Wilkins, Jamie 1981-
Wilkins, Jamie 1981-
Born 1981. Education: Earned degree from Cambridge University.
(With Robert Dunn) 300 Astronomical Objects: A Visual Reference to the Universe, Firefly Books (Buffalo, NY), 2006.
Jamie Wilkins collaborated on his first book with fellow astrophysicist Robert Dunn. Both Wilkins and Dunn earned their degrees at Cambridge University in England.
Wilkins and Dunn published 300 Astronomical Objects: A Visual Reference to the Universe in 2006. Published by Firefly Books, the account considers hundreds of celestial objects in the universe that are either popularly known or are of scientific importance and interest. The book begins with an historical introduction to the development of the field of astronomy in the United Kingdom. 300 Astronomical Objects covers such objects as the planets, our sun, comets, asteroids, man-made satellites, space probes, and orbiters. The planets and sun are presented with informational summaries that include statistics on their density, mass, average surface temperature, and other information. The man-made satellites covered include the Hubble telescope and the Spitzer telescope, and includes information on their missions and projected paths. Space probes, such as Viking, Pathfinder, and the Mars landers, are also discussed in the text, including their missions and type of information they obtain. Dunn and Wilkins analyze various objects and phenomenon in the Milky Way, such as our closest neighboring stars, protostars, star clusters, nebulae, supernovas, and black holes. The authors also discuss other galaxies close to, but outside of, the Milky Way. All-sky surveys are also found in the text. Throughout the book, the authors include high-quality color photographs of the objects discussed and include some from the Hubble telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
A contributor to Science News described the book as a "lengthy but hand-size atlas," which was full of "detailed, full-color photos." The contributor called the summaries of celestial bodies "straightforward" and "brief." A contributor to SciTech Book News also felt that the text is "well-illustrated." Stuart J. Goldman, writing in Sky & Telescope, found the book to be "lavishly illustrated." Goldman described the work as a "minute astronomical encyclopedia packed with pictures and information." He pointed out, however, that since the book lacks star charts and does not give any instruction on how to find the objects covered in the text, the book would not be suitable as an observing guide. Goldman did allow that 300 Astronomical Objects is "perfect" for those without much space on their book shelves due to its high volume of information in a compact size.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Science Books & Films, July 1, 2007, review of 300 Astronomical Objects: A Visual Reference to the Universe, p. 163.
Science News, September 2, 2006, review of 300 Astronomical Objects, p. 159.
SciTech Book News, March, 2007, review of 300 Astronomical Objects.
Sky & Telescope, March, 2007, Stuart J. Goldman, review of 300 Astronomical Objects, p. 86.