Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Planets

The Planets
The Planets by Dava Sobel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Filled with snippets of poetry, the Planets is a amorous ode to the local heavenly neighborhood. The book includes chapters on the Sun and the Moon. Both were previously considered to be planets until Copernicus promoted the Sun to the king of the solar system sitting on its throne in the center of its kingdom and demoted the Moon to a simple satellite circling the Earth. Our home world thus became just another one of the planets, so it also has a chapter in the book. Pluto which is no longer considered a full-fledged planet is covered in the penultimate chapter that discusses trans-Neptunian objects as well as those other non-planets, the asteroids. The chapters start with the Sun and move outward from there with each chapter covering a loosely related topic such as mythology, astrology, and music.

I have previously read Longitude and Galileo's Daughter by this author, and I enjoyed reading those two books. While I also enjoyed this book, I think that I prefer my popular science books to have less of a romantic vibe.

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