I don't usually do book reviews, actually this is the first post I've done with "Book Review" in the title, but every once in a while a book comes along that I think my readers , who might not be in the market for a book about space would enjoy.
What caught my attention about this book, besides the freaky cool eye on the cover and the fact that the words "Planet X" and "Pluto" are in the same title, is, as I was reading it that it is very accessible to the average person on the street, it is a bunch of little stories personalizing our solar system in easy to understand language. It is a book about how our solar system came to be, how astronomers and planetary scientists go about discovering the next new planet. It has drama, complete with the human factor, egos, personalities, foul play even thievery come into play in the rush to be the first discoverer of the next "Planet X", the next yet undiscovered planet.
It is a book rich in history, for example you'll learn of a German astronomer being the son of a convicted witch, if you happen to know who this astronomer is, the first person commenting with the name of gets a free pair of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.
It also has a very high PTPR, or as I like to call, Picture To Print Ratio, meaning it has lots of pictures, I like pictures, this book has it's fair share, also it has glossy pages, now that might not be a criteria for you when buying a book, but the glossiness brings out the beautiful illustrations nicely and makes you feel like you're holding a quality book.
You'll also read about the theory how "Planet X" may have a part in the 2012 destruction of our planet as well as a possible "Death Star", a companion Red dwarf star to our Sun in the far reaches of our solar system chucking mass extinction comets at us every 26 million years or so.
Pluto, I have always thought the demotion of Pluto from planet status to whatever it is called now a farce. The book goes into the whys and wherefores of the decision to demote, but in the end, in Bobland it will always be a planet.
In one week back in August 2006 the IAU went from 9 to 12 then down to 8 planets, just goes to show you the uncertainty of what to do with little Pluto.
I say, you know what, Pluto may not meet all the new criteria developed by the intellectual elite for remaining a planet, but Damn the torpedoes, let's make an exception to the new rules and keep Pluto with full planetary status, has the science of astronomy become totally void of emotion and compassion?
At least we have the state of Illinois, they have restored Pluto's planetary status, at least for the their "Pluto Day". If you want to make your voice heard you can head over to The Pluto Petition web site and cast your vote.
Overall, freelance astronomy writer Govert Schilling did a great job of bringing the solar system to the masses in well written easy to understand shorts packed full of adventure and intrigue.
I'll leave you now with my latest Lunar image animated.