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Die Planeten (2005)

von Dava Sobel

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1,781488,082 (3.47)81
The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. With her gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story, Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.--From publisher description.… (mehr)
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An interesting experiment in writing style, but not one that pays off.

Everything in here becomes so fragmented that it is impossible to read and comprehend it unless you already know nearly as much as the author. It's not a text, it's a mnemonic. To learn that maps were for some time printed with 'Halleyan lines' (p89) is all very well, but it presupposes a knowledge of Halley, magnetic variation and the longitude problem. At most, some of these snippets might make one think, 'Oh yes, this connects to that, how interesting', but it only works if you've already read a (rather clearer) book that explained both.

To read (p153) that Jupiter's "diameter expanded at a fraction of the rates at which its mass and volume increased" is somehow connected to Jupiter's behaviour in somehow "compacting itself", rather than the volume being the inevitable behaviour of a cube law – that alone took a star off the rating. That's the writing of someone who either isn't truly at ease with maths, or is just being sloppy with the review editing. From that halfway point, this switched from a mindless read of something unchallenging into a slog to get to the end so that I could get rid of the book. But not even to pass it on to anyone, just to dump it in the charity bin. ( )
  Andy_Dingley | Feb 6, 2022 |
An interesting presentation of the information. Sobel uses poetry, mythology, and an imagined letter, among other things, to convey information about the planets. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
2014 (my comments on being underwhelmed can be found on the LibraryThing page linked)
https://www.librarything.com/topic/172769#4792852 ( )
  dchaikin | Sep 21, 2020 |
This is a nice pleasant book to read, but I don't think it is the author's best. I found Longitude and Galileo's Daughter to be better books overall. Part of the reason that I did not think as much of the book is the chapter on Uranus and Neptune where she uses a long letter as the way to carry the chapter narrative. The conceit went on for way too long to the point that I just skimmed it. Compared to the other chapters, the narrative on that chapter slowed the book down. For example, the chapter using the point of view of a small meteorite fragment to illuminate a planet's history was pretty creative, but it was also concise. However, in spite of some shortcomings, the book overall is worth reading. You will learn about the planets and the solar system in terms of the science, the history, and the popular culture. You get a nice journey through time from the ancients' view of the planets and stars to today's astronomers using the latest and best telescopes; you also get to learn about the various unmanned probes we have sent into space and what they have accomplished. And you get it all in a nice, small, easy to read book.

If you like Sobel's previous works, you will probably enjoy this book as well. If you enjoy microhistory books in general, then you will enjoy this one as well. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
1165 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Dava SobelHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Raver, LornaErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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At night I lie awake
in the ruthless Unspoken,
knowing that plaents
come to life, bloom,
and die away,
like day-lilies opening
one after another
in every nook and cranny
of the Universe....

-Diane Ackerman, from The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral
In all the history of mankind, there will be only one generation that will be first to explore the Solar System, on generation for which, in childhood, the planets are distant and indistinct discs moving through the night sky, and for which, in old age, the planets are places, diverse new worlds in the course of exploration.
-Carl Sagan, from The Cosmic Connection; An Extraterrestrial perspective
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Dedicated with worldfuls of love to my big brothers, Michael V. Sobel, M.D., who named out family cat Captain Marvel, and Stephen Sobel, D.D.S., who bunked with me in Space Camp.
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My planet fetish began, as best I can recall, in third grade, at age eight---right around the time I learned that Earth had siblings in space, just as I had older brothers in high school and college.
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The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. With her gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story, Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.--From publisher description.

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Durchschnitt: (3.47)
0.5 1
1 5
1.5 2
2 28
2.5 9
3 69
3.5 25
4 98
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5 30

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