By: Fred Bortz
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2010
The universe is a wondrous place and anyone who has explored any facet of it could attest to that fact. Herodotus, a writer in ancient Greece, compiled a list of wonderful things created by man's own hand. Later the list was expounded upon and the final tally of items numbered a lucky seven. It's not an easy task to select and narrow down a list of seven wonders of exploration technology, but agree or no, the selections in this book will amaze you. You will explore the depths of the seas with Alvin and soar out into the outer reaches of the ever expanding universe in once futuristic crafts, continually nursing your sense of wonder and awe. Prepare yourself for a serious jaw dropping, page turning experience in this book!
We, as a species began in the grasslands of Africa, but because of our nature we quickly became explorers due to our innate "urge to discover." Most of our knowledge about the oceans was limited by our inability to breach barriers to its depths. You will discover DSVs such as Alvin, ROVs and learn about their differences. You'll learn about stunning discoveries such as hydrothermal vents and will get a glimpse of the Titanic. You'll then swirl above the waves and into the Earth's atmosphere. Your eyes will widen when you learn how scientists developed a Climate Model, "a simplified version of Earth's weather." You'll get to take a peek at how these amazing men of science look at our past in order to predict our future.
The reader can join Eugene Shoemaker, a dedicated geologist who studied Earth's history, who had a dream of one day visiting the moon. When NASA's Apollo Program began, "He wanted the astronauts to choose samples he himself would choose" and he taught future astronauts basic geology. You'll go to the moon with these men and will marvel at their discoveries right along with them. Later you will head to the further reaches of interplanetary exploration. You'll read about the successful and unsuccessful missions to Mars and Venus. Of especial interest was Venus because, "The more we know about Venus, the better we can understand Earth."
The more mankind explored the outer reaches of our universe, the more progress seemed to be made with advances such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Edwin Hubble used to look at nebulas, "very distant, very large systems of stars." The creation of the HST, "has changed the way we look at the universe. As a result of such inventions scientists began to map the cosmos, finding out that the universe, "was far bigger than we thought." Talented scientists began to amaze the world by turning to look inward with the creation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). If you search the Internet you will find that on March 30, 2010, amazing strides were made with the LHC (not discussed in this book).
This stunning book will astound the young, insatiable science students and keep them asking for more. This title is one in the "Seven Wonders Series," a series that is simply amazing. I've only read two in this series and could easily lose myself for days in them if I had other titles in the series. The information offered is not only historical, it offers many vignettes few may have heard of. For example, I never knew that someone's ashes were brought to the moon after their death. The informative sidebars, photographs, and charts very nicely round out the already astounding text. In the back of the book is an excellent index, a glossary, a timeline, bibliography, source notes, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: Interested in anything science? This is one book you really need to consider adding to your list!