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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing - buy it now!, 3 May 2011
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This review is from: Patrick Moore's Data Book of Astronomy (Hardcover)
This monumental work is the latest incarnation of a book that was first published some fifty years ago now, and is the first edition to appear in the last ten. In this time astronomy and planetary science have advanced enormously, so it is no surprise to discover that the text has been updated and even in some cases extensively added to and revamped, to take into account the discoveries of recent unmanned missions to the sun, moon and planets( as far as the end of 2010 ) , not to mention such recent cutting edge topics as extrasolar planets, dark matter and dark energy.

The range and depth of material collected together in this work can best be gauged by surveying some of the very generous helping of pages provided for inspection by Amazon, typically several for most chapters in the book. You will see there that in addition to extensive tables of numerical data, each chapter has a very readable text, divided into logical sections, and so can be read for entertainment and pleasure, as well as being consulted for that odd obscure fact that might take much longer to track down through, say, Google.

This book is quite simply the most extensive and comprehensive compendium of general astronomical data that I am aware of in book form, as well as being a damn good read too. Anyone with a serious interest in astronomy - and certainly any astronomical quiz buffs out there - should invest in a copy immediately.

No work is perfect, but in this case any recommendation for improvements will be little more than a quibble. One that I might suggest however is that in a future edition a couple of pages might be devoted to listing astronomical symbols and abbreviations; this is the only real omission that immediately occurs to me, and in light of the vast treasure trove of other information presented, I hesitate to mention it. As I said, only a quibble!
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