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Publisher's Summary

The Earth, the sun and moon, the planets, comets, asteroids and meteors - the solar system is all around us, yet how much do we truly know about it? When we explore the Earth and the layout of the sky, what can we learn about the meanings of the day, the year, the seasons, and the constellations? Which physical laws control what we see, and what are the natures of the celestial bodies? Professor James Kaler - a former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow and author of many acclaimed books on astronomy - answers these questions, taking us on a fascinating and informative voyage through the Solar System.The heart of this course examines the planets themselves, and reveals how they are constructed and how they differ from one another. By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.
©2003 James Kaler; (P)2003 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Wow... just wow

I'm very very impressed. Some concepts are quite complex and he has explained with extraordinary ease. Immediately made me buy Part II.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ingwe
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 04-03-13

Very Informative

Any additional comments?

Boy, did I learn a lot from this one! Professor Kaler tends to rush through some of the details from time to time but, overall, this was a primer on astronomy that will get me looking to the skies more frequently and with a lot more comprehension of what's up there. Excellent for wanna-be stargazers and parents of inquiring kids. Do you know why the moon comes up at different times of day? Why one side of the moon always faces us? Why Pluto is considered a planet by some and not others? You will know all these and much, much more after listening..

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Johnny
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • 10-27-09

Must have

Like the other reviewers say, every minute was interesting and kept me hooked. Professor Kaler is able to explain our solar system in our terms and ways we can understand. I already have part II in my cart.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Listen to it over and over

This title, and is companion (Astronomy 2) is fascinating. Narrator presents material with enthusiasm and sincerity. I don't ever get tired of listening to it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth Every Minute

Author is interesting and sharp. The material presented is concise and packs a ton of knowledge in every minute, perfect for me, but you may to do some graphical research on the side if you are new to Astronomy. Loved every minute.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A gifted lecturer

Dr. Kaler has the rare ability of being able to teach astronomy in a way that is easy to understand without making the subject banale or unscientific. His presentation is clear, coherent and I found the progression of the lectures to be neither too slow or too fast.

My only objection is that I would have loved to see a more comprehensive coverage of the geology and features of the planets, but this is a natural consequence of the length of the book.

A great listen for anyone interested in astronomy.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Geoff
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 02-25-10

Now I understand...

The large majority of these lectures are exactly what a curious, beginning astronomy-enthusiast needs to get an understanding of what is going on in the universe. A minor part is over-the-head mathematics that given time, you can comprehend.
Prof. Kaler does a fantastic job and clearly knows he's subject well!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Read

The author has the incredible ability to describe objects and their interactions. His descriptions let you visualize the Astronomical processes. Some of which you would think needed visual media. Excellent speaker

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Elizabethtown, PA, United States
  • 09-15-10

Awesome, Dr. Kaler is spot on.

First, I must say that Dr. Kaler really knows how to keep your interest. He really explains the details of our planets, and our solar system in a very enthusiastic way that really keeps your ears glued. I have owned this book for a short while now and I have listened to it 3 times already. I highly recommend this book if you want to get detailed knowledge of our great earth, moon, and all the planets orbiting the sun with us.
The final chapter is great where Dr. Kaler goes in depth on how solar systems are born and developed. A Must Read!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book

What did you love best about The Modern Scholar?

Learning about astronomy from an educator who knows his stuff and is obviously passionate and enthused about sharing it.<br/>

Any additional comments?

Very fun to listen to. Will be one to listen to more than once for sure. In the future, I'd like Audible to offer hard copies of some books as an add on. Would be a great feature for a lot of lectures, and science topics.<br/>

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Bashar
  • 04-30-09

Great book

Professor Kaler is a great lecturer in the way he conveyes knowledge, simple, factual, and interesting, it keeps you eager to listen and research further into the diverse fields of knowledge he explains in his book. The supplementary reference manual is well made too.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • John
  • 05-24-17

the story of the Solar system

very good series of lectures. I am studying a degree with the Open University. currently on my 2nd year, and while it was 'slightly ' over simplistic is some regards, it was still incredibly useful as a revision aid, as it allowed me to review and study while I was doing things that normally wouldn't allow me to study (driving, walking etc).

the lectures are clear, well presented and are set in a logical context...

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  • Paul Conlon
  • 03-08-16

Awesome! Get this!

This is a must have audiobook for anyone remotely interested in astronomy - you can learn so much from it as it spills over into all sorts of areas of life - indeed life itself and its origin. Prof. Kaler has a good voice for it too and is pleasant to listen too as well as knowing his subject inside out and upside down. So glad I got this audiobook - I plan to it all through again as many times as possible.