The Book of the Moon : A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor

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      Have you ever wondered if there are seasons on the moon or if space tourism will ever become commonplace? So has Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock. In fact, she earned her nickname “Lunatic� because of her deep fascination for all things lunar. In her lucidly written, comprehensive guide to the moon, Aderin-Pocock takes readers on a journey to our closest celestial neighbor, exploring folklore, facts, and future plans.     She begins with the basics, unpacking everything from the moon’s topography and composition to its formation and orbit around the Earth. She travels back in time to track humanity’s relationship with the moon — beliefs held by ancient civilizations, the technology that allowed for the first moon landing, a brief history of moongazing, and how the moon has influenced culture throughout the years — and then to the future, analyzing the pros and cons of continued space travel and exploration. Throughout the book are sidebars, graphs, and charts to enhance the facts as well as black-and-white illustrations of the moon and stars. The Book of the Moon will be published for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
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PW Reviews 2019 February #3

Astrophysicist Aderin-Pocock, host of the BBC astronomy show The Sky at Night, provides a wholly accessible, thoroughly enjoyable introduction to all things lunar. Aderon-Pocock opens with the moon's physical characteristics—it's only a "quarter of the diameter of our planet" yet still "bigger in comparison to the size of the planet it orbits" than any other moon in the solar system—before discussing various theories about its formation. She then shifts gears to survey the moon's influence on the "different cultures of the world," beginning with a bone found in Europe from 30,000 BC covered in markings that may represent a lunar calendar, and going on to discuss many poems and works of science fiction. The bulk of the book is devoted to answering the tongue-in-cheek question, "What's the moon ever done for us?" In Aderin-Pocock's answer, she encompasses not only the familiar phenomenon of tides, but their possible role in allowing the "chemicals of life to reproduce themselves" in tidal pools, and how the moon's influence over the earth's rotational speed continues to affect evolution. A "self-certified lunatic," Aderin-Pocock possesses a passion for her subject that comes through on every page of her breezily enjoyable look at the "almost spherical lump of rock" orbiting above everyone's heads. (Apr.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.