Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing ""Hoax""
PART I: Bad Astronomy Begins at Home.
1. The Yolk's on You: Egg Balancing and the Equinox.
2. Flushed with Embarrassment: The Coriolis Effect and Your Bathroom.
3. Idiom's Delight: Bad Astronomy in Everyday Language.
PART II: From the Earth to the Moon.
4. Blue Skies Smiling at Me: Why the Sky Is Blue.
5. A Dash of Seasons: Why Summer Turns to Fall.
6. Phase the Nation: The Moon's Changing Face.
7. The Gravity of the Situation: The Moon and the Tides.
8. The Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie: The Big Moon Illusion.
PART III: Skies at Night Are Big and Bright.
9. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: Why Stars Appear to Twinkle.
10. Star Light, Star White: Stars of Many Colors.
11. Well, Well: The Difficulty of Daylight Star Sighting.
12. The Brightest Star: Polaris-Just Another Face in the Crowd.
13. Shadows in the Sky: Eclipses and Sun-Watching.
14. The Disaster that Wasn't: The Great Planetary Alignment of 2000.
15. Meteors, Meteoroids, and Meteorites, Oh My!: The Impact of Meteors and Asteroids.
16. When the Universe Throws You a Curve: Misunderstanding the Beginning of It All.
PART IV: Artificial Intelligence.
17. Appalled at Apollo: Uncovering the Moon-Landing Hoax.
18. Worlds in Derision: Velikovsky vs. Modern Science.
19. In the Beginning: Creationism and Astronomy.
20. Misidentified Flying Objects: UFOs and Illusions of the Mind and Eye.
21. Mars Is in the Seventh House, But Venus Has Left the Building: Why Astrology Doesn't Work.
PARTV: Beam Me Up.
22. Hubble Trouble: Hubble Space Telescope Misconceptions.
23. Star Hustlers: Star Naming for Dummies.
24. Bad Astronomy Goes Hollywood: The Top-Ten Examples of Bad Astronomy in Major Motion Pictures.
""...everything's beautifully explained. He gives the neatest explanation of tides I've ever seen...for that alone, this book should be in every school library on the planet."" (New Scientist, 4 May 2002)
""...the book might be a better student introduction than many more sober tomes..."" (Times Higher Education Supplement, 7 June 2002)
""Bad Astronomy is a book which is both timely and welcome. I would recommend it without hesitation, and I have no doubt that it will be widely read..."" (The Observatory, October 2002)
For skeptics, always fans of science: The first two books in a series devoted to ""bad science,"" Bad Astronomy by Philip Plait and Bad Medicine (Wiley, $15.95) by Christopher Wanjek, may warm even a Scrooge's heart. In short chapters, Plait tackles misperceptions about why the moon looks larger on the horizon and why stars twinkle before moving on, dismantling conspiracy kooks who doubt the moon landing and offering a top 10 list of bad science moments in movie history. Wanjek, a science writer who has also written jokes for The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, takes an edgy and funny tack in debunking myths such as humans using only 10% of their brains, the utility of ""anti-bacterial"" toys and the safety of ""natural"" herbal remedies, ones often loaded with powerful chemicals. (USA TODAY, December 3, 2002)
""...a good read...Plait's book is readable, entertaining, not exclusively for astronomers, and often very funny..."" (Astronomy & Space, June 2003)
""...a great book to dip into..."" (Popular Astronomy, January 2004)