By Philip C. Plait

Encouraged via his renowned site,, this primary e-book via Plait (astronomy, Sonoma country Univ.) debunks well known myths and misconceptions when it comes to astronomy and promotes technological know-how as a way of explaining our mysterious heavens. The paintings describes 24 universal astronomical fallacies, together with the ideals that the Coriolis impression determines the course that water drains in a tub and that planetary alignments may cause catastrophe in the world. the writer sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and alien craft sightings and explains the rules in the back of simple common innovations (the great Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). notwithstanding a few may well locate him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly simply because his transparent and comprehensible reasons are convincing and sincere. this primary quantity in Wileys «Bad technology» sequence is suggested for all libraries, particularly astronomy and folklore collections.

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He’d probably say: “Hey! I’ve been dead 350 years! ”) But there’s a downside to Kepler’s elliptical orbits; they play with our common sense and allow us to jump to the wrong conclusions. We know that planets, including our own, orbit the Sun in these oval paths, so we know that sometimes we’re closer to the Sun than at other times. We also know that distance plays a role in the heat we feel. We therefore come to the logical conclusion that the seasons are caused by our changing distance from the Sun.

Under those conditions it’s not surprising that the colors may get a little distorted. As was mentioned before, at sunrise and sunset the Sun can look remarkably red, orange, or yellow, depending on the amount of junk in the air. Also, the light is heavily filtered by the air, making the Sun look dim enough to be bearable to look at. So the only time of day we can clearly see the Sun is when it’s low in the sky, which, not so coincidentally, is also when it looks yellowish or red. This may also play a part in the perceived color of the Sun.

They come up with a product so revolutionary that it leaves the others in the dust. It’s more than light-years ahead, it’s a whole new product. How to describe it? Sometimes they say it’s a “quantum leap” ahead of the others. But how big a leap is that, really? The nature of matter has been a mystery for thousands of years (and really, it still is). Contrary to our modern bias that ancient 34 BAD ASTRONOMY BEGINS AT HOME people were not as smart as we are now, the ancient Greeks theorized about the existence of atoms.

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