Errata & Updates

In a book containing such a large volume of data and complexity it is almost inevitable that mistakes will creep in. We aim to keep a record of corrections below. If you spot mistakes, do let us know.

  • One small step for... / pages 10-11
    • The frogs are amphibians and should therefore be red.
  • Human spaceflight / pages 12-13
    • In the print edition, Sally Ride's trips of 1983 & 1984 were accidentally omitted along with several trips by other astronauts. These missing trips are all included in the website versions of the human spaceflight graphics. Thanks to ToSeek for spotting this error.
  • Travels in time and space / pages 14-15
    • In mid 2015, after the book had gone to press, Gennadi Padalka overtook Sergei Krikalyov as the person with the longest time in space. See our interactive web version for an automatically updated version.
    • In the book we omitted three astronauts with extremely short duration missions: Joe Walker who flew X15 Flight 90/91 in 1963, Mike Melvill who flew SpaceShipOne 15P/16P in 2004, and Brian Binnie who flew SpaceShipOne 17P in 2004.
  • Launch sites / pages 18-19
    • In the caption for "Centre Spatial Guyanais", the word "contries" should be "countries".
  • Distant voyagers / pages 34-35
    • There is a typo in the text about Rosetta. Where it says Rosetta visited "Mars, Jupiter and two asteroids" it should say "Mars, Earth and two asteroids".
  • Planetary atmospheres / pages 54-55
    • The 1 bar labels for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune should all line up at 0km altitude.
  • Lords of the rings / pages 56-57
    • The Maxwell Gap label should be Columbo Gap.
    • The Bond Gap label should be Maxwell Gap.
    • The Dawes Gap label should be Bond Gap.
    • The Cassini Division stretches from the edge of the B Ring to the edge of the A Ring.
    • The Keeler Gap label should say Encke Gap.
    • The Roche Division is the gap between the A Ring and the F Ring.
    • The Keeler Gap label should be the Encke Gap.
    • The Roche Division label is the Keeler Gap.
    • The Roche Division actually sits between the A Ring and the F Ring.
  • The high jump / pages 76-77
    • There is a typo for the height you could jump to on Charon. It should be 17.2 m not 1.72 m.
  • Resolution / pages 98-99
    • The resolution for the European VLBI Network (Row 63 / EVN) should be 0.00015 arcseconds rather than 0.0015 arcseconds.
  • We are stardust / pages 142-143
    • Following the detection of a merging neutron star in gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves, the web version has been updated also based on Jennifer Johnson's blog.
    • Remaned "Stars" to "Low-mass stars" and "Low-mass star deaths" (the s-process).
    • "Supernovae" includes both core collapse and white dwarf supernovae.
    • Added "Merging neutron stars" (the r-process).
  • The local sheet of galaxies / pages 156-157
    • The top-most label should read 15 Mly (not 1 Mly)
  • Models of the Universe / pages 166-167
    • In Ptolemy's model of the Universe, Venus appears twice. The copy that shares the Sun's orbit should not be there.
  • Light spheres / pages 196-197
  • Water worlds / pages 206-207
    • The leader lines for Enceladus point at the wrong parts; the one for water should point at the blue circle and the line for the moon should point at the purple outer.
  • Density / pages 208-209
    • The mass of the HGV is assumed to be 7.5 tonnes
  • How long is a day? / pages 212-213
    • The number of leap seconds added since 1972 has changed since the book went to press. One was added on 30 June 2015.
  • Sources, notes and acknowledgements / pages 222-224
    • The quoted formula from ST:TOS should be "speed/c = warp³" - the number three lost its superscript.
    • There is a missing line that should separate the references for pages 160 and 166.