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This book aims to take the reader on an epic journey to survey all that is known today about the universe. We learn about the violent history of the solar system and see the birth, evolution and spectacular death of stars like our Sun. Topics range from the orgins of those elements that make up our own bodies, to the "grand design" of spiral galaxies like the Milky Way and from comets and giant radio-galaxies to the Big Bang and the origin of the universe itself. Written by one of Britain's leading astronomers, "Universe" aims to bridge the gulf between modern science and the Rest of human culture. Twenty famous astronomical objects are used to introduce the full range of theories and insights of modern astronomy. Each illustrates a different theme in the history and structure of the universe. In this way the night sky is linked with ideas and discoveries at the frontier of research. In addition, these astronomical objects - half of which have been known since antiquity and are visible to the naked eye - are set in their historical context.
The author shows how our ancestors coped with the ideas and uncertianties they inspired, describing the myths and legends from many cultures to which they gave rise. Over 350 illustrations, many in colour are included, which have been selected from the world's ground-based and satellite-borne telescopes. The book is also illustrated with literary quotaitons, historical records adn paintings with an astronomical dimension.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 216 x 276mm | 1,180g
  • Harlow, United Kingdom
  • 0582044383
  • 9780582044388

Table of contents

Comet Halley; Alpha Centauri - nearest star to the sun; Sirius - and its white dwarf companion; Polaris - the Pole star; Vega - a planetary system in the making?; Mira - the first known variable star; Ring Nebula - death throes of a star like the sun; Orion - the birth of new stars; Delta Cephei - yardstick for the universe; Algol - the demon star; Nova Acquilae - the new star of 1918; Crab Nebula - the supernova of 1054 AD; Hyades and Plyades - star clusters; the Milky Way - our galaxy; Magellanic Clouds - our neighbours in the universe; Andromeda Nebula - twin to our galaxy; Messier 87 - radio galaxy; 3C273 - enigmatic quasar; Messier 82 - starburst galaxy; Virgo cluster - rich cluster galaxies; the universe.
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