would fill the sky ...
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback