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Worlds Apart: A Textbook in Planetary Sciences Paperback – Facsimile, 30 Mar 1994

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent textbook for undergraduate or advanced student. 21 April 1999
By Guy McArthur - Published on
Format: Paperback
Planetary sciences is an incredibly exciting field, all the more so because we are visiting these places. Most astronomy texts give an extensive tour of the solar system, but Worlds Apart does much more. It concisely explains fundamental concepts in geology, chemistry, physics and astronomy as they (directly) relate to the subject. This book does so in a very clear, very engaging and understandable manner. This emphasis on the underlying science keeps it very much in date. The student will learn how the planets work, not merely what they look like, and along the way seamlessly learn fundamental scientific principles. Equations are few and do not require a knowledge of calculus.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"And the stars and the planets in their courses..." 17 May 2010
By W. Staples - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A number of books purported to be on planetology are best described as "coffee table" books. Typically, they have beautiful color pictures of the various planets and their moons sent back by probes with a bit of text glowingly and fleetingly telling the latest thinking on these bodies. Well and good. I have several holding down my bookshelves and enjoy them greatly. Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J. and Martha W. Schaefer's "Worlds Apart: A Textbook in planetary Sciences" is a different sort of cat. Rather than a book for the holding down of furniture, this is a working book. The pictures are black and white and so is the writing. The authors tell you how geology's little brother, planetology, works and teaches you how to crunch the numbers so you can figure it out for yourself.

Throughout the book are the formulae for working out the motions of the heavenly bodies and such interesting activities as heat flow and the dynamics of gases. An earlier reviewer remarked that calculus was unnecessary with this work which is why, I suppose, a section entitled "A Review of Calculus" appears on pages 156 through 158. Fear not, liberal arts majors! The section is the simplest explanation of that descriptive art I've read.

Speaking of my fellows in the arts, if one plans to write decent science fiction, this is one of the books that will keep you from looking like an utter dullard. Like writing, good science fiction is the art of knowing when to bend, break, or spindle the rules--but one needs to know the rules first. Consolmagno and Schaefer will teach you the rules.

It is because of this book that I find myself once again working my way through math (see "Finger Counting for Dummies").
Three Stars 15 May 2015
By Vividian - Published on
Format: Paperback
Very out of date now, but had some interesting aspects to it.
Five Stars 26 Mar. 2015
By Newton M. Campos Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice. Quick delivery.
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