Merlin's Tour of the Universe
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Merlin's Tour of the Universe

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  13 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
Paperback, 316 pages
Published July 14th 1997 by Main Street Books (first published 1989)
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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,...more
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...more
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
Jennifer Kulaya
The book is a compilation of questions about the universe which were written to Merlin, a visitor from the Andromeda galaxy. The Q&A format makes this an ideal book for the reader who knows they are going to encounter myriad interruptions. This book is not an Astronomy tutorial. In the answers you can hear Dr. Tyson's his intelligence and humour as well as his enthusiasm and passion for the field.
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.
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).
Renato Guerra
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!
Jherane Patmore
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.
Shayla Williams
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!
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.
good book overall - older and so therefore some of the entries are outdated, but NtG's writing is amazing :)
Very informative review of the stars, the sun, the galaxies, the universe, and all the matter in between.
I <3 Neil deGrasse Tyson.
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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
More about Neil deGrasse Tyson...
Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

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“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.” 0 likes
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