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Merlin's Tour of the Universe

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  277 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Merlin, a fictional visitor from the Andromeda Galaxy, Planet Omniscia, has been friends with many of the most important scientific figures of the past including Kepler, da Vinci, Magellan, Doppler, Einstein and Hubble. In this delightful tour of the galaxies, Merlin often recounts his conversations with these historical figures in his responses to popular astronomy questi ...more
ebook, 316 pages
Published March 23rd 2011 by Main Street Books (first published 1989)
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Apr 22, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if you could ask a wizard questions about the universe? He would answer every question in language young and old could appreciate, complete with illustrations.
Neil de Grasse Tyson is " Merlin " for the purpose of this book and answers questions people have written to Merlin. The address is included in the book if there is still something you want to ask.
Why do stars twinkle, and planets don't? What would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped rotating? If the sun disappeared, how much time
SAPL Christina
Random science stuff. Big ideas. Universe. Q&A. Huh? What? Run that by me again. Whoa. Okay. Wow.
May 06, 2017 Awallens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short simple and cute book about the planets stars sun moon galaxies and time. I found myself going, oh that's how that happens, or aaahhh! Several times while reading this, and going hmmm interesting I need to do more research on that. A fun and quick book in an easy to read question and answer format. Well done!
May 07, 2017 Evie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I am now more cosmic'ly enlightened,
After Merlin's answers I have read.
They were concise and they were clever,
And only slightly over my head.
Joran Wauters
Let me start off by saying that the question & answer format was really appealing to me. There is definitely need for that, not only in the field of astronomy. The questions are the type of questions you're "forced" to answer when you tell your friends 'that you know a thing or two about astronomy' late at night in a bar. As the introduction stated, the book isn't a primer or some sort of tutorial, so keep that in mind.

The answers are really well written and, most importantly for this book,
Kim Roenfeldt
This is an interesting book that tackles lots of questions dealing with the universe. It is a little dated, but I enjoyed it. My issue with the book is that, at times, it is assumed that you already understand certain aspects of astrophysics. There were sections dealing with quasars, pulsars, etc. and I've never studied astrophysics, so I don't really know what those are, and the book did not explain them. "Merlin" answered questions people had about them, but I would have enjoyed a quick paragr ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written from the perspective of Merlin, some kind of all knowing person from the other side of the galaxy (something like that). He's not important.

What is important is all of the crazy, amazing things you learn and think about over the course this reading(that is, if you can manage to put aside your ego long enough).
Jan 10, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tyson is always fun to read, and he makes many difficult concepts easier to understand. There are a few times when he gets so carried away with his answer he doesn't really answer what was asked (but the questions are often irrelevant to what he is explaining, anyway).

And a very quick read.
Renato Guerra
Apr 07, 2009 Renato Guerra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consulta
I learn a lot from this book. I was a curious little child and thanks to this book I start my interest in science (that remains to this day). A lot of questions by adults and childs about the space and beyond are answered by Merlin (a visitor from the stars). Highly reccomended to all ages readers!
Sep 09, 2014 Amandee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, possibly I'm not the targeted audience -- but I found this book to be boring, dry, and bland. I love you Tyson, but definitely expected more. Hoping your other books will be more of what I needed.
Jherane Patmore
May 09, 2013 Jherane Patmore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really fun and entertaining book. It's extremely light in writing, but heavy with facts. It's wonderful that anyone of any age/education level can read this without becoming bored. I'd recommend this book to any Space Enthusiast.
Abner Huertas
Feb 21, 2015 Abner Huertas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a book with the Q&A format until I found this one. I really enjoyed the way Neil answers each question with a little humour but conscience and direct.
Jan 20, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cosmic queries in reading format. This is put simply, a fun read.
Robin LeBlanc
Feb 17, 2012 Robin LeBlanc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was AMAZING morning reading for me. A few quick facts to start the day worked wonders. Tyson is an amazing writer with a true passion for his work.
Dec 05, 2013 Elly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I <3 Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Jan 03, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book overall - older and so therefore some of the entries are outdated, but NtG's writing is amazing :)
Thiago Costa
Dec 23, 2016 Thiago Costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Esse é um livro para ler várias e várias vezes! Apesar de antigo (anos 80/90) muitas coisas ainda são atuais. Complementando com o novo Cosmos é sensacional!
Very informative review of the stars, the sun, the galaxies, the universe, and all the matter in between.
Would love to have tea with Merlin in a restaurant at the end of the galaxy!
Shayla Williams
Dec 09, 2013 Shayla Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is AWESOME! It's written as a collection of questions written to and answered by "Merlin." I can't wait for my niece to be just a little bit older so I can share this gem with her!
Jan 19, 2016 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Good to know that Tyson has been using the same jokes for 20 something years. Never change <3
Rachel Wicker
Jan 23, 2017 Rachel Wicker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very easy read! A nice introduction to astrophysics.
Sabrina Riley
Sabrina Riley rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2013
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Renne Sairanen
Renne Sairanen rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2015
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Jun 06, 2013
Niki Shay Saunders
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Carrieanne Groves
Carrieanne Groves rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2012
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Around the Year i...: Merlin's Tour of The Universe, by Neil deGrasse Tyson 3 13 Mar 17, 2016 05:32PM  
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  • The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos
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  • Alone in the Universe: Why Our Planet Is Unique
  • The Mindful Path through Shyness: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from Social Anxiety, Fear, and Avoidance
  • A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty
Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Tyson's professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our
More about Neil deGrasse Tyson...

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“The day gets about one second longer every 67,000 years.” 3 likes
“Suppose a hole were dug from one side of Earth, through the center, and out the other side. What would happen to a man if he jumped into the hole? When he got to the middle of the Earth would he keep falling or would he stop? DEBBIE CANDLER RED BUD, ILLINOIS He would be vaporized by the 11,000° Fahrenheit temperature of the pressurized molten iron core. Ignoring this complication, he would gain speed continuously from the moment he jumped into the hole until he reached the center of Earth where the force of gravity is zero. But he will be traveling so fast that he will overshoot the center and slow down continuously until he reached zero velocity at the exact moment he emerges on the other side. Unless somebody grabs him, he will fall back down the hole and repeat his journey indefinitely. A one-way trip through Earth would take about forty-five minutes.” 3 likes
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