13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System
13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System
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Annotation: Profiles each of the planets in Earth's solar system, including Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Haumea, MakeMake, the sun, the Oort cloud, comets, and more.
Catalog Number: #4761074
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 60 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-426-30770-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-426-30770-6
Dewey: 523.2
LCCN: 2010032510
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Though the number of celestial objects regarded as planets has varied through the centuries, the rate of change has dramatically increased. Only three years after the publication of 11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System (2008), Aguilar offers an amended volume reflecting the findings of the International Astronomical Union, which currently classifies eight objects in the solar system as planets and, with the addition of Haumea and Makemake, five as dwarf planets. Although a great deal of the material is familiar from the previous book, Aguilar has not only added sections on Haumea and Makemake, he has also used this opportunity to rewrite portions of the text and captions throughout the book and, in some cases, to substitute new illustrations or improve old ones for the new volume. The result is a more readable, more accurate, and more handsome edition of the previous work.
Horn Book
In this useful volume, Aguilar explains the latest categorizations of planets in the solar system (currently considered to be eight planets and five dwarf planets), then profiles each, along with providing information about the sun and various other nearby bodies. Most of the crisp illustrations are color-enhanced photographic images or digital-looking artistic renderings. Basic planet stats are appended. Websites. Glos., ind.
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;6&12; Including remote Eris, Haumea, and Makemake in his count of major and dwarf planets, Aguilar tours the solar system from the Sun out to the Oort Cloud, highlighting such relatively recent discoveries as Saturn's "dark ring" and closing with a quick note about extrasolar planets. A claim that "occasionally a colossal meteorite strikes the Earth" seems likely to provoke unnecessary anxiety, and readers will struggle to draw anything meaningful from the statement that "billions of years from now, as our Sun begins its final days, new worlds among the stars may await our arrival." Furthermore, both Mercury and Jupiter's moon Callisto are designated as "the most heavily cratered object in our solar system," and recent observations have cast doubt on whether Eris is actually larger than Pluto, as claimed here. Alongside the volume's many excellent, large, sharply detailed space photos and paintings are provocatively posed smaller images of often scantily clad gods and goddesses representing their eponymous planets, which strike a dissonant note. Though the continuing flood of new knowledge about our solar neighborhood makes frequent updates a necessity, this one is problematic.&12; John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 60) and index.
Word Count: 6,738
Reading Level: 7.1
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.1 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 144040 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:10.6 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q59465
Lexile: 1120L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y
Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there were precisely seven planets: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, all apparently revolving around a solidly fixed Earth. And then about five centuries ago came Nicholas Copernicus, who invented the solar system. He said the Sun was really in the middle surrounded by six planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth (with Moon), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. It was truly the Sun’s system, with Earth now a spinning planet. It was all very simple and elegant.
Three centuries after Copernicus, things were no longer so simple. In 1781 another big planet, Uranus, was found, and then a lot of small ones were given names like Ceres, Astraea, Flora, Hygeia, and Kalliope. In 1846, still another big planet, Neptune, gained planetary status. By 1854 there were 41 planets, and astronomers cried “Enough!” So they all decided there were eight large planets, and the little guys weren’t really planets but minor planets.
Today astronomers know that the solar system is much more complex and interesting than anyone dreamed of in the 1850s. There are more than 130 natural satellites, and more are being discovered. One, Saturn’s Titan, is bigger than the planet Mercury. If Titan and our moon had independent orbits, they would qualify as planets. Astronomers now have orbits for nearly 500,000 minor planets, half of which have been assigned numbers, and about 15,000 of which have been given names. Almost all of them are irregularly-shaped rocks, but at least one, Ceres, is massive enough for its gravity to pull it into a sphere, so it is a dwarf planet. And there are the comets, hoards of them in the deep freeze beyond Neptune.
Occasionally some of these huge chunks of dirty ice get nudged into the inner parts of the solar system, where they thaw out and sprout long, beautiful tails. And a few of these ice balls are massive enough to pull themselves into spherical dwarf planets. Pluto is one of these, smaller than our moon. Makemake and Haumea are still smaller, while Eris is a little larger than Pluto. Three of these even have their own satellites. Undoubtedly more of these icy dwarf planets await discovery.
For now, there are eight classical planets and five dwarf planets, making thirteen!
--Dr. Owen Gingerich, Former Research Professor of Astronomy, Harvard and Astronomer Emeritus, Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory

Excerpted from 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

First, Pluto left. Then it came back, along with Ceres and Eris...and now Haumea and MakeMake, too! The recent actions of the International Astronomical Union have put every solar system book out of date. In response, National Geographic joins forces with David Aguilar of the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory to revise our 2008 book—and to update young readers on the high-interest topic of space. Using simple text and spectacular photorealistic computer art by the author, this book profiles all 13 planets in their newly created categories—plus the sun, the Oort Cloud, comets, and other worlds being discovered. Back-of-the-book activities offer hands-on fun for budding astronomers.

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