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Bad Astronomy : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax"

Bad Astronomy : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0471409762

Cover of Bad Astronomy : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" 02 (ISBN 978-0471409762)
ISBN13: 978-0471409762
ISBN10: 0471409766
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Published: 2002
International: No

List price: $15.95

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Bad Astronomy : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0471409762

Philip C. Plait

ISBN13: 978-0471409762
ISBN10: 0471409766
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Published: 2002
International: No
Summary

A clever, thought-provoking guide that attacks common astronomical misconceptions.

What is Bad Astronomy? Anything that accidentally or intentionally mangles the basic principles of astronomy. And who is on the lookout for good examples of Bad Astronomy? The Bad Astronomer, of course, a/k/a professional astronomer Phil Plait. In Bad Astronomy, Plait clears up misconceptions and malarkey relating to our Earth, moon, and the wider Universe. Ranging from commonly misunderstood notions such as why the sky is blue and the reason we have seasons, to large-scale shenanigans such as the so-called moon landing hoax and UFO sightings, Bad Astronomy wipes the stardust from readers' eyes to reveal just how the Universe works. Not only does Plait clearly explain the principles behind major concepts like the Big Bang, he leads readers to understand basics such as what makes the Moon look big when it rises and why the planets -- and astrology-- cannot directly influence our lives. Here is a fascinating and enlightening read for amateurs and experts alike. Bad Astronomy is the first volume in Wiley's "Bad Science" series; forthcoming titles will look at common misconceptions related to biology, weather, and the Earth.

Author Bio

Plait, Philip C. : Sonoma State University

PHILIP PLAIT, Ph.D., works in the physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State University in California. He maintains the Web site badastronomy.com and writes monthly articles on astronomy for the German newspaper Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His work has appeared in the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future and Astronomy magazine. He also writes a monthly column for astronomy.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction.


PART I: Bad Astronomy Begins at Home.

1. The Yolk's on You: Egg Balancing and the Equinox.

2. Flushed with Embarrassment: The Coriolis Effect and Your Bathroom.

3. Idiom's Delight: Bad Astronomy in Everyday Language.


PART II: From the Earth to the Moon.

4. Blue Skies Smiling at Me: Why the Sky Is Blue.

5. A Dash of Seasons: Why Summer Turns to Fall.

6. Phase the Nation: The Moon's Changing Face.

7. The Gravity of the Situation: The Moon and the Tides.

8. The Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie: The Big Moon Illusion.

PART III: Skies at Night Are Big and Bright.

9. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: Why Stars Appear to Twinkle.

10. Star Light, Star White: Stars of Many Colors.

11. Well, Well: The Difficulty of Daylight Star Sighting.

12. The Brightest Star: Polaris-Just Another Face in the Crowd.

13. Shadows in the Sky: Eclipses and Sun-Watching.

14. The Disaster that Wasn't: The Great Planetary Alignment of 2000.

15. Meteors, Meteoroids, and Meteorites, Oh My!: The Impact of Meteors and Asteroids.

16. When the Universe Throws You a Curve: Misunderstanding the Beginning of It All.


PART IV: Artificial Intelligence.


17. Appalled at Apollo: Uncovering the Moon-Landing Hoax.

18. Worlds in Derision: Velikovsky vs. Modern Science.

19. In the Beginning: Creationism and Astronomy.

20. Misidentified Flying Objects: UFOs and Illusions of the Mind and Eye.

21. Mars Is in the Seventh House, But Venus Has Left the Building: Why Astrology Doesn't Work.


PART V: Beam Me Up.


22. Hubble Trouble: Hubble Space Telescope Misconceptions.

23. Star Hustlers: Star Naming for Dummies.

24. Bad Astronomy Goes Hollywood: The Top-Ten Examples of Bad Astronomy in Major Motion Pictures.



Recommended Reading.
Acknowledgments.
Index.

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