Read The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be by Dana Mackenzie Free Online
Book Title: The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be|
The author of the book: Dana Mackenzie
The size of the: 12.95 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: March 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9780471150572
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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The first popular book to explain the dramatic theory behind the Moon's genesisThis lively science history relates one of the great recent breakthroughs in planetary astronomy-a successful theory of the birth of the Moon. Science journalist Dana Mackenzie traces the evolution of this theory, one little known outside the scientific community: a Mars-sized object collided with Earth some four billion years ago, and the remains of this colossal explosion-the Big Splat-came together to form the Moon. Beginning with notions of the Moon in ancient cosmologies, Mackenzie relates the fascinating history of lunar speculation, moving from Galileo and Kepler to George Darwin (son of Charles) and the Apollo astronauts, whose trips to the lunar surface helped solve one of the most enigmatic mysteries of the night sky: who hung the Moon?
Dana Mackenzie (Santa Cruz, CA) is a freelance science journalist. His articles have appeared in such magazines as Science, Discover, American Scientist, The Sciences, and New Scientist.
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Read information about the author"Think of what you wanted to do when you were a child, and try to make that happen."
In 1996, I was facing the inevitability of a career change. My teaching appointment at a liberal arts college was running out, and the job market was dismal. One of my contacts gave me the advice above, and as corny as it sounds, it really did put things into perspective for me.
When I was a child, the only thing I wanted to be was a writer. I wrote my first book, "The Littlest Inchwarm" (sic), at age five. In fourth grade, when each student had to write two reports during the year, I wrote 101 (making liberal use of the Encyclopedia Britannica). Yes, I caught the writing bug early.
But how to make it happen? Well, fortunately, I found out about the Science Communication Program at UC Santa Cruz, which provided me the training and, more importantly, the attitude adjustment necessary to make the leap from academia to journalism. After a year as a SciCommie in 1996-97, I was ready to hang out my shingle as a freelance writer, and that has been my career ever since.
Most of my writing has been for popular science magazines (New Scientist, Science, Discover). Recently, I have started to do quite a bit of contract work (National Academy of Sciences, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics). And as you can see from this web page, I also write books.
Because my academic specialty was math, I tend to write about topics that involve mathematics in some way. (But not always! My first book, The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be, has very little math in it.) I especially like to find what veteran Los Angeles Times journalist K.C. Cole calls "stealth math" -- mathematics hidden in ordinary life, or in other parts of science. I try to break down the barriers that block many people from understanding and appreciating mathematics. My latest book, The Universe in Zero Words, was definitely written with these goals in mind.
I have a wealth of interests besides math and writing. I play chess and write a chess blog (dana blogs chess). I started hula dancing several years ago, a great way of learning about the Hawaiian culture. Also, my wife Kay and I volunteer at the local animal shelter and take foster care of kittens who are too young to adopt. One of them, a big and beautiful and gentle and hug-loving tuxedo cat named Max, stayed with us for keeps.
Sometimes, as I watch deadlines slipping away, I think I should cut back on all these "extracurricular activities," but most of the time I think they help keep me sane. Also, going to the beach (one mile from where I live in Santa Cruz) and watching the waves has a similar effect.
Please visit my home page, http://danamackenzie.com, for more information about me, or go to Max's channel on YouTube if you just want to watch cute kittie videos!
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