Followed by an introductory guide to the solar system with high quality images and observational drawings of the planets, covering the Sun, Moon, Inferior and Superior planets. Everyone is interested in the stars and on a clear night astonished by them. The Star Book will answer any questions you may have when you look up into the night sky.
This fully illustrated one-stop guide will show you how to look at and understand the night sky. To make your progress easier, it comes with colour illustrations and expert advice throughout.
Full colour charts, photographs and illustrations show the planetary motions and offer information on astrological events, while detailed diagrams help to explain the movement across the sky and what stars are visible on any given day of the year.
From the ‘Zen of observing’ to extraordinary phenomena, this book offers every stargazer, whether aspiring, amateur or experienced, a comprehensive look at the night sky.
Contents include: introducing the sky; binoculars and telescopes; the solar system; deep space; recording the skies; star charts and celestial showpieces.
The companion volume to ‘Need to Know? Stargazing’ and by the same author, this book focuses on the basic history and science of the universe, rather than on the practical skywatching aspects. It includes information on:
• Outrageous philosophy: weird notions and early ideas about the Universe including ancient Egyptian and Greek cosmology
• How the universe began: creation theories and the expanding Universe, from the Big Bang to the formation of the Sun and the appearance of life and humans
• The Earth's formation and the origin of the Moon
• The structure and composition of planet and the atmosphere, volcanoes, mountain formation and geological catastrophes; past, present and future
• The Solar System
• Star types and their formation, development and demise
• Types of galaxy
• Professional instruments, research and space observatories
In particular, ‘Collins Need to Know? Universe’ also asks what we know about the future: the future of man, and space travel. Will we be able to colonize planets? Will the universe expand or crunch, and could there be alternative universes out there?
Everyone is interested in the stars and on a clear night astonished by them. Stargazing Throughout the Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere will answer any questions you may have when you look up into the night sky.
Skywatchers have already been primed for C/2012 (ISON) earlier in 2013 with the apparition of another naked-eye comet, C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), and following C/2012 S1 (ISON) there is the prospect of 2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) reaching naked eye visibility in August 2014. Future bright cometary prospects are also discussed, taking into account the latest predictions.
Examining the origin and nature of comets using examples of great comets from the past, this book sets the scene for the arrival of Comet C/2012 S1 and those following it over the next few years in the inner Solar System. Skywatchers and amateur astronomers can learn how to follow, observe and record comets. There is also a guide on how to keep abreast of the latest cometary discoveries and how to use a variety of reputable sources, including publications, websites, programs and apps to visualize and plan observations. The role of the amateur in cometary discovery also is featured, as well as details on how professional astronomers plan to get the most ‘science’ out of cometary apparitions, how and why professionals go about discovering comets, and upcoming plans to visit comets with space probes (and later, perhaps, human visits). Illustrations provide historic images of comets, images from space probes and images of the latest bright comets. Orbital plots and easy-to-follow sky charts are also included.
This book is a unique guide that sets the scene by giving a comprehensive history of comets and examples of great comets throughout history and informs the reader about the nature and origins of this spectacular occurence. Expectations are fully covered by explaining not only what the regular person can expect to see, but how amateur astronomers can plan observations and what steps the professionals are taking to ‘get the most science’ from this exciting event.
The concept of the book - and of the series - is to present an up-to-date detailed description of the Moon, including its origins, history, and geology (part one); and then (part two) to consider how best to observe and record it successfully using commercially-available equipment.
The Moon and How to Observe It is a mine of information for all levels of amateur observers, from the beginner to the experienced
The first part of Mars and How to Observe It sets out our current knowledge of Mars as a planet - its orbit, physical characteristics, evolution over time, and current geology. A planet-wide tour of Mars's topography is featured, along with clearly labeled maps and close-up images of a variety of features. The second part of the book explains how amateur and practical astronomers can observe Mars successfully. Many aspects are considered in depth, including preparing to observe, calculating phase and tilt, and making observational sketches and drawings. There are also plenty of details about how best to make high-resolution CCD images. Since Mars changes in its apparent size in the sky according to its position in relation to Earth, it is best observed during its closest approaches. Future apparitions (appearances of the Red Planet) are therefore featured.
America’s space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program, cutting off its access to space. No astronauts will be launched in an American craft, from American soil, until the 2020s, and NASA may soon find itself eclipsed by other countries’ space programs.
With his signature wit and thought-provoking insights, Neil deGrasse Tyson—one of our foremost thinkers on all things space—illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever. As Tyson reveals, exploring the space frontier can profoundly enrich many aspects of our daily lives, from education systems and the economy to national security and morale. For America to maintain its status as a global leader and a technological innovator, he explains, we must regain our enthusiasm and curiosity about what lies beyond our world.
Provocative, humorous, and wonderfully readable, Space Chronicles represents the best of Tyson’s recent commentary, including a must-read prologue on NASA and partisan politics. Reflecting on topics that range from scientific literacy to space-travel missteps, Tyson gives us an urgent, clear-eyed, and ultimately inspiring vision for the future.
The authors outline how their positions have further diverged on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.
In Wonders of the Solar System – the book of the acclaimed BBC TV series – Professor Brian Cox will take us on a journey of discovery where alien worlds from your imagination become places we can see, feel and visit.
The Wonders of the Solar System – from the giant ice fountains of Enceladus to the liquid methane seas of Titan and from storms twice the size of the Earth to the tortured moon of Io with its giant super-volcanoes – is the Solar System as you have never seen it before.
In this series, Professor Brian Cox will introduce us to the planets and moons beyond our world, finding the biggest, most bizarre, most powerful natural phenomena. Using the latest scientific imagery along with cutting edge CGI and some of the most spectacular and extreme locations on Earth, Brian will show us Wonders never thought possible.
Employing his trademark clear, authoritative, yet down-to-earth approach, Brian will explore how these previously unseen phenomena have dramatically expanded our horizons with new discoveries about the planets, their moons and how
they came to be the way they are.
From the Paperback edition.
In The Universe, today's most influential science writers explain the science behind our evolving understanding of the universe and everything in it, including the cutting edge research and discoveries that are shaping our knowledge.
Lee Smolin reveals how math and cosmology are helping us create a theory of the whole universe. Benoit Mandelbrot looks back on a career devoted to fractal geometry. Neil Turok analyzes the fundamental laws of nature, what came before the big bang, and the possibility of a unified theory.
Seth Lloyd investigates the impact of computational revolutions and the informational revolution. Lawrence Krauss provides fresh insight into gravity, dark matter, and the energy of empty space. Brian Greene and Walter Isaacson illuminate the genius who revolutionized modern science: Albert Einstein. And much more.
Explore the universe with some of today's greatest minds: what it is, how it came into being, and what may happen next.
Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? And why have they captured the imagination of timeless artists, Romantic poets, and every kid who's ever held a crayon? Veteran journalist and lifelong sky watcher Gavin Pretor-Pinney reveals everything there is to know about clouds, from history and science to art and pop culture. Cumulus, nimbostratus, and the dramatic and surfable Morning Glory cloud are just a few of the varieties explored in this smart, witty, and eclectic tour through the skies.
Illustrated with striking photographs (including a new section in full-color) and line drawings featuring everything from classical paintings to lava lamps, The Cloudspotter's Guide will have enthusiasts, weather watchers, and the just plain curious floating on cloud nine.
In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the German armed forces, looking to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. One of the key figures in this period was Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun escaped from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Meanwhile, the US Air Force was looking ahead to a time when men would fly in space, and test pilots like Neil Armstrong were flying cutting-edge, rocket-powered aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere.
Breaking the Chains of Gravity tells the story of America's nascent space program, its scientific advances, its personalities and the rivalries it caused between the various arms of the US military. At this point getting a man in space became a national imperative, leading to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.
A brilliant book about modern physics, quantum mechanics, the fate of stars and the deep mysteries of black holes, Leonard Susskind's account of the Black Hole War is mind-bending and exhilarating reading.
13.7 billion years old. 93 billion light-years across. It contains over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. This infinite, vast and complex Universe has been the subject of human fascination and scientific exploration for thousands of years. The wonders of the Universe might seem alien to us and impossible to understand, but away from the telescopes, the labs and the white coats, Professor Brian Cox uses the evidence found in the natural world on Earth to brilliantly explain the truth of the cosmos.
Professor Cox will show how the vast and unfathomable phenomena of deep space can be explained, and even experienced, by re-examining the familiar here on Earth. He is determined to answer the most profound questions we can ask about ourselves and the world in which we live, but in a uniquely understandable way. The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied in the Universe. Using his expert knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm, Professor Cox shows us that if we can understand the impact of these governing laws on Earth it will bring us a step closer to an understanding of our Universe.
Written in easy-to-understand language (and with a glossary for those few terms you may not be familiar with), this is the must-have reference for this unique occurrence. It’s not a stretch to say that this eclipse will prove to be the most viewed sky event in history. That’s why even now, more than a year before the eclipse, astronomy clubs, government agencies, cities — even whole states — are preparing for the unprecedented onslaught of visitors whose only desire is to experience darkness at midday. Bakich informs observers what anyone will need to observe, enjoy, and understand this event.
First, there is a brief overview of the history and development of the spectroscope. This is followed by a short introduction to the theory of stellar spectra. The final parts of this section provide details of the necessary reference spectra required for instrument testing and spectral comparison. It concludes with a chapter covering the various types of spectroscopes available to the amateur.
Next, there is a series of "How to..." sections. These cover all aspects of setting up and using various types of commercially available and home-built spectroscopes. Transmission gratings are covered first, and then more complex models, all the way to the sophisticated Littrow design.
The final part of Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is about practical spectroscope design and construction. It contains a collection of detailed instructions covering the design and building of three different types of spectroscope, along with the necessary design theory (with minimal math). Developing an instrument in simple steps from the basic grating spectroscope, using standard "off the shelf" adaptors, the author describes how to build spectroscopes equal in performance to the better commercial units, constructed using basic hand tools for a fraction of the cost!
This is the only up-to-date practical spectroscopy book available to amateurs. For the first time, it also brings together an invaluable user knowledge base – a collection of observing, analyzing, and processing hints and tips that will allow the amateur to build up and develop important skills in preparing scientifically acceptable spectral data, which can make a valuable contribution to ProAm (professional/amateur) projects. It covers in detail all aspects of the design, construction techniques, testing, calibrating, and using a spectroscope – enough detail to enable the average amateur astronomer to successfully build and use his own spectroscope for a fraction of the current commercial cost.
This book is an ideal complement to Robinson’s Spectroscopy: the Key to the Stars (Springer 2007) and Martin’s Spectroscopic Atlas of Bright Stars (Springer, due 2009). Together, the three books form a complete package for all amateur astronomers who are interested in practical spectroscopy.
As Professor Chris Kitchin said, "If optical spectroscopy had not been invented then fully 75 percent of all astronomical knowledge would be unknown today, and yet the subject itself receives scant attention in astronomical texts." Olivier Thizy (of Shelyak Instruments, the builder of the LiHiResIII commercial spectroscope) writes on an Internet forum; "What is missing is tutorial books and "how to" books with amateur equipment? I believe spectroscopy is in general moving from builders to users (as CCD cameras did in the 1990's)... ...literature is following but slowly."
This is the practical spectroscopy book that amateur astronomers have been waiting for!
In the first three chapters the authors briefly review the great explosions that will form the subject matter of the book--namely, supernovae and gamma-ray bursters. They describe the very early universe, after the Big Bang, and then how "the lights came on all over the universe as the very first stars began to shine." The importance of stellar mass in governing not only the lifetime of a star (the most massive stars live relatively short lives) but also the way in which a star ends its days is also explained.
Chapter 4 describes the explosion of certain massive stars, outlining the various stages at the end of these stars' lives, which result in the cataclysmic explosions known as supernovae. In Chapter 5 the authors introduce the more exotic and spectacular forms of stellar explosion known as gamma-ray bursters. Chapter 6 studies the markers used for cosmic surveys and Hubble's contributions to the field. The penultimate chapter looks at the very distant, highly luminous sources known as quasars and the evolution of our universe from the earliest times. The final chapter shows how observations of distant supernovae have revealed that the expansion of the universe is in fact accelerating--one of the most exciting and remarkable discoveries in recent years. It was this discovery that lead to the idea that 70% of the universe is made up of mysterious dark energy.
A heartfelt and personal journey filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever imagined exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?
Until around ten years ago, the only planets that we knew about were within the Solar System. The first genuine planet beyond the confines of the Solar System was discovered only 1988. Since then another 350 or so exoplanets have been detected by various methods, and most of these haven been found in the last ten years. Although many more exoplanets discoveries may be expected to occur even as this book is being read, a large enough data set is now available to form the basis for an informed general account of exoplanets.
The topic hence is an extremely "hot" one - all the more so because the recently launched Kepler spacecraft should soon start uncovering many more exoplanets, some perhaps comparable with the Earth (and therefore possibly alternative homes for mankind, if we could ever reach them). Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Life gives a comprehensive, balances, and above all accurate account of exoplanets.
Despite this immense fame, almost nothing is known about Gagarin or the exceptional people behind his dramatic space flight. Starman tells for the first time Gagarin's personal odyssey from peasant to international icon, his subsequent decline as his personal life began to disintegrate under the pressures of fame, and his final disillusionment with the Russian state. President Kennedy's quest to put an American on the Moon was a direct reaction to Gagarin's achievement--yet before that successful moonshot occurred, Gagarin himself was dead, aged just thirty-four, killed in a mysterious air crash. Publicly the Soviet hierarchy mourned; privately their sighs of relief were almost audible, and the KGB report into his death remains secret.
Entwined with Gagarin's history is that of the breathtaking and highly secretive Russian space program - its technological daring, its triumphs and disasters. In a gripping account, Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony reveal the astonishing world behind the scenes of the first great space spectacular, and how Gagarin's flight came frighteningly close to destruction.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For the first time, a former member of MI6 reveals her conversation with Neil Armstrong at a NASA conference, when she confirmed that there were “other” spacecraft on the moon when Apollo 11 landed in 1969. Armstrong also confirmed that the CIA was behind the cover-up.
In a further admission in December 2012, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed “the president of Russia is given a special top secret folder [that] in its entirety contains information about aliens who have visited our planet. Along with this, the president is given a report of the Special Service that exercises control over aliens in our country. I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.”
The fifth edition of this successful undergraduate textbook has been extensively modernized and extended in the parts dealing with the Milky Way, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology as well as with extrasolar planets and the solar system (as a consequence of recent results from satellite missions and the new definition by the International Astronomical Union of planets, dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies). Furthermore a new chapter on astrobiology has been added.
Long considered a standard text for physical science majors, Fundamental Astronomy is also an excellent reference and entrée for dedicated amateur astronomers.
Written by an astronomer who is well known amongst the amateur and professional community for the skill and quality of his work, this book describes a wide range of research areas where amateurs are gathering new scientific data that is utilized by professional astronomers. For each research area, the book provides a concise explanation of the purpose and value of the amateurs’ observations, a description of the equipment that is needed, specific observing procedures, complete data reduction instructions, and an explanation of how, and where, to submit results so that they will be available to the professional users.
Designed as a comprehensive introduction for the beginner and those who want to find out more, How to Identify the Night Sky covers everything that can be seen with the naked eye and binoculars, as well as what is visible using a small telescope.
There are sections on how to observe and understand the objects that comprise the night sky, the moon, the movements of the stars and planets throughout the year and astronomical events.
The constellations are given a comprehensive treatment. For each one there is a chart, a photograph, a description of its features and history, the best dates and times of visibility, the mythological representation and a list of interesting objects.
The book is organized into five sections: the Nature of Planet Earth; the Sun-Earth System; Modeling the Moon; Dynamic Solar System; and Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. As the authors note, it's not always easy to help students untangle mistaken ideas. Using this powerful set of tools to identify students' preconceptions is an excellent first step to helping your students achieve scientific understanding.
In addition to a history of the science behind the pursuit, directions are included for four easy-to-build projects, based around long-term NASA and Stanford Solar Center projects. The first three projects constitute self-contained units available as kits, so there is no need to hunt around for parts. The fourth – more advanced – project encourages readers to do their own research and track down items.
Getting Started in Radio Astronomy provides an overall introduction to listening in on the radio spectrum. With details of equipment that really works, a list of suppliers, lists of online help forums, and written by someone who has actually built and operated the tools described, this book contains everything the newcomer to radio astronomy needs to get going.
The Mythology of the Night Sky is intended primarily for amateur astronomers who would like to know the mythology behind the names of constellations and planets. It deals with the 48 constellations identified by the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy, as well as all the planets of our solar system and their moons, which are named after Roman gods.
To assist practical observers the book is organized by season, and gives the location and description of each constellation, including named stars and deep-sky objects. Readers are encouraged to observe and image the constellations for themselves, and there is a lot of practical information in this book to help them along the way.
Each Greek mythological story is told in its entirety. Often this shows how several constellations are related, giving the reader a greater appreciation of why the character, animal, or object was awarded the honor of a place in the night sky.
In addition to providing a detailed (and mostly Greek) mythology of the constellations and the vast soap opera that was part of the ancient Greek pantheon, The Mythology of the Night Sky also covers the planets of our solar system, which are named after Roman - not Greek - gods. The significance to the Romans for the names of the planets is explained, as well as how the named moons orbiting the planets (many of them named relatively recently) related to their parent planet's name. Later discoveries such as Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and their moons have been added in recent times.
The Mythology of the Night Sky strikes a unique balance between "backyard astronomy" and mythology. It describes each constellation and its observation and imaging, but unlike most astronomy books it also tells the mythological tales in full. Not only will readers appreciate the importance of the mythological characters, and why they were immortalized in the stars, but they will also see how many times several constellations are part of the same story and that even their location in the night sky was significant to the ancients.
In First Contact, Marc Kaufman provides a gripping tour of the magnificent new science of astrobiology that is closing in on the discovery of extraterrestrial life. In recent decades, scientists generally held that the genesis of life was unique to Earth: It was too delicate a process, and the conditions needed to support it too fragile, for it to exist anywhere else. But we are now on the verge of the biggest discovery since Copernicus and Galileo told us that Earth is not at the center of the universe. New scientific breakthroughs have revolutionized our assumptions about the building blocks of life and where it may be found. Scientists have hunted down and identified exoplanets, those mysterious balls in the universe that orbit distant suns not too different from our own. They have discovered extremophiles, the extraordinary microbes that thrive in environments of intense heat or cold that may mimic the inhospitable conditions of other planets. They have landed rovers on Mars and detected its methane, a possible signature of past life. And they have created sophisticated equipment to sweep the sky for distant radio signals and to explore the deep icebound lakes of Antarctica. Each of these developments has brought forth a new generation of out-of-the-box researchers, adventurers, and thinkers who are each part Carl Sagan, part Indiana Jones, part Watson and Crick—and part forensic specialists on CSI: Mars.
In this masterful book, Kaufman takes us to the frontiers of astrobiology’s quest for extraterrestrial life and shows how this quest is inextricably linked with the quest to understand life on Earth. He takes us deep under the glaciers of Antarctica, into the mouth of an Alaskan volcano, and beneath the Earth into the unbearable heat of a South African mine, and leads us to the world’s driest desert. For thousands of years, humans have wondered about who and what might be living beyond the confines of our planet. First Contact transports us into the cosmos to bring those musings back to Earth and recast our humanity.
Probably the most exciting tether concept is the space elevator, consisting of an incredibly strong long cable that stretches from the Earth’s surface into space. Solar powered "climber" machines, which are already under development, could use such a cable to haul cargo into orbit. The author also describes how space tethers can change the orbit of satellites, by effectively moving their center of gravity through the deployment of long cables. Tethers rotating at high speed can be used to accelerate or slow down spacecraft that briefly latch to them. In principle, such "momentum exchange" tethers can be used to fly a space probe from low Earth orbit all the way into orbit around Mars, without the need for rocket propulsion. A tether can also provide scientific information on the magnetosphere of the planet it’s orbiting.
Michel van Pelt explains the principle of space tethers: what they are and how they can be used in space. He introduces non-technical space enthusiasts to the various possibilities of space tethers, the technological challenges, the potential benefits and their feasibility. He illustrates how, because of their inherent simplicity, space tethers have the potential to make space travel much cheaper, while ongoing advances in tether material technology may make even seemingly far-fetched ideas a reality in the not too distant future.
Along with webcam technology has come simple-to-use image processing and enhancement using a PC: the most powerful technique is, 'stacking' in which the best images (out of hundreds) are selected and summed automatically to provide startlingly good results.
"Lunar and Planetary Webcam User’s Guide" de-mystifies the jargon of webcams and computer processing, and provides detailed hints and tips for imaging the Sun, Moon and planets with a webcam. He looks at each observing target separately, describing and explaining all specialised techniques in context.
Glance through the images in this book to see just how much you can – easily – achieve by using a webcam with your telescope!
There may now be a way to achieve these lofty objectives. “Making Starships and Stargates” will have three parts. The first will deal with information about the theories of relativity needed to understand the predictions of the effects that make possible the “propulsion” techniques, and an explanation of those techniques. The second will deal with experimental investigations into the feasibility of the predicted effects; that is, do the effects exist and can they be applied to propulsion? The third part of the book – the most speculative – will examine the question: what physics is needed if we are to make wormholes and warp drives? Is such physics plausible? And how might we go about actually building such devices? This book pulls all of that material together from various sources, updates and revises it, and presents it in a coherent form so that those interested will be able to find everything of relevance all in one place.
The era of the Apollo/Saturn missions was perhaps the most exciting period in American space exploration history. Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center were buzzing with activity. Thousands of workers came to town to build the facilities and launch the missions needed to put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade.
Work at KSC involved much more than just launching rockets. It was a place like none other on Earth. Technicians performed intricate operations, and hazards abounded everywhere, including lightning, fire, highly-toxic fuels, snakes, heat, explosives, LOX spills, and even plutonium. The reward for months of 7-day workweeks under intense pressure was witnessing a Saturn V at liftoff.
For anyone who ever wished they had worked at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era, this book is the next best thing. The only thing missing is the smell of rocket fuel in the morning.
On New Years Day in 1925, a young Edwin Hubble released his finding that our Universe was far bigger, eventually measured as a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed. Hubble’s proclamation sent shock waves through the scientific community. Six years later, in a series of meetings at Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble and others convinced Albert Einstein that the Universe was not static but in fact expanding. Here Marcia Bartusiak reveals the key players, battles of will, clever insights, incredible technology, ground-breaking research, and wrong turns made by the early investigators of the heavens as they raced to uncover what many consider one of most significant discoveries in scientific history.
"Bad Astronomy is just plain good! Philip Plait clears up every misconception on astronomy and space you never knew you suffered from." --Stephen Maran, Author of Astronomy for Dummies and editor of The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia
"Thank the cosmos for the bundle of star stuff named Philip Plait, who is the world s leading consumer advocate for quality science in space and on Earth. This important contribution to science will rest firmly on my reference library shelf, ready for easy access the next time an astrologer calls." --Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Borderlands of Science
"Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative, useful, and entertaining book. Bad Astronomy is Good Science. Very good science..." --James "The Amazing" Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, and author of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
"Bad Astronomy is a fun read. Plait is wonderfully witty and educational as he debunks the myths, legends, and 'conspiracies that abound in our society. 'The Truth Is Out There' and it's in this book. I loved it!" --Mike Mullane, Space Shuttle astronaut and author of Do Your Ears Pop in Space?
This is not a book that dwells on the technology of CCD, Webcam, wet, or other types of astrophotography. Neither is it a book about in-depth computer processing of the images (although this topic is included). Detailed discussions of these topics can be found in other publications. This book focuses on what northern latitude objects to image at any given time of the year to get the most spectacular results.
This great work supplied the momentum for the Scientific Revolution and dominated physics for over 200 years.
It was the ancient opinion of not a few, in the earliest ages of philosophy, that the fixed stars stood immoveable in the highest parts of the world; that, under the fixed stars the planets were carried about the sun; that the earth, us one of the planets, described an annual course about the sun, while by a diurnal motion it was in the mean time revolved about its own axis; and that the sun, as the common fire which served to warm the whole, was fixed in the centre of the universe.
This was the philosophy taught of old by Philolaus, Aristarchus of Samos, Plato in his riper years, and the whole sect of the Pythagoreans; and this was the judgment of Anaximander, more ancient than any of them; and of that wise king of the Romans, Numa Pompilius, who, as a symbol of the figure of the world with the sun in the centre, erected a temple in honour of Vesta, of a round form, and ordained perpetual fire to be kept in the middle of it.
Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth’s complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth’s habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution.
Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time.
Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use:Arizona State University Brooklyn College CUNY Columbia University Cornell University ETH Zurich Georgia Institute of Technology Harvard University Johns Hopkins University Luther College Northwestern University Ohio State University Oxford Brookes University Pan American University Rutgers University State University of New York at Binghamton Texas A&M University Trinity College Dublin University of Bristol University of California-Los Angeles University of Cambridge University Of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Glasgow University of Leicester University of Maine, Farmington University of Michigan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Georgia University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Oxford University of Portsmouth University of Southampton University of Ulster University of Victoria University of Wyoming Western Kentucky University Yale University
This is a new, fresh series of Nature Guides with all-new content. With a clean, modern design, these books are perfect for the beginner naturalist and family reference.
From trees to rocks and minerals, and birds to stars and planets, each volume provides a thorough introduction and detailed, clearly illustrated profiles of hundreds of examples from within that subject area. Each book is packed with stunning photography, and key information is provided by expert contributors. The books are carefully structured, with catalog entries organized into easily understood groups that the newcomer will have no difficulty in navigating and the more experienced reader will appreciate. Each profile centers on a high-impact commissioned image of the subject, allowing instant identification, and is accompanied by concise, authoritative text. Additional images provide context, while a data panel summarizes key facts about each example.
Each title opens with an introductory section that explains each subject in detail. This is followed by a comprehensive illustrated catalog. A glossary of key terms and a detailed index complete each volume.
About the Imprimatur: The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world and a research center for research dedicated to public education and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history.
Full-color maps show the constellations, with star types (spectral and physical) indicated by the colors used on the map. Extended objects such as galaxies and nebulae are shown with the approximate apparent size in the sky. With unmatched thoroughness and accessibility, this is a constellation atlas that makes the ideal companion to a night's telescope viewing, for novices and expert amateur astronomers alike. Easy to navigate and refer to, it is the key that unlocks the door to greater night sky exploration.
In order to reach the nearest stars, we must first develop a propulsion technology that would take our robotic probes there in a reasonable time. Such propulsion technology has radically different requirements from conventional chemical rockets, because of the enormous distances that must be crossed. Surprisingly, many propulsion schemes for interstellar travel have been suggested and await only practical engineering solutions and the political will to make them a reality. This is a result of the tremendous advances in astrophysics that have been made in recent decades and the perseverance and imagination of tenacious theoretical physicists. This book explores these different propulsion schemes – all based on current physics – and the challenges they present to physicists, engineers, and space exploration entrepreneurs.
This book will be helpful to anyone who really wants to understand the principles behind and likely future course of interstellar travel and who wants to recognizes the distinctions between pure fantasy (such as Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’) and methods that are grounded in real physics and offer practical technological solutions for exploring the stars in the decades to come.
Our molecular guide makes its first appearance at the source of the Chemical Cosmos, at a time when only three elements and a total of 11 molecules existed. From those simple beginnings, H-three-plus guides us down river on the violent currents of exploding stars, through the streams of the Interstellar Medium, and into the delta where new stars and planets form. We are finally left on the shores of the sea of life. Along the way, we meet the key characters who have shaped our understanding of the chemistry of the universe, such as Cambridge physicist J.J. Thomson and the Chicago chemist Takeshi Oka. And we are given an insider’s view of just how astronomers, making use of telescopes and Earth-orbiting satellites, have put together our modern view of the Chemical Cosmos.