By Philip C. Plait

Encouraged via his well known website, www.badastronomy.com, this primary e-book via Plait (astronomy, Sonoma nation Univ.) debunks renowned myths and misconceptions in terms of 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 impact determines the path that water drains in a bath and that planetary alignments could cause catastrophe on the earth. the writer sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and alien craft sightings and explains the foundations at the back of easy basic ideas (the immense Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). even though a few may possibly locate him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly simply because his transparent and comprehensible factors are convincing and sincere. this primary quantity in Wileys «Bad technological know-how» sequence is usually recommended for all libraries, specifically astronomy and folklore collections.

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Additional info for Bad astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from astrology to the moon landing 'hoax'

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This same thing happens after a rainstorm. The raindrops suspended in the air act like little prisms, breaking up the white sunlight into a spectrum. That’s how we get rainbows. The order of the colors in a rainbow is the same every time: red on the outside, then orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and finally violet, which makes up the innermost curve of the arc. This pattern may be tough to remember, so it’s usually taught to students using the acronym ROY G BIV, like that’s a common name or something.

What if the plane crashes? At this point we decided we were being silly, and decided to just go outside and look for meteors. That may have saved our friendship. Anyway, meteors start off in space and then fall to the Earth. They appear dramatically, flashing into our view, and burn out suddenly as they descend through the atmosphere toward the ground, sometimes leaving a long trail of glowing ash behind them. They start off bright, then fade away. Enter bad astronomy. I was reading a major metropolitan newspaper one day and was amused when it referred to a Russian official’s “meteoric rise” in the political structure of that country.

They can always put the right spin on their subjects. 3 PPPPPP Idiom’s Delight: Bad Astronomy in Everyday Language LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD One of the reasons I loved astronomy when I was a kid was because of the big numbers involved. Even the nearest astronomical object, the Moon, was 400,000 kilometers away! I would cloister myself in my room with a pencil and paper, and painstakingly convert that number into all kinds of different units like feet, inches, centimeters, and millimeters. It was fun, even though it branded me as a geek.

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