Synopses & Reviews
Orbiting at the edge of the outer Solar System, Pluto is an intriguing object in astronomy. Since the fascinating events surrounding its discovery, it has helped increase our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System, and raised questions about the nature and benefits of scientific classification. This is a timely and exciting account of Pluto and its satellites. The author uses Pluto as a case study to discuss discovery in astronomy, how remote astronomical bodies are investigated, and the role of classification in science by discussing Pluto's recent classification as a dwarf planet. Besides Pluto, the book also explores the rich assortment of bodies that constitute the Edgeworth Kuiper Belt, of which Pluto is the innermost member. Richly illustrated, this text is written for general readers, amateur astronomers and students alike. Boxed text provides more advanced information especially for readers who wish to delve deeper into the subject.
"The recent debate over Pluto's status as a planet has spurred a small flurry of books about the coldest, most distant, loneliest, and strangest official outpost of our solar system. Jones, emeritus professor of astronomy in London's Open University, delivers a detailed, matter-of-fact, and thoroughly accessible look at Pluto's origins, its history, and what it can tell us about our solar system--especially its outer reaches. Pluto's oblong shape and unusual orbit (highly elongated and tilted much farther out of the solar system than other planets) marked it as an outsider from the start. Now no longer considered a planet, it proudly stands as the first in the class of trans-Neptunian objects named for it: 'plutino.' The author writes in a clear, matter-of-fact style, including sidebars on related subjects from Kepler's laws of planetary motion to calculating a planet's surface temperature using nothing more complex than high school algebra. Jones's thorough approach offers popular science readers pretty much everything known about mysterious Pluto until the New Horizons spacecraft makes its rendezvous with Pluto in 2015. Photos and illus. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Richly illustrated and up-to-date, this book is a timely account of Pluto for general readers, amateur astronomers and students alike.