home > article sections > book reviews
email this page to a friend

Book Review: The Formation of the Solar System: Theories Old and New

Cover of the book: Formation of the Solar System In his book The Formation of The Solar System: Theories Old and New, Michael Woolfson presented ideas from the past that were dismissed in early years, but which were revisited in later times. Indeed the how, when and why of the Solar System's formation have been topics of discussion since the realization of existence of the system.

A variety of theories are presented in the book, and Woolfson discusses problems and benefits that were discovered with each. Woolfson uses analogies to present a non technical version of processes he also described mathematically, and use of two-dimensional models made envisioning those processes easier.

I found it interesting to move from early theories for the formation of the Solar System, to more modern theories, which involve many intricate details that allow for not only the formation of the Sun but also for formation of moons, asteroids, and lesser objects. I also enjoyed reading about how revision of old theories has been utilized to include new discoveries of information.

As the book progressed, presentation of information became more mathematical, and interjection of Woolfson’s own research was used for explanation of processes. The easy-to-read beginning of the book became tedious toward the latter third as Woolfson attempted present his own theories.

I recommend that people who have an interest in the formation of the Solar System read this book with an open mind. The 304 pages of material provide food for further thought.

back to the top   |   email this page to a friend

Reviewer: Brenda Culbertson

Related Reviews

The End of Night
First Magnitude
Postcards from Mars
Cosmos and Psyche
Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders
Digital Astrophotography
Quips, Quotes and Quanta
Astronomy Hacks
The Formation of the Solar System
Your Cosmic Context
Alien Volcanoes
The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy
Zoo in the Sky
Pluto Confidential
The Manga Guide to the Universe

Other Sections

Astronomy articles
Solar System Guide
Space Exploration
Cosmology articles
Book Reviews


Night Sky Guide
Buying a Telescope
Historical Eclipses
Meet Astronomers
The Constellations


Read blog posts
Meet the Team