A Question & Answer Guide To Astronomy

Pierre-Yves Bely, Carol Christian 
and Jean-René Roy
Cambridge University Press
Q&A Guide To Astronomy

Have you ever asked yourself ‘What makes the stars shine?’ Perhaps you’ve spent time picking over such conundrums as ‘What are Saturn’s rings made of?’ and ‘Can anything escape from a black hole?’ If so, you’ll be delighted to know that these questions and more besides have been answered by a trio of respected astronomers.

A Question & Answer Guide to Astronomy is a highly entertaining reference book. It provides explanations for 250 questions, conveniently grouped in 10 sections. These cover topics ranging from the subject’s historical origins – ‘How could the ancient astronomers predict eclipses?’ – to current developments in cosmology. The answer to ‘If we cannot see dark matter, how do we know that it exists?’ is a great primer for getting to grips with this mystery. There are also sections on amateur astronomy and life in the Universe.

The authors don’t gloss over the underlying scientific principles and it’s clearly written, using non-technical language. All the pages are also illustrated with full-colour diagrams and photos. The use of cross-referencing might well tempt you to cherry-pick particular sections, but you’ll find the whole text a fascinating journey. We highly recommend it to anyone, from the merely curious to students of astronomy.

Nigel Marshall is the chief examiner 
for GCSE Astronomy

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