Book recommendation!

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neufer
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Book recommendation!

Postby neufer » Thu May 23, 2013 7:59 pm

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mil ... 1400847372 wrote:
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<<This book offers an intimate guide to the Milky Way, taking readers on a grand tour of our home Galaxy's structure, genesis, and evolution, based on the latest astronomical findings. In engaging language, it tells how the Milky Way congealed from blobs of gas and dark matter into a spinning starry abode brimming with diverse planetary systems--some of which may be hosting myriad life forms and perhaps even other technologically communicative species.

William Waller vividly describes the Milky Way as it appears in the night sky, acquainting readers with its key components and telling the history of our changing galactic perceptions. The ancients believed the Milky Way was a home for the gods. Today we know it is but one galaxy among billions of others in the observable universe. Within the Milky Way, ground-based and space-borne telescopes have revealed that our Solar System is not alone. Hundreds of other planetary systems share our tiny part of the vast Galaxy. We reside within a galactic ecosystem that is driven by the theatrics of the most massive stars as they blaze through their brilliant lives and dramatic deaths. Similarly effervescent ecosystems of hot young stars and fluorescing nebulae delineate the graceful spiral arms in our Galaxy's swirling disk. Beyond the disk, the spheroidal halo hosts the ponderous--and still mysterious--dark matter that outweighs everything else. Another dark mystery lurks deep in the heart of the Milky Way, where a supermassive black hole has produced bizarre phenomena seen at multiple wavelengths.

Waller makes the case that our very existence is inextricably linked to the Galaxy that spawned us. Through this book, readers can become well-informed galactic "insiders"--ready to imagine humanity's next steps as fully engaged citizens of the Milky Way.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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MargaritaMc
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Re: Book recommendation!

Postby MargaritaMc » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:38 am

Thank you for this book recommendation, Art. I have just downloaded a preview from Kindle and will probably buy it.

I will add two recommendations, both of introductory level books by Timothy Ferris. I've read and re-read them both several times.

Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way
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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.


Timothy Ferris, The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s) Report
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From the prizewinning author who has been called "the greatest science writer in the world" comes this delightfully comprehensive and comprehensible report on how science today envisions the universe as a whole.
Timothy Ferris provides a clear, elegantly written overview of current research and a forecast of where cosmological theory is likely to go in the twenty-first century. He explores the questions that have occurred to even casual readers -- who are curious about nature on the largest scales: What does it mean to say that the universe is "expanding," or that space is "curved"? -- and sheds light on the possibility that our universe is only one among many universes, each with its own physical laws and prospects for the emergence of life.

Although The Whole Shebang was first published in 1998, as an Amazon reviewer writes:
Sure, it's ... old in cosmology. In particular, the discovery that the universe is accelerating has changed a lot of the questions that cosmologists contemplate. But even if you read a book that was published yesterday, it'll be out of date next month. So you have to either hang out in the physics lounge at Princeton, or accept that you're gonna be behind a bit. As it goes, I think that this book is so good that it's certainly worth reading even though it's a bit old.

I especially recommend this book if it will be your first book on cosmology.


It was my first book on cosmology and I wholeheartedly agree with this reviewer.

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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neufer
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Re: Book recommendation!

Postby neufer » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:43 pm

Art Neuendorffer


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