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THE PLANETS: An Ideal Coffee Table Book

by Samantha Follenstee

Giles Sparrow brings us the ideal coffee table book, entitled "THE PLANETS:  A Journey Through the Solar System".

Have guests sitting in your lounge, waiting for you while you make the coffee in the kitchen, looking for a book on your coffee table to flip through?  Well, once they're done with your photo albums, they may also like to start on this book. 

This book is illustrated with 180 spectacular images.  Aside from a few pages with more text, almost all the pages look like this:

It has a beautiful large photograph of a planet or a planet landscape or a heavenly body, with just enough information about it at the bottom of the page, including the distance from the Sun or other planet, and some text description or history about it. 

The page on the right in the above photo for example shows a photo of a heavenly body, with this underneath it: "Heperion.  Length: 370 km.  Icy Natural Satellite.  1.48 million km from Saturn.  Beyond Titan lies the bizarre and beautiful moon Hyperion.  Its irregular shape and unpredictable rotation indicate that is is the vestige of a larger moon that once suffered a catastrophic collision.  however, Hyperion's strangely sponge-like surface, which in places resembles an impact frozen in 'mid-splash', still largely defies explanation.

A few other pages have more text about space and the planets. 

Giles Sparrow who is responsible for bringing us this book, studied astronomy at University College London, and Science Communication at Imperial college.  He has acted as consultant and ctonributor on numerous science books.  He is the author of "The Universe and How to See It" and "Cosmos". 

Here is the description from the book jacket:

Travelling outwards from the Sun, every planet is visited on a journey that takes us a full light year into space, to the very fringers of the Solar System. 

Includes 180 fully up-to-date and strikingly beautiful images. 

A captivating introduction to the wonders of our Solar System. 

To get yourself "THE PLANETS:  A Journey Through The Solar System", it is for sale here. Published by Quercus.

Suggestion for improving: Some of the photos seem very cropped and kind of makes one lose the context. Might help to have every planet and its location in the solar system somewhere in a small reference picture with every photo perhaps.


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