Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond

National Geographic, dist. by Random. 2012. c.336p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781426209710. $50. REF
OrangeReviewStarThis is a stunningly beautiful and informative guide to the planets, stars, and beyond. Chapters on "The Solar System," "The Galaxy," "The Universe," and "Mysteries," accompanied by full-color photographs, computer graphics, and other illustrations, will entice readers to learn about what is beyond our world. Many topics are covered in a spread each, while some subjects—the birth of the solar system, for example—have several spreads devoted to them. Brief biographies credit and introduce scientists who made important discoveries—for example, one profile discusses Edwin Hubble, a scientist who transformed human understanding of the universe and who was also an outstanding athlete, choosing science over a career as a professional boxer. The finding aids and other extras in this guide make it highly user friendly. These include a table of facts about the planets with information about the planetary satellites alphabetically arranged under each planet heading; facts about notable deep-sky objects—the stars, star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, etc. found beyond our solar system; a list of map terms—e.g., corona (singular) coronae (plural) meaning an ovoid feature; and a general index that has the page numbers of illustrations and the biographies of pertinent scientists bolded.
VERDICT A gorgeous, fact-filled must for reference sections.

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