Download Bad astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from by Philip C. Plait PDF

By Philip C. Plait

Encouraged by means of his renowned site,, this primary e-book by means of Plait (astronomy, Sonoma kingdom Univ.) debunks well known myths and misconceptions on the subject of astronomy and promotes technological know-how as a method 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 tub and that planetary alignments could cause catastrophe on the earth. the writer sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and alien ship sightings and explains the foundations at the back of simple common recommendations (the gigantic Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). even though a few might locate him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly simply because his transparent and comprehensible reasons are convincing and sincere. this primary quantity in Wileys «Bad technology» sequence is suggested for all libraries, specially astronomy and folklore collections.

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

Example text

There is tantalizing evidence of ice at the bottom of such craters, untouched by the warming rays of the Sun. If it’s true, there are two major implications. One is that the ice can be used by lunar colonists for air and water, negating the need to carry it along with them from Earth. That saves a vast amount of money, fuel, and effort. The other implication is that the phrase “dark side of the Moon” actually has a limited truth to it—as far as the dark crater bottoms go! Maybe I need to start a “Not-So-Bad Astronomy” web site.

However, after knowing it could be done, I tried even harder, and eventually managed to upend an egg on its narrow tip. It just goes to show you, even scientists need to have their world rocked on occasion. 20 BAD ASTRONOMY BEGINS AT HOME Incidentally, Ms. Vincent told me that the eggs stood balanced that way until she decided to take them down on November 21, over a month after they were placed there. Here we have a great example of people not being willing to accept what they hear, and wanting to try it for themselves.

College textbooks on optics and atmospheric physics cover the topic correctly, but who wants those lying around the house? Well, I do, but then I’m a huge geek. I’m operating on the principle that you are a normal human. And, lucky for you, the reason behind the blue sky isn’t all that complicated, and it can be easily explained, even to a five-year-old. Let’s start with some of the incorrect reasons given for the sky’s cerulean hue. Probably the most common idea is that the sky is blue because it reflects the blue color of the ocean.

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