From the second-century celestial models of Ptolemy to modern-day research institutes and quantum theory, this classic book offers a breathtaking tour of astronomy and the brilliant, eccentric personalities who have shaped it. From the first time mankind had an inkling of the vast space that surrounds us, those who study the universe have had to struggle against political and religious preconceptions. They have included some of the most charismatic, courageous, and idiosyncratic thinkers of all time. In Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris uses his unique blend of rigorous research and captivating narrative skill to draw us into the lives and minds of these extraordinary figures, creating a landmark work of scientific history.
-- Also appeared on the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Independent, Wordstock, NCIBA, and Booksense bestseller lists
-- Winner of the Christopher Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award
-- Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and the American Library Association
-- Longitude sold more than 300,000 copies in paperback and spent 25 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list
-- The Penguin edition features a stunning package with a beautiful step-back cover
From the foreword of the fourth edition:
"The Universe and Beyond is a celebration of the human spirit of exploration. It is a majestic voyage to the most distant realms we can imagine. Prepare yourself for a great adventure."
-- Edward G. Gibson, Astronaut, Skylab 4
The Universe and Beyond is a fact-packed, up-to-date guide to the universe written by best-selling astronomy author Terence Dickinson. This new edition includes all the most recent astronomical discoveries and events and features imaginative astronomical illustrations and dramatic photography from the Hubble Space Telescope, space probes and the largest observatories on Earth.
This fifth edition has been carefully revised and updated:
- The section on nearby stars has been significantly expanded to include new information about the planets of other stars, emphasizing the probability that, by 2020, several Earth-like planets will be discovered orbiting stars similar to our Sun.
- The controlversial decision to drop Pluto from the solar system's roster of planets is fully explained.
- Newly discovered black holes and galaxy collisions are discussed.
- There are more than 50 new photographs of planets, moons, nebulas, galaxies and galaxy clusters.
The Universe and Beyond addresses the most common queries from those fascinated by the mystery and majesty of the cosmos. Brimming with color illustrations, this book is a one-stop guide to understanding the universe.
One of the great paradoxes of modern times is that the more scientists understand the natural world, the more we discover that our everyday beliefs about it are wrong. Astronomy, in particular, is one of the most misunderstood scientific disciplines.With the participation of thousands of undergraduate students, Neil F. Comins has identified and classified, by origin and topic, over 1,700 commonly held misconceptions. Heavenly Errors provides access to all of them and explores many, including: - Black holes suck in everything around them. - The Sun shines by burning gas. - Comets have tails trailing behind them. - The Moon alone causes tides. - Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is the hottest planet. In the course of correcting these errors, he explains that some occur through the prevalence of pseudosciences such as astrology and UFO-logy and some enter the public conscience through the "bad astronomy" of Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science-fiction movies.. Perhaps most important, Professor Comins presents the reader with the methods for identifying and replacing incorrect ideas--tools with which to probe erroneous notions so that we can begin to question for ourselves... and to think more like scientists.
The Genesis of Flight illustrates one of the most prestigious aeronautical history collections in existence, covering the history of man's dream of flight from antiquity to the advent of powered flight at the beginning of the 20th century. The items included are drawn from more than 20,000 objects that vividly reflect both humanity's vision and its fulfillment. Five-thousand-year-old seals carved from semiprecious stones and used to inscribe clay tablets record the earliest conception of flight. Among the collection's thousands of books are priceless volumes printed before 1501. Many, such as Robert Hooke's Philosophical Collections (1682), are serious, scientific studies of the possibility of flight. Others are about imaginary voyages into space and to other worlds, including Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1547), Cyrano de Bergerac's account of a voyage to the moon first published in 1650, and, of course, the 19th-century classics of Jules Verne. More than 2,000 prints, portraits, engravings, etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs comprise a unique and arresting pictorial history of aeronautics. Important letters written by pioneers of flight--Montgolfier, Blanchard, Lunardi, Lilienthal, Count von Zeppelin, Santos-Dumont, Langley, and the Wright brothers--are to be found among the collection's manuscript holdings. There are also rare commemorative medallions, sheet music, posters, dime novels, postcards and postage stamps, early flight manuals, catalogues of aircraft equipment, match boxes, and children's games and toys--all recording, in one way or another, humanity's aspirations to fly.The collection was assembled by Richard Gimbel (1898-1970), who began collecting while serving with the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in England during World War II, and continued after becoming curator of aeronautical literature at Yale University. The collection was donated to the United States Air Force Academy upon his death.The contributors include Tom D. Crouch, National Air and Space Museum; Clive Hart, University of Essex, England; Paul Maravelas, University of Minnesota Libraries; Ellen Morris, University of Pennsylvania; Dominick A. Pisano, National Air and Space Museum; Holly Pittman, University of Pennsylvania; and Edward Rochette, American Numismatics Association.
A fascinating and authoritative introduction to the science of meteorites, written by leading experts in the field.
Meteorites are rocks from space that have fallen to the Earth's surface. Once considered bad omens, they are now recognized for giving us a unique insight into the nature of the material that was present when our solar system formed.
In Meteorites, experts from the Natural History Museum in London, England, provide a compelling and up-to-date introduction to these otherworldly objects.
This fully illustrated guide reveals:
- What meteorites are
- Where meteorites come from
- What they tell us about our solar system
- The latest information on key meteorite falls.
In clear, jargon-free language, the authors explain how meteorites provide us with invaluable information about planets beyond Earth -- both within our solar system and around other stars.
With its combination of color photographs, diagrams and maps, Meteorites/i> is the ultimate reference to these mysterious objects from space.
The Hand of God combines inspiration for the mind and spirit by juxtaposing what Astronomy magazine has called the most beautiful astrophotos ever taken with illuminating words of scientists, poets, and theologians. Introduced by an essay from award-winning science writer Sharon Begley, this revised edition includes more than sixty new images and creates for the reader an unforgettable experience of the wonder of the universe.It was once believed that to look into the heavens was to look into the face of God. The first Hubble telescope images from space, which appeared in 1990, confirmed that sentiment in ways that are beyond imagination. These eerily luminous landscapes, splendid with color and motion, gave us a glimpse into the outermost reaches of the universe a vast, unexplored realm where spiraling galaxies cartwheeled, nebulae shimmered, and stars were born. Dark clouds parted like gauzy curtains and allowed us to peer directly into the heart of a mystery. Since that time, more images have been captured on film that are simultaneously wondrous and troubling, restoring to our lives that very mystery that seems to be part of the human experience.Throughout history, scientists and theologians, artists and writers, poets, and philosophers have struggled eloquently to make sense of the universe and God s part in it. Together the images in The Hand of God and the accompanying reflections encourage a sense of awe and, perhaps, purpose in an age hostile to both. We cannot take a single step toward heaven, French mystic Simone Weil once said. If, however, we look heavenward for a long time, God comes and takes us up. Perhaps it is time to look up once again."