Cover of The Asteroids
Book 381 Astronomy 1988
Encounters The Earth’s Moon
1 spaceship-and-sun
Asimov fan
3 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader


The asteroids—are they no more than a rockpile in our Solar System? Or are they actually minor planets in their own right? Will future space explorers make use of them as outposts or find them obstacles to overcome? How many of the moons of the Solar System might in fact be captured asteroids? In this book, Isaac Asimov takes readers on a fascinating tour of the puzzling corners of our space neighborhood that the asteroids call home.

A nice if somewhat dated book on the minor planets for younger readers, and one with lots of pretty pictures. Asimov is actually rather hard pressed to say an awful lot about his subject matter, even in the scant 32 pages allotted him (less room for all the pretty pictures), but he does a reasonably good job.

At the same time, even though the book is not to out-of-date as to become useless, we have learned a lot about asteroids since 1988 with the help of some rather spectacular space probes and modern telescopes, and the 2006 redefinition of “planet” might have had an impact on what the book has to say; more to the point, there are pictures available now that are much prettier than what one can see here. I wouldn’t hesitate to hand this to a young child because of these shortcomings, but one should be aware of them nonetheless.

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