Stornoway Astronomical Society Library                                                                        (Updated 6 January 2017)

These books are available to SAS members to use, free of charge.
If you wish to borrow a book then please see Mary Rowlands at one of the meetings.
Book Title
Author
Genre
Sub-genre
Donated by
Review

The Long Thaw: How humans are changing the next 100,000 years of Earth's climate

ARCHER, David
Popular Science
Climate
R. McCafferty
The Long Thaw is one of the most recent books on the subject of climate change and provides an excellent summary of the current data, their implications and explanation of the models used to predict climate change. It's a frightening read. The evidence is clearly laid out and sourced and our fears of the long term effects of nuclear waste pale into comparison of the effects of our addition of carbon to our atmosphere. You are left with a deep sense of foreboding that our long term future is not great and our current predictions are grossly overoptimistic for this century and simply ignore next century because the prognosis is so bad.

100 Local Heroes

BADER, Paul and HART-DAVIS, Adam
Popular Science
History
R. McCafferty
Screenhouse Productions TV programme of the same name was one of the intellectual highlights of BBC popular science broadcasting at the turn of the century and this book takes the 100 of Adam's favourite heroes and puts them into print form. You may not get the kitschy musical interludes or to see him on his pink and yellow bicycle, but the style of writing is unmistakable and in chunks small enough to digest at leisure.
Exodus To Arthur
BAILLIE, Mike
Popular Science
Mythology
R. McCafferty
t's difficult to work out what Baillie was setting out to achieve with this book. The premise seems to be that comets strike the earth with far greater frequency than is currently believed and that many of our ancient myths and legends bear testimony to that. The book is not without evidence and acknowledges that there could be other explanations for some phenomena. The most interesting part of the book is the description of dendochronology, how dating is done by tree rings. It's a fascinating read. Also, the part on how ice cores are used is surprising when you find out just how few ice cores there are from which we take our climate record. However, once the book reaches the halfway mark, the author has invested so much effort that he seems to be putting comets as an explanation for everything and the credibility is strained to breaking point. The first half of the book is excellent, the second half a struggle to finish due to the overwhelming fanaticism of the author for his idea.
The New Solar System
BEATTY, et al (Eds)
University Textbook
Astophysics
R. McCafferty
Each edition of this book has seen a major rewrite and this, the 4th and last edition points a wagging finger at the internet for being the demise of this sort of book. Everything in this book can now be found on the internet so some may argue that this sort of book is no longer necessary but it is so beautifully written and illustrated, it is a shame that its like are unlikely to be seen again. It is that rarest of gems, a pure academic textbook that is easily accessible to the public. It makes great reading and its a shame we won't have a 5th edition with all the results of Cassini, Dawn and Messenger.
Concepts of Modern Physics
BEISER, Arthur
University Textbook
Physics
R. McCafferty
A second/third year university textbook that BEGINS with special relativity. There's quantum physics of the atom and nuclear physics all given the full mathematical treatment as you would expect of this level. This is not a popular science book, its a univeristy textbook and if your maths isn't up to that then you'll get a headache very quickly.
Moon 3-D
BELL, Jim
Popular Science
Solar System
M.Johnstone
Astronomer Jim Bell flies readers to the Moon, just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin s famous first steps on the lunar surface. After a series of brief essays explaining the history and future of lunar exploration, the volume launches into a spectacular showcase of the best 3-D images available, taken by both robotic and human exploration missions; the pictures shot by the Apollo astronauts on their Moon walk receive special attention, and are accompanied by an artistic selection of non-3D images. This inspiring collection is completed by a special 3-D viewer that will delight adult and younger space enthusiasts alike.
Mars 3-D
BELL, Jim
Popular Science
Solar System
M.Johnstone
What would it be like to visit Mars—to explore the distinctive, untouched terrain that inspired astronomers and stirred so many sci-fi writers’ imaginations? Two highly capable robotic geologists—Spirit and Opportunity—made that amazing voyage, and spent the last four years roaming the Red Planet’s unique landscape. Thanks to 120 stunning 3-D and color images shot by these rovers, we can come along—and right now, it’s the closest we can get to actually setting foot on Mars. These super-realistic pictures pop off the page, allowing us to see for ourselves the rocks, craters, valleys, and other geologic configurations that define the Martian terrain. Compelling and accessible text guides us on this exhilarating tour, revealing the thrill of each discovery, along with the perils and near misses. Featuring a fold-out flap with embedded 3-D viewer.
What We Believe But Cannot Prove
BROCKMAN, John (Ed)
Popular Science
Philosophy of Science

More than one hundred of the world's leading thinkers write about things they believe in, despite the absence of concrete proof.

Thought-provoking and hugely compelling, this collection of bite-size thought-experiments is a fascinating insight into the instinctive beliefs of some of the most brilliant minds today.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook – Book 1
BURNHAM, John Jr.
Reference
Astronomy
R. McCafferty
Volume I of this comprehensive three-part guide to the thousands of celestial objects outside our solar system ranges from Andromeda through Cetus. Objects are grouped according to constellation, and their definitions feature names, coordinates, classifications, and physical descriptions. Additional notes offer fascinating historical information.
Burnham's Celestial Handbook – Book 3
BURNHAM, John Jr.
Reference
Astronomy
R. McCafferty
Volume III of this three-part comprehensive guide to the thousands of celestial objects outside our solar system concludes with listings from Pavo through Vulpecula. Objects are grouped according to constellation, and their definitions feature names, coordinates, classifications, and physical descriptions. Additional notes offer fascinating historical information.
Astronomy – Home Reference Library
BURNHAM, Robert (Ed)
Reference
Astronomy
R. McCafferty
The Home Reference Library puts a wealth of facts at your fingertips. This beautiful, stimulating series captures the magic of the natural world and the furthest reaches of the universe and brings it to your home bookshelf.
Meteorites, Ice and Antarctica
CASSIDY, William A.
Popular Science
Biography
R. McCafferty
Meteorites are black and the ice is white. Finding meteorites in Antarctica ought to be easy but the unique geology and climate make it both easier and harder than you might imagine. This quite wonderful book chronicles the process of trying to get science to fund expeditions to this continent to collect rocks and the discoveries that have resulted. Some of the anecdotes included are hysterically funny, even more so for the absurdity of choosing to work in such a hostile environment. Well worth a read.
We Need To Talk About Kelvin
CHOWN, Marcus
Popular Science
Physics
We Need To Talk About Kelvin: What Everyday Things Tell Us About The Universe is a hugely accessible exploration of quantum theory, relativity, cosmology, biology and chemistry. Taking our everyday experiences, Marcus Chown quickly and painlessly explains the unltimate truths of reality.
Neutrino
CLOSE, Frank
Popular Science
Physics
R. McCafferty
Frank Close is probably one of the best popular science writers of today. His books are well researched and make easy reading. This one is no exception and documents the history of the neutrino from its invention to solve a particularly tricky physics problem through to its discovery and beyond. This book gives the reader a clear picture of what the neutrino is and why it is important. It also leaves the reader with a sense of the extraordinary lengths both in effort and time, that physicists have to go through for their science and speculates at the exciting possibilities that further study of this elusive particle may bring.
Why Does e=mc˛?
COX, Brian & FORSHAW, Jeff
Popular Science
Physics
This is an engaging and accessible explanation of Einstein's equation that explores the principles of physics through everyday life. Professor Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's most famous equation.
Astronomy and the Bible
DE YOUNG, Donald B.
Religion
Astronomy
This book, divided into six sections, discusses the earth and moon, the solar system, the stars, general science and technical terms.
Night Sky (N, Hemisphere)
DUNLOP, Storm
Reference
Astronomy
A comprehensive handbook to the planets, stars and constellations visible from the northern hemisphere
Measuring the Universe
FERGUSON, Kitty
Popular Science
Astronomy
This informative text tells the story of how man has attempted to measure distance in space, ranging from early experiments in working out the circumference of the earth, through estimates of distance to the nearest stars, to developments in theories as to what is beyond the observable universe.
Solar Super Storms (in N. Geog, Jun 2012)
FERRIS, Tim
Popular Science
Solar Physics
.Article from the National Geographic magazine (June 2012)
Stephen Hawking's Universe
FILKIN, David
Popular Science
Cosmology
The companion to the popular PBS series. For everyone who bought A Brief History of Time but had trouble understanding it, this is a simple, easily accessible explanation of the same ideasand an introduction to the people behind them.
Fantastic Facts About Space Exploration
FURNISS, Tim
Popular Science
Solar System
Space craft have now visited every planet in our Solar System. This book investigates the short but exciting history of space exploration.
Fantastic Facts About Stars and Planets
FURNISS, Tim
Popular Science
Astronomy
The earth is one of nine planets that move around the Sun. The Sun is one of more than 100 billion stars in the Milky way galaxy. Tha Milky Way is just one of millions of other galaxies in the Universe. This book takes a breathtaking visual journey from our own planet to the farthest reaches of Space.
Loop Quantum Gravity
GAMBINI & PULLIN
Millions and Millions of Crystals
GANS, Roma
 
Hubble's Universe
GOODWIN, Simon
Popular Science
Light reading
D.MacKay
 
Be An Expert Astronomer
GRAHAM, Ian
 
In Search of the Big Bang
GRIBBIN, John
 
The Birth of Time
GRIBBIN, John
 
Halley In 90 Minutes
GRIBBIN, John & Mary
 
Collection of Meteorites
HAAG, Robert
 
Storms of my Grandchildren
HANSEN, James
 
Exploring the Planets
JONES, Brian
 
Physics of the Impossible
KAKU, Michio
Popular Science
Physics
R. McCafferty
Kaku has become one of the most recognisable faces of modern physics, appearing on countless documentaries and even having his own series. He has a good understanding of all aspects of modern physics but never really offers an opinion into his view of the varying theories on the nature of reality. This book looks at all the sci-fi technology and determines what is and isn't possible within the laws of physics and also what may ultimately be possible and how close we can get to our own lightsabre. Fun physics at its popular best
What Satellites See
KNAPP, Brian
 
 
 
Space: Revealing the Process that Shapes the Cosmos
LAFFERTY, Peter
 
Nuclear Power – Selected Topics
LEE, R.E.
 
The Revenge of Gaia
LOVELOCK, James
Popular Science
Natural History
R. McCafferty
Lovelock's first book is an interesting read and reasonably convincing. I have been told that it does not stand up to proper analysis to biological techniques and I'll have to take the experts word for this but whereas the first book finishes on an optimistic note, this is grim reading. Despite the general rejection of his Gaia hypothesis by the scientific community, Lovelock declares war on all science and fills this book with doom and rhetoric that I have little confidence in. After his first book, this is a serious disappointment and can't really recommend it.
The Cambridge Dictionary of Scientists
MILLAR, David, et al.
Popular Science
History
R. McCafferty
An excellent source for brief biographies of every scientist who has made a major contribution over the last 3000 years. Mathematicians are included. There is no great depth but it is pretty comprehensive in its scope. Makes decent reading on a bus journey.
Exploring the Earth and Moon
MOORE, Patrick
Popular Science
Astronomy
.
Philip's Atlas of the Universe (Hardback)
MOORE, Patrick
Popular Science
Astronomy
Like any book by Patrick Moore, this is a standard fayre that provides a good starting point for the novice new to the subject.
Philip's Atlas of the Universe (Paperback)
MOORE, Patrick
Popular Science
Astronomy
Paperback version of the book above.
Astronomy With a Small Telescope
MUIRDEN, James
 
Earthrise – how man first saw the earth
POOLE, Robert
Popular Science
History
R. McCafferty
 
Modern University Physics
RICHARDS, et al.
University
Physics
R. McCafferty
Not as modern as you think. This is an old school textbook that is as dry as a desert and as functional as a shovel. No fancy stuff here. This dates back to the time when there was no Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku or Brian Cox. There wasn't even a Feynmann to give his lectures on physics. See what physics was like before they all got cool shades and floppy hair (or plaqyed bongos)
Collins Gem Stars
RIDPATH, Ian
Packing for Mars – the curious science of life in space
ROACH, Mary
Popular Science
Space Exploration
R. McCafferty
A delightful little book that has plenty of input from engineers and astronauts on the difficulty of human spaceflight. You are an engineers worst nightmare. You are fragile. You have low temperature range, acceleration and radiation tolerances. You need to rest, you need to breathe and eat and you get bored. What sort of idiot would send humans into space? This book addresses these challenges but is not just a discussion of how to get to Mars.
Nuclear Reactors  Section R
SSEB
Moon Dust– in search of the men who fell to Earth
SMITH, Andrew
Popular Science
Space Exploration
R. McCafferty
The author goes on the search for the remaining Moonwalkers to discuss their experiences in trying to cope with literally the biggest comedowns to reality felt in human history. It is a touching personal account of full of difficulties and personal demons and learning to cope with or otherwise, being a part of mankind's greatest adventure. The author comes away with a strong sense of the individual character of each of these men, with varying degrees of sympathy, but empathy for all and the struggles Smith had in trying to relate to some deeply private individuals to complete this important story
3 Roads to Quantum Gravity
SMOLIN, Lee
The Stars Above Us
SPENCER-JONES, Sir Harry
Tunguska – Cauldron of Hell
STONELEY, Jack
Popular Science
History
R. McCafferty
Dating back to 1977, a lot of the science in this book is somewhat out of date. There is no doubt that a lot of its contents and alternative scenarios are sensationalised, almost like a movie of the time but the actual events and reports of the aftermath are well documented. Some of the science is ahead of its time but some the alternative hypotheses for the events of 1908 are like something from a SyFy channel B-movie. That said, it's a jolly read, unchallenging and the facts that are present will allow you to blag your way through any discussion of Tunguska as well as anyone else.
Einstein – A Life in Science WHITE M., & GRIBBIN J.        
The Shape of Inner Space YAU, Shing-Tung        
Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics ZEILIK, et al.
University
Astophysics
R. McCafferty
This is a heavy going book that will require competencey in mathematics to at least Higher physics and mathematics. There is some interesting reading but this is a genuine 1st,2nd year university textbook and should be approached as such.

Apollo Lunar Missions – folder containing newspapers and magazines

2 Planispheres

1 Stellarscope