|Cosmic catastrophes : seven ways to destroy a planet like Earth (Smithsonian series)|
Author: Aguilar, David A.
A lively exploration of seven cosmic catastrophes that could hit Earth and any of the other 20 billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy.
School Library Journal (08/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Using scientific principles and reasoning, Aguilar speculates on seven potentially cataclysmic events that could happen to Earth, ranging from asteroid strikes to alien invasions. Aguilar relates his hypothetical scenarios to real-life events when possible; for instance, the chapter on comets includes a discussion of the probable comet impact in Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908. The content is chilling, compelling, and clearly explained. Aguilar does take measure to reassure readers of the unlikeliness of most of these events happening anytime soon. Information on scientists who actively track asteroids, comets, and the like is also provided. The author merges his scientific expertise with his talents in Adobe Photoshop to create the majority of the dazzling images. The final section of the book offers a look into Aguilar's studio and a step-by-step overview of how he produced the digital illustrations. A handful of photographs are also featured, including a sepia-tone image of the aftermath of the probable comet impact in 1908 Siberia. It should be noted that the section "Asteroid Hit" incorrectly lists February 13, 2014, as the day the asteroid hit Chelyabinsk Oblast. The actual event took place on February 15, 2013. VERDICT A wild and thought-provoking look at what potential calamities await our planet. A good addition for collections in need of browsables titles on space.—Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2016 Blending science, speculation, photographs, and striking, full-color digital art, Aguilar examines seven cosmic catastrophes that could decimate Earth, from a supernova explosion to a potential alien invasion. Following a brief introduction, each chapter discusses a cosmic phenomena and its characteristics and components, and then posits—sometimes quite sensationally—how such events may impact our planet. For example, “Asteroid Hit” explains asteroid attributes (and how meteoroids differ), describes—in extensive, imaginative detail—the strike causing the dinosaurs’ extinction (“A shockwave traveling more than 300 miles per hour levels the landscape. Falling trees burst into flame . . . Anything living caught above ground is incinerated”), and then considers the probability of it happening again on such a scale. While this may draw those interested in astronomic occurrences or cataclysmic what-if scenarios, however, the science-based and hypothetical elements can sometimes be hard to distinguish, and the interspersed jocular, commentary throughout, while enlivening, can distract and undermine often devastating scenarios. Aguilar’s description of creating his illustrations is appended, along with a list of further reading, which includes both print and web sources. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.