Explore the Cosmos like Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Space Science Journey

Explore the Cosmos like Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Space Science Journey

by Cap Saucier

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Overview

This introduction to space science for children uses the story of Neil deGrasse Tyson's life and career to frame the journey.

Catch the thrill of the cosmos and space science through the life of Neil deGrasse Tyson-the popular astrophysicist, science communicator, and host of FOX-TV's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.In language neither too simple nor overly technical, author CAP Saucier interweaves up-to-date information about the universe and the science of astrophysics with a biographical portrait of the famous astrophysicist. Quotes from Tyson appear throughout each chapter, personalizing the science.

Illustrated with striking images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the story of one man's successful life in space science may inspire kids to follow a similar path. As Tyson makes clear, there is still much to do for future space scientists: diverting asteroids, unraveling the mystery of dark matter, finding life elsewhere in the universe, and more!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633880146
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 03/03/2015
Pages: 177
Sales rank: 701,824
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

CAP Saucier is the author of The Lucy Man: The Scientist Who Found the Most Famous Fossil Ever! She is also a freelance artist, illustrator, and writer.

Read an Excerpt

Explore the Cosmos Like Neil DeGrasse Tyson

A Space Science Journey


By C.A.P. Saucier

Prometheus Books

Copyright © 2015 CAP Saucier
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63388-015-3



CHAPTER 1

A YOUNG SCIENTIST LOOKS AT THE SKY


"Hello, police? I'd like to report a burglar on the roof of the apartment building next to mine." Responding to the call, a police officer arrived at the high-rise apartments in the Bronx, New York, and made his way to the roof. When he reached the top, the officer may have wondered or laughed at the sight of the teenage boy he found looking through a telescope. But when that boy showed him the surface of the moon and then Saturn and its rings, the police officer left feeling that climbing up to the roof had been worth it, even if there was no criminal to catch. A person never forgets seeing Saturn for the first time.

That teenage boy with his telescope was Neil deGrasse Tyson, now a prominent astrophysicist. As a child, Neil's head was in the sky. He fell in love with the night sky when he was nine years old. By age eleven, he knew that he wanted to be an astrophysicist, a scientist who studies all the objects in the universe, including planets, moons, comets, asteroids, stars, and the space in between.

As a schoolchild, Neil visited the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He marveled at the show of the nighttime sky with the Milky Way and so many stars that he wondered if they were real. He decided to look at the sky himself. Neil began on his apartment-building rooftop with a pair of binoculars. The moon never had appeared so big, but he wanted to see more.

Neil received his first telescope from his parents in the seventh grade, when he was twelve years old. He could now see the planets and the stars, but he still wanted to see more.

Neil bought an even bigger telescope for himself with money he earned from walking dogs in his neighborhood. He also took classes on astronomy on his own at the planetarium. After ninth grade, Neil attended an astronomy camp in the Mojave Desert in California. He loved that campers were expected to stay up late at night to see planets, moons, stars, and galaxies. Viewing the constellation Scorpius was even more meaningful to campers who were trying to avoid the poison pincers of real scorpions on the ground during the day.

That same year, Neil ventured on an expedition to the coast of Africa to witness a total solar eclipse. The Explorers Club in New York City had awarded Neil a scholarship based on his class participation at the Hayden Planetarium. Neil was the youngest person on the ship among scientists, engineers, and astronauts. At age fourteen, Neil's fate was set—he was determined to become a scientist who studied the universe.


Why Studying Space Is Important

Whether, like Neil, you plan a career studying the universe or you just enjoy studying the stars as a hobby, you also can explore the night sky from a rooftop. To start, maybe your backyard or a nearby park are better places. One dark night, lie in the grass away from the trees and bright lights. As the blades of grass tickle the backs of your knees and a mosquito buzzes near your ear, look at the stars and planets as they shine above you. Try to find the constellations, age-old patterns of stars outlining animals, people, and objects such as the Big Dipper. Or play your own game of connect the dots and design your personal constellation.

If you have binoculars or a telescope, you will discover even more stars and will be able to see the planets close up. Then, you will be among the successful space scientists, such as Neil, exploring the universe.

It is human nature to explore not just our planet but also whatever is beyond it. We are curious creatures who always want to know more and figure things out. By looking at the stars, we have learned how the universe began, how stars are formed, and how our sun and planets came to be. By looking at planets, we may one day discover signs of life somewhere besides Earth. And by looking at galaxies, we may be able to predict the future of the universe.

We have learned so much already, but there are still many mysteries that will keep us looking farther and farther into space for a long time. We are fortunate to have clever brains and the imagination to wonder what is out there in space.


We Are Starstuff

Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.

—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole, 2007


Space scientists have determined the individual elements that make up stars. The elements from exploding stars found their way to Earth. This starstuff became a part of the molecules that make up all life on Earth, including our own human life. Neil says it best, "We are all connected; to each other biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe, atomically." We look at the stars to learn more about ourselves and from where we came.

Today, Neil is an astrophysicist who looks at stars all the time. Since 1995, Neil has worked as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, the place where his dreams began. The planetarium is part of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. In addition to running the planetarium, Neil is responsible for the exhibits, programs for the public, and educational online resources. Let's find out how Neil arrived at his destination and learn about the universe along the way.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Explore the Cosmos Like Neil DeGrasse Tyson by C.A.P. Saucier. Copyright © 2015 CAP Saucier. Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Chapter 1: A Young Scientist Looks at the Sky, 9,
Chapter 2: A Space Scientist Grows Up, 15,
Chapter 3: Looking at All Beautiful Things, 31,
Chapter 4: The Evolution of Neil's Favorite Universe, 51,
Chapter 5: Our Home in the Milky Way, 71,
Chapter 6: From Dust to Rocky Planets, 85,
Chapter 7: Icy, Gas Giants, 103,
Chapter 8: The Father, the Citizen, the Scientist, 121,
Chapter 9: Dreams of Tomorrow, 135,
Acknowledgments, 157,
Notes, 159,
Glossary, 163,
Bibliography, 169,
Index, 173,
About the Author, 177,

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