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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Planet Fantastic!, 19 Jan 2010
By 
Rosey Lea (london, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book charts the ongoing search for Planet X (the mystery planet in our solar system that science proves exists, just can't physically find!), and within that search the story of Pluto's discovery and dethronement.

It's a fascinating read, with the excitement of discovery and adventure permeating from the pages. The few basic astronomy concepts raised are explained so clearly and concisely that they're very easy to grasp, and don't hinder the journey in anyway.

The layout of the book is also lovely. Clear type, many colour photos, and heavy glossy paper. It's a joy to hold as well as read.

Easily one of the best `accessible' science/astronomy books I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt for Planet X...Found!, 19 Aug 2011
'The Hunt for Planet X' was the book that made my interest in KBOs move from 'passing' to 'extensive'. The title itself is a little more limited than the actual book; the book its more of a history of the highlights of Solar System discoveries over the last two centuries. It begins with the discovery of Uranus, and the unfortunate effect that had on the builder of a Dutch orrery. (Read the book. It would take me too long to explain.) The controversial discovery of Neptune is covered, and the discovery of Pluto. Although these sections are well written, they aren't really anything that hasn't been covered before.

Where this book shines is where it goes beyond this. The discoveries of Pluto's second and third moons, Nix and Hydra, are covered in detail, and the thus far failed search for 'vulcanoid' asteroids, within the orbit of Mercury. Then the exploration of the Kuiper Belt truly begins, from the discovery of Quaoar to that of Eris and Dysnomia, a body bigger than Pluto; which finally brought to a head the decision to limit the Solar System to eight 'planets'.

This is an excellent general overview of the Outer Solar System for the layman. (Which includes me, so I'm happy!) The writer, Govert Schilling, manages to involve the reader in the ongoing narrative of discovery, as well as the all too human rivalries and controversies that ensued. The book is a gripping and engaging tale, as all good histories should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Pluto really Planet X, 11 Sep 2010
By 
Philip Corneille (BELGIUM & CROATIA) - See all my reviews
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Dutch science journalist Govert Schilling has created (yet another) superb book on astronomy.
The hunt for planet X is a detailed overview of the discoveries and events that lead to the demotion of Pluto as a planet. Since August 2006, Pluto is a dwarf planet.
The story starts with the discoveries of the gas giants Uranus (1781), the first asteroids (1801) and Neptune (1846). The search by Percival Lowell and Vesto Slipher to find the tenth planet, which was finally discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. The story continues with the discoveries of Pluto's moons, the first large Kuiper Belt Object (1992) and Eris (2005), an icy world which is larger then Pluto and orbits our Sun every 557 years. Towards the end the book looks forward to the New Horizons mission, which will flyby Pluto-Charon in July 2015.
As science is practiced by people, the book provides a view behind the scenes of the life of astronomers, illustrated with superb color photos courtesy of many scientists such as John Anderson, Mike Brown, Marc Buie, Robin Canup, Jim Christy, Charles Kowal, Max Mutchler, David Rabinowitz, Chad Trujillo, Alan Stern, etc...
The quality of the book with glossy pages is superb, reads as a detective story and it's probably the best accessible astronomical science book of the First decade of this 21st century!

Philip Corneille
Belgium/Croatia
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5.0 out of 5 stars Planet X, 16 Aug 2010
By 
J. Livsey (Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Best book I have ever read. Well. If you are interested in the history of how and when the minor planets beyond Saturn were discovered, then this is an unmissable book. Very well written. I took it on holiday with me and struggled to read it slowly, to make it last.

The book starts with the people in the 1800s who were discovering the rocks that made up the missing planet between Mars and Jupiter. Then goes on to discuss the more recent discoveries of orbiting lumps of ice and rock in the general area of Pluto, the Kuiper belt. This book talks about the competing teams who were racing to confirm new objects and their orbits. The hunt continues today, though the book concludes with the new generation of large telescopes that will be able to look further and in more detail than the planet hunters of even thirty years ago could have imagined.
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The Hunt for Planet X
The Hunt for Planet X by Govert Schilling (Paperback - 6 Dec 2010)
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