The vastness of Outer Space has been a source of fascination for humans beings for millennia. Astronomers have pondered over what wonders and mysteries the universe might hold. Although I can’t promise you all the secrets of the universe, I can offer you five out of this world non-fiction books which may help shed a little light on them.
Planetarium by Chris Wormell and Raman Prinja (Big Picture Press)
The newest title in the ‘Welcome to the Museum’ series casts its gaze to the skies in ‘Planetarium’ – a stunning exploration of the universe beyond our galaxy’s boundaries.
Written in close consultation with Raman Prinja, a professor of astrophysics, this mind-boggling book allows its readers to travel across solar systems and journey into black holes all from the comfort of their armchairs. The large format allows Chris Wormell’s stunningly detailed illustrations to create exhibits in your mind far greater than would fit into any museum.
Definitely one for more confident readers but hours could be spent studying the illustrations alone.
The Moon by Hannah Pang, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook (Stripes Publishing)
The moon, in its pale serenity, has long been the muse of poets and astronomers alike. This new book explore not only the science of the moon as we understand it, but also some of the myths and legends linked to it.
Packed full of information about the moon landings, the effect of the moon on tides, moon gravity and eclipses, fact fans will not be disappointed. However, more unusually, myths and legends based around the moon sit right alongside scientific fact. This is what makes this title so unique – the seamless pairing of fact and fiction in one well-rounded tome.
Adventures in Space by Simon Tyler (Pavilion Children’s)
Introducing another mind-expanding compendium from author-illustrator, Simon Tyler. Absolutely jam-packed with information about the many wonders of space.
Whenever I try to think about things like the fact that the universe is constantly expanding and has no end, I start to go slightly cross-eyed and have to stop. I am pleased to report that Tyler’s book explains phenomena like neutron stars and magnetars in a way which doesn’t make my head want to explode! There’s also a fascinating illustrated timeline of early launch vehicles, which I loved.
Simon Tyler’s clean, crisp illustrations and diagrams, paired with the uncluttered page layouts make this a great read. 9+
The Speed Of Starlight by Colin Stuart, illustrated by Ximo Abadia (Big Picture Press)
This impressive new title explores the physics of light and sound and helps its readers understand basic quantum physics.
Divided into four sections: Physics, Sound, Light and Colour and Space, major theories and scientists are introduced in a clear, easily understood manner alongside bold illustrations. Absolutely loads of facts to absorb. I enjoyed learning about the Chandrasekhar Limit which is the maximum amount of material a white dwarf can absorb before they explode – calculated by a 19-year-old Indian astrophysicist on a three week boat trip to Europe!
A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky by Stuart Atkinson, illustrated by Brendan Kearney (Laurence King Publishing)
A beautiful and comprehensive guide to stargazing for children and their parents. Wrap up warm, grab and adult and head out to the edge of town for some light pollution-free spotting.
A comprehensive guide to the types of stars and what they are, names of constellations and who chose them, and why the stars appear to dance through the night and across the seasons.
There is SO MUCH information in here – it really is one of the most comprehensive but engaging and accessible titles about the skies that I’ve read recently.
I love that fact that this book gives you lots of hints and tips about to spot the various constellations, but also gives you the mythological background to each character. The beautiful illustrations and cat guide add a sense of fun and wonder.
So that’s my round-up of some of the newest out-of-this-world titles about Space and the night sky. Have a blast (off)!