Space Junk

The Dangers of Polluting Earth's Orbit

Karen Romano Young 2016, Beaverton Young Adult 629.416 YOU

Irk. This needs a technical editor. Young readers should not be taught the wrong words and phrases for things.

Start with "Earth's Orbit" ... "Earth's Orbit" usually refers to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. "Earth Orbit" is what she meant, as in "this space object is in Earth orbit"

Page 16, "In addition to being pulled by gravity, satellites also travel under their own power. Their power supplies, controlled by engineers on Earth, keep satellites orbiting at the correct distance above the Earth and in the correct path, such as in an elliptical orbit" ... etc. Not "power". Satellites fall around the Earth. Newton's "cannonball from a mountaintop" is still a good explanation; if that is too difficult for some teens, it is best not to mislead them with "power", which is the rate of change of energy with time. Satellite orbits are constant (or very slowly decaying) energy; the power dissipated as drag is very small.

Most of the book is OK, and with some technical review by an engineer or scientist, and some "kid testing" to find explanations that inform and not mislead the kids (and the author), this could be a "three steps forward" book, rather than "two forward and one back."

krySpaceJunk (last edited 2019-07-23 01:06:51 by KeithLofstrom)