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Jumat, 30 Maret 2012

Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond - Book review

Exploring the Solar System

By: Peter Bond

Published: March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback, 470 pages
ISBN-10: 1405134992
ISBN-13: 978-1405134996
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

"This book is about a unique corner of the Universe, a small expanse of largely empty space that surrounds an ordinary star in the suburbs of the Milky Way galaxy. Known as the Solar System, this region is populated by the Sun, eight planets, dozens of satellites and dwarf planets, an multitude of smaller objects", writes lifelong space and astronomy enthusiast and former Space Science Advisor/Press Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society, Peter Bond, in his very authoritative and engaging book Exploring the Solar System. The author describes the latest discoveries in the Solar System, including up to date information on the planets, satellites, moons, and smaller space debris that orbit the Sun.

Peter Bond understands that technical language and a heavy use of mathematical equations reduce the approachability to the fascinating worlds of the Solar System. Instead of mathematics and high-tech writing, the author provides an understandable, but not simplistic outline of the wonders of our closest neighbors in space. Peter Bond offers a very readable introduction to the Solar System, that relies more on photographs and visual graphics than on text. For students in non-science courses, or for the general public, this is an excellent primer on the exciting topic of space. The many weird and intriguing planets, moons, and other Solar System objects are brought to life in this fine book.

Peter Bond (photo left|) recognizes the necessity of a balance between technical information and general understanding of the Sun's large family. As a result, the author has created a book that is both interesting and inspiring to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the objects in the night sky. Peter Bond guides the reader through a voyage through the Solar System, with a chapter on each of the major planets, the Kuiper Belt, the asteroids and comets, and the exoplanets. The author brings the latest discoveries to life, as he presents the newest research, telescope, and interplanetary probe findings, in a logical and understandable format.

Included in the book are photographs from the various robotic space probes, providing visual images of towering cliffs, volcanoes during eruption, dry river beds, and ice formations on other planets and moons. All of the planers and all of their important moons are included in the study, offering a unique insight into the many mysteries and revelations about the nature of the Solar System, its central star, and the planet Earth and our own Moon.

For me, the power of the book is how Peter Bond presents so much important information in an accessible and reader friendly format. The chapters are arranged logically, and provide a virtual tour of the Solar System as if the reader were aboard one of the many robotic spacecraft. At the end of each chapter are questions about the material provided within the chapter, creating a valuable text book for undergraduate students in all disciplines; even those with little scientific content. The author also completes the book with valuable data tables for the more advanced student or reader. There is also an extensive bibliography to facilitate further in depth study of each of the members of the Solar System.

I highly recommend the accessible and very informative book Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond, to undergraduate students in science or in non-science related fields, and anyone in the general public seeking an understandable yet comprehensive overview of the Solar System. This book provides the up to the minute information about the Sun's family that will enrich your understanding of science in general, and outer space in particular.

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