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Read e-book online Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from PDF

By Philip C. Plait

ISBN-10: 0471409766

ISBN-13: 9780471409762

«Bad Astronomy is simply simple stable! Philip Plait clears up each false impression on astronomy and area you by no means knew you suffered from.» --Stephen Maran, writer of Astronomy for Dummies and editor of The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia
«Thank the cosmos for the package of celebrity stuff named Philip Plait, who's the area s prime buyer suggest for caliber technological know-how in house and in the world. this crucial contribution to technology will relaxation firmly on my reference library shelf, prepared for simple entry the subsequent time an astrologer calls.» --Dr. Michael Shermer, writer of Skeptic journal, per 30 days columnist for medical American, and writer of The Borderlands of Science
«Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative, invaluable, and exciting ebook. undesirable Astronomy is nice technological know-how. excellent science...» --James «The notable» Randi, President, James Randi academic beginning, and writer of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
«Bad Astronomy is a enjoyable learn. Plait is splendidly witty and academic as he debunks the myths, legends, and conspiracies that abound in our society. in reality in the market and its during this publication. I enjoyed it!» --Mike Mullane, area go back and forth astronaut and writer of Do Your Ears Pop in area?

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

Sample text

Clearly (2) is a much better way to ex press my height. An Angstrom is a truly dinky unit: 100 million of them would fit across a single centimeter. Angstroms are used to measure the sizes of atoms and the wavelengths of light, and they are too awkward to use for anything else. The point is that you can make things easy on yourself if you change your unit to something appropriate for the distances involved. In astronomy there aren't too many units that big! But there is one that's pretty convenient.

Sometimes the far side is the dark side, but it's also sometimes the bright side. It just depends on when you look. One of the best selling music albums of all time is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It may be popular, but astronomically it's in eclipse. Incidentally, at the end of that album there is a quiet voiceover: "There is no dark side of the moon. " In a sense that line is correct: the Moon is actually very dark, only reflecting less than 10 percent of the sunlight that hits it. That makes it about as dark as slate!

But that day is not yet here. We're still stuck here on the Earth, more or less, and the only way we can see distant vistas is either vicariously through the eye of the telescope or through the eye of a movie director. One of those eyes, perhaps, is a bit more clearly focused than the other. Despite my childhood yearnings, as an adult I can wish that movies did a better job of portraying astronomy (and astronomers) to the public. The movies may be inspiring, which is their most important job as far as I'm concerned, but there is a downside to the bad astronomy.

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Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" by Philip C. Plait

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