The Secrets of Saturn
by Kassandra Radomski
32 pages; ages 7-10
Capstone Press, 2015
Capstone has just published a new series called “Smithsonian Planets”. Got questions about where the fastest winds in the solar system are? Whether people are going to Mars? What Saturn’s rings are made of? Then you’ll want to read about “The Secrets of Jupiter” and all the other planets: Earth, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, and Venus.
(What about Pluto, you ask? As you might recall, Pluto was determined to be “too small” for regular planet-hood, so is now considered a dwarf planet or Kuiper Belt object – even though it has plenty of moons of its own.)
What I like about the books in this series is that they begin with some basic info about the planet: distance from the sun (886 billion miles for Saturn), number of moons, day-length. On Saturn a day is 10 and a half hours, but it takes 29 Earth years to make one complete orbit around the sun. So winters would be really long…. great for skiers, though how one would ski on a gas giant is anyone’s guess.
Then there’s the wind: at Saturn’s equator, wind speeds reach up to 1100 miles per hour. Compare that to the fastest wind on Earth, 246 mph, and that was during a hurricane. Kids will learn a lot about the planet, moons, and history of ancient astronomers in this photo-rich book. The text explains concepts well in kid-friendly language, and there’s lots of fun stuff: a timeline of Cassini mission, a scientist spotlight, speculation on what scientists will find next.
Future space cadets might be interested in Enslow’s new “Launch into Space” series. These books explore the earth, moon, stars, solar system and the sun. Here’s one I like:
Astronauts Explore the Galaxy
by Carmen Bredeson
32 pages; ages 7-10
Enslow Publishing, 2015
The book opens with some introductory information about astronauts, with each page focusing on one aspect: free fall, what jobs they do, space walking. What do they eat in space? Apparently the same stuff I eat for lunch, only packaged differently – and there’s a great photo of some of their food. You learn how astronauts brush their teeth, use the toilet, and keep their muscles in shape. There’s even some tips for astronauts to be.
Head over to Archimedes Notebook for some lunar eclipse news and link to current Saturn news.