Author: Tim Gregory
Blurb: Meteorites have long been seen as portents of fate and messages from the gods, their fiery remains inspiring worship and giving rise to legends that have persisted for millennia. But beyond the lore, meteorites tell an even greater story: that of our solar system. In Meteorite, geologist Tim Gregory shows that beneath the charred crusts of these celestial stones lies a staggering diversity of rock types. Their unique constituents, vibrant colors, and pungent smells contain thrilling tales of interstellar clouds, condensing stardust, and the fiery collisions of entire worlds. Gregory explores the world of meteorites to uncover new insights into what our solar system was like before our sun became a star, into the forging of our planet, and into the emergence of life on it. Humans have long looked to the skies for answers to big questions. Meteorite reveals how science is finally arriving at those answers.
Continuing my recent foray into science nonfiction, I picked up Meteorite hoping to learn a bit more about the titular subject matter than I did in my school years, and the author did not disappoint. With information presented in a very organized fashion and with a writing style accessible even to those with very little scientific knowledge, Meteorite acts as a great primer for anyone interested in learning about the key role that meteorites have played in our journey to understand the origins of our solar system.
The book includes a great many stories about the historical discoveries of meteorites and how scientists used those discoveries to gradually learn more and more about how the solar system formed—in particular, which cosmic processes created the solar system we know today, what elements were involved in those processes, and what modern-day by-products were created by those processes.
The author also takes the time to thoroughly explain the basics of meteorite categorization—what the different types of meteorites are called, what they’re made of, and how each one helped us understand more about the history of the solar system—without delving so far into advanced math and science that the book becomes difficult for a non-science-oriented reader (like me) to understand.
All in all, I thought this book was a well-written introductory text for anyone interested in studying the topic of meteorites, or even just anyone interested in learning a little more about the subject than they did in high school science.
Thanks to NetGalley and Basic Books for providing me with an eARC of Meteorite.