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Just Visiting This Planet

by Neil De Tyson

In a companion volume to Merlin's Tour of the Universe, here is a completely new collection of questions and answers about the cosmos for stargazers of all ages. Whether waxing about Earth and its environs, the Sun and its stellar siblings, the world of light, physical laws, or galaxies near and far, Merlin--a fictional visitor from Planet Omniscia--is easy to understand, often humorous, and always entertaining.Merlin fields a wide range of questions from many curious mortals, and in so doing draws on his own vast knowledge as well as the expertise of many close friends, including Archimedes, Galileo, Einstein, and Santa.So far, Merlin has not been stumped, responding to questions on mysteries such as: If aliens exploded our moon, what effect would it have on us? What are your thoughts on the theory that a star named Nemesis is circling our solar system and was responsible for killing off the dinosaurs? Is it true that if I leave a container on my roof for a period of time, I can actually collect space particles from outer space?Delightfully illustrated throughout, Just Visiting This Planet is a skywatcher's book for lovers of the universe by one of its brightest lights.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Merlin's Tour of the Universe

by Neil De Tyson

Merlin, a fictional visitor from the Andromeda Galaxy, Planet Omniscia, has been friends with many of the most important scientific figures of the past including Kepler, da Vinci, Magellan, Doppler, Einstein and Hubble. In this delightful tour of the galaxies, Merlin often recounts his conversations with these historical figures in his responses to popular astronomy questions asked by adults and children alike. Merlin's well-informed answers combine a unique combination of wit and poetry along with serious science explained in refreshingly clear, reader-friendly language.Dear Merlin: Can a person cross our galaxy in a spaceship during one human lifespan?Merlin: In 1905, Merlin's good friend Albert Einstein introduced the "Special Theory of Relativity," which predicts that time will tick slower and slower the faster you travel. Were you to embark on such an adventure you could conceivably age as little as you wish, depending of course, on your exact speed. The problem arises when you return to Earth, which will have moved several hundred thousand years into the future and everyone will have forgotten about you.A skywatcher's book for lovers of the universe by one of its greatest lights.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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