The sun’s family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. Sobel explores the planets’ origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. A perfect gift and a captivating journey, The Planets is a gorgeously illustrated study of our place in the universe that will mesmerize everyone who has ever gazed with awe at our night sky.
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The portion on Mars is narrated from the point of view of a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica (“Of the twenty-eight Martian meteorites definitively identified to date, I am by far the most ancient,” it explains.) Sobel continues with coverage on gigantic Jupiter, ringed Saturn, the team of Ur...| Read Full Review of The Planets
Sobel, in a brief preface recalling her earliest infatuation with the planets, describes a class play in which a student twirling two Hula-Hoops played Saturn and she appeared as the Lonely Planet.Oct 19 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
For instance the chapter devoted to Venus looks at the role the planet has played in poetry, whereas the chapter on Uranus and Neptune is written in the form of a long letter by Caroline Herschel, the sister of the discoverer of Uranus and predictor of the existence of Neptune.Aug 24 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
Fundamentally, the discussion of the formation and development of each body helps the reader to understand why our own planet became and remained conducive to life and yet this did not occur on other planets.Aug 23 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
The chapter on Pluto includes one of the handful of enjoyable anecdotes connected to Sobel, which touches lightly on the idea of aliens - not extra terrestrials, but Sobel's forbears who arrive in America.Aug 23 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
The Planets by Dava Sobel 270pp, Fourth Estate, £15 Following the success of her best-selling book Longitude, Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, has turned her attention to the planets, and has produced an account of the main members of the solar system.Sep 03 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
Writing in quite a different mode than in her best-selling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel offers intimate essays inspired by the planets in our solar system, which she describes as "an assortment of magic beans or precious gems in a little private cabinet of wonder—portable, evocative,...Jul 25 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
It tackles its subjects with enthusiasm (sometimes too much enthusiasm), marching from Mercury to Pluto and beyond.At times lyrical, at times somber, Sobel delivers the bare facts about the planets, often noting the dissonance between astrology's romance and astronomy's reality.Venus, for example...| Read Full Review of The Planets
Tell me about one of the first blogs you first started reading...Jul 24 2007 | Read Full Review of The Planets
ISBN: 0670034460 "With a captivating mix of erudition and whimsy, she shows how the planets are repositories of meaning—not only for the ancient Mayans who worshipped (and later offered blood sacrifices to) Venus, or the Renaissance thinkers who overturned an Earth-centered universe, but for an...Aug 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The Planets
(Sobel writes in the book’s acknowledgments that she was inspired in part to write this book when her agent asked her to explain the difference between the solar system and the Milky Way.) However, for someone curious but not knowledgeable about the solar system, and less likely to be impressed b...Dec 19 2005 | Read Full Review of The Planets
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