The Copernicus Complex
Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities
Paperback ISBN: 0374535574
"A groundbreaking revision of the Copernican principle Though the concept of "the universe" suggests the containment of everything, the latest ideas in cosmology hint that our universe may be just one of a multitude of others--a single slice of an infinity of parallel realities. In The Copernicus Complex, the renowned astrophysicist and author Caleb Scharf takes us on a cosmic adventure like no other, from tiny microbes within the Earth to distant exoplanets and beyond, asserting that the age-old Copernican principle is in need of updating. As Scharf argues, when Copernicus proposed that the Earth was not the fixed point at the center of the known universe (and therefore we are not unique), he set in motion a colossal scientific juggernaut, forever changing our vision of nature. But the principle has never been entirely true--we do live at a particular time, in a particular location, under particular circumstances. To solve this conundrum we must put aside our Copernican worldview and embrace the possibility that we are in a delicate balance between mediocrity and significance, order and chaos. Weaving together cutting-edge science and classic storytelling, historical accounts and speculations on what the future holds, The Copernicus Complex presents a compelling argument for what our true cosmic status is, and proposes a way forward for the ultimate quest: to determine life's abundance not just across this universe but across all realities"--
From the Sun and Moon to Wormholes and Warp Drive, Key Theories, Discoveries, and Facts About the Universe
Hardcover ISBN: 1440563594
Explore the curiosities of our galaxy! Too often, textbooks obscure the beauty and wonder of outer space with tedious discourse that even Galileo would oppose. Astronomy 101 cuts out the boring details and lengthy explanations, and instead, gives you a lesson in astronomy that keeps you engaged as you discover what's hidden beyond our starry sky. From the Big Bang and nebulae to the Milky Way and Sir Isaac Newton, this celestial primer is packed with hundreds of entertaining astronomy facts, charts, and photographs you won't be able to get anywhere else. So whether you're looking to unravel the mystery behind black holes, or just want to learn more about your favorite planets, Astronomy 101 has all the answers--even the ones you didn't know you were looking for.
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey
1957--the Space Race Begins
Paperback ISBN: 0743294327
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey tells the remarkable story of America's first efforts to succeed in space, a time of exploding rockets, national space mania, Florida boomtowns, and interservice rivalries so fierce that President Dwight Eisenhower had to referee them. When the Soviet Union launched the first orbital satellite, Sputnik I, Americans panicked. The Soviets had nuclear weapons, the Cold War was underway, and now the USSR had taken the lead in the space race. Members of Congress and the press called for an all-out effort to launch a satellite into orbit. With dire warnings about national security in the news almost every day, the armed services saw space as the new military frontier. But President Eisenhower insisted that the space effort, which relied on military technology, be supervised by civilians so that the space race would be peaceful. The Navy's Vanguard program flopped, and the Army, led by ex-Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and a martinet general named J. Bruce Medaris (whom Eisenhower disliked), took over. Meanwhile, the Soviets put a dog inside the next Sputnik, and Americans grew more worried as the first animal in space whirled around the Earth. Throughout 1958 America went space crazy. UFO sightings spiked. Boys from Brooklyn to Burbank shot model rockets into the air. Space-themed beauty pageants became a national phenomenon. The news media flocked to the launchpads on the swampy Florida coast, and reporters reinvented themselves as space correspondents. And finally the Army's rocket program succeeded. Determined not to be outdone by the Russians, America's space scientists launched the first primate into space, a small monkey they nicknamed Old Reliable for his calm demeanor. And then at Christmastime, Eisenhower authorized the launch of a secret satellite with a surprise aboard. A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey memorably recalls the infancy of the space race, a time when new technologies brought ominous danger but also gave us the ability to realize our dreams and reach for the stars.
Welcome to the Universe
An Astrophysical Tour
Hardcover ISBN: 0691157243
An introduction to the cosmos provides information on the latest advancements in astrophysics, including why Pluto is no longer a planet, how stars live and die, and the prospects for intelligent life in the universe.
The People and Places of Space Exploration
Hardcover ISBN: 1476738327
A collection of photographs and essays celebrate the people and places involved in American space exploration, including the astronauts, technicians, administrators, engineers, and ground crews at three NASA flight centers.
How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos
Paperback ISBN: 0374533970
"We've long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. They're mysteriouschasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath. Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravity's Engines, these chasms in space-time don't just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles. With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo--a "sweet spot" of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life?We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars"--
Galaxies, A Very Short Introduction
Paperback ISBN: 0199234345
In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, popular science writer John Gribben tells the story of our growing understanding of galaxies, from the days before Galileo to our present-day observations of our many hundreds of millions of galactic neighbors. Not only are galaxies fascinating astronomical structures in themselves, but their study has revealed much of what we know today about the cosmos, providing a window on the Big Bang and the origins of the Universe. Gribben looks at our own "Milky Way" Galaxy in detail, from the different kinds of stars that are born within it, to the origins of its magnificent spiral structure. Perhaps most interesting, Gribben describes the many exciting discoveries have been made about our own galaxy and about those beyond: how a supermassive black hole lurks at the center of every galaxy, how enormous forces are released when galaxies collide, how distant galaxies provide a window on the early Universe, and how the formation of young galaxies shed needed light on the mysteries of Cold Dark Matter.
Mars On Earth
The Adventures Of Space Pioneers In The High Artic
Paperback ISBN: 1585423505
Recounts the virtual missions of the Mars Society space pioneer team, who while waiting for new technological advances in the space program, replicated and simulated the real-life challenges of exploring Mars on the harshest terrains on Earth. Reprint.
Accessory to War
The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military
Hardcover ISBN: 0393064441
In this fascinating foray into the millennia-long relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. “The overlap is strong, and it’s a two- way street,