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Just Visiting This Planet

Merlin Answers More Questions about Everything under the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Just Visiting This Planet book cover is purple, with a cartoonish illustration of a cratered surface with a signpost and various signs with distances to various places, like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Virgo Superluster.

A collection of six years from a Q & A column written monthly for Star Date magazine. Sequel to Merlin’s Tour of the Universe that contains chapters of questions about astronomy and space asked by the general public and answered through the pen name “Merlin.”

Here is a completely new collection of questions and answers about the cosmos for stargazers of all ages. Whether waxing about Earth and its environs, the Sun and its stellar siblings, the world of light, physical laws, or galaxies near and far, Merlin—a fictional visitor from Planet Omniscia—is easy to understand, often humorous, and always entertaining.

Merlin fields a wide range of questions from many curious mortals, and in so doing draws on his own vast knowledge as well as the expertise of many close friends, including Archimedes, Galileo, Einstein, and Santa.

So far, Merlin has not been stumped, responding to questions on mysteries such as: If aliens exploded our moon, what effect would it have on us? What are your thoughts on the theory that a star named Nemesis is circling our solar system and was responsible for killing off the dinosaurs? Is it true that if I leave a container on my roof for a period of time, I can actually collect space particles from outer space?

Delightfully illustrated throughout, Just Visiting This Planet is a skywatcher’s book for lovers of the universe by one of its brightest lights.

Available from

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Any referral fees received from these sellers are sent to educational charities each year.

Publisher details


July 1998

Main Street Books

352 pages