One of the great paradoxes of modern times is that the more
scientists understand the natural world, the more we discover that
our everyday beliefs about it are wrong. Astronomy, in particular,
is one of the most misunderstood scientific disciplines.
With the participation of thousands of undergraduate students,
Neil F. Comins has identified and classified, by origin and topic,
over 1,700 commonly held misconceptions. Heavenly Errors
provides access to all of them and explores many, including:
• Black holes suck in everything around them.
• The Sun shines by burning gas.
• Comets have tails trailing behind them.
• The Moon alone causes tides.
• Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is the hottest
In the course of correcting these errors, he explains that some
occur through the prevalence of pseudosciences such as astrology
and UFO-logy and some enter the public conscience through the "bad
astronomy" of Star Trek, Star Wars, and other
science-fiction movies.. Perhaps most important, Professor Comins
presents the reader with the methods for identifying and replacing
incorrect ideas -- tools with which to probe erroneous notions so
that we can begin to question for ourselves... and to think more
Subjects: Astronomy, Physics
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