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Why is Uranus Upside Down?: And Other Questions About the Universe [Abridged, Audiobook, Box set, Illustrated, Large Print] [Paperback]

Fred Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Aug 2008
Ever wondered what dark matter is or why galaxies collide? Or why the Moon is gradually drifting away from Earth? Space is really, really big, as Douglas Adams once pointed out, and there is no better guide to it than Fred Watson, who answers one hundred questions on astronomy, such as: • Does the Earth wobble? • How do we know there is dark matter? • Do collisions of galaxies happen today? • What makes planets round? • Where is the nearest black hole? • Are there other universes? • How do we measure light years? This highly entertaining and informative introduction to our planet and the universe we live in is a must-read for science-lovers and enquiring minds of all ages.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (4 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840246871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840246872
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,168,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A star turn: Astronomer Fred Watson sheds light on tricky questions about the universe. Ever wondered why stars twinkle, when the sun will stop burning or what there was before the Big Bang? If so, a new book by leading astonomer Fred Watson, is the perfect summer read for you ... [the book] answers those questions and many more in concise, plain English with more than a smattering of wit." -- SCOTTISH DAILY RECORD, July 28, 2008

'And other questions you might well ask including does the earth wobble and where is the nearest black hole'
-- The Bookseller, 2 April 2008

'Funny enough to appeal to most laymen... Watson takes the dryness out of astronomy and makes it a fun and exciting subject" -- THE GUARDIAN AND ADVERTISER, July 31, 2008

'The leading astronomer author has an asteroid named after him I'm told.' -- THE BOOKSELLER, Popular Science, Recommended Books Preview, May 2, 2008

'a quirky and witty book explaining some of the theories about the universe'
-- Publishing News, June 20, 2008

'a quirky and witty book explaining some of the theories about the universe.' -- PUBLISHING NEWS, Popular Science Recommended Books Preview June 20, 2008

'his erudition lightly worn and wittily displayed in an entertaining and delightfully offbeat guide.' -- THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE, October 2008

'intrigued by what goes on in outer space, fancy knowing more about stargazing... then this book is for you'
-- The Latest 7, August 26, 2008

`Watson clearly knows his stuff and writes with wit and clarity. I learnt some fun things I did not know.'
-- BBC Focus, August 2008

`a delightful and eminently readable book.'
-- Physics World, December 2008

Review

'intrigued by what goes on in outer space, fancy knowing more about stargazing... then this book is for you'

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic astronomy book 16 May 2012
By Zero-G
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic! The author is very clear in his explanation of astronomical/physics concepts and his use of humour really helps to make this both an engaging and informative read - by the time I had finished I felt I had learned a lot. The book's structure is atypical in that it follows a Q&A format -in fact the book is effectively a compilation of all the best questions the author was asked on his long running astronomy radio show. The questions are organised sensibly into themed chapters (with everything being well indexed) and together they provide a fairly comprehensive coverage of the most popular areas of astronomy. The fact that each question is answered in such a way that you don't need to read the entire book (or even chapter) is appealing as it means you can get a quick, self contained answer if that's what you want.

In a word, recommended.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring reading 31 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
Unless you're extremely interested in the Australian government's spending on national astronomy, I'd urge you to skip this book. The contents seem to suggest some sort of cohesion, but when you get to the actual chapters you'll find that random chunks of (occasionally useless) information are stringed together in a not very organised whole. One of the problems is that it has a Q&A format, so rather than opting for a narrative of some sort, the author has decided on answering random questions from his listeners.

The whole of chapter one is the history of the author's involvement in broadcasting in Australia; whereas other science books will tell you about Copernicus and Kepler, this one's preoccupation is with the author's autobiography. Why wasn't this put in a Preface so we could all just skip it??

Unfortunately, the next chapter is no less irrelevant. `Stargazing: astronomy, telescopes and observatories' has a couple of useful and technically detailed answers to questions such as `What's the best telescope to buy?' or `Are binoculars useful for stargazing?' But then there are also extremely detailed answers to questions about observatories which deal with the Australian government's funding for observatories and projects and which span many pages. Then there are equally uninspiring answers to questions such as `What does the `Anglo' in Anglo-Australian Observatory stand for?' together with the whole history and set up of the observatory. Discussions of other Aussie observatories follow. There are also questions such as: What's the ratio of female to male astronomers? Did the author mix this book up with '50 Top Spots to Meet Mr Right'?
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