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March 31, 1991|Charles Solomon

ASTRONOMY FROM A TO Z: A Dictionary of Celestial Objects by Charles A. Schweighauser (Illinois Issues: $14.95, illustrated). As the title suggests, this handsomely illustrated volume offers concise definitions for astronomical terms, from "The Andromeda Galaxy" to "Zodiacal Light and Gegenschein." The entry for "Asteroids" ruins a lot of science-fiction stories by demonstrating that these rocky fragments can't be the remains of a lost planet: They don't contain enough matter. A handy reference for the interested layman.

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