Cosmic Dispatches: The New York Times Reports on Astronomy and Cosmology / Edition 1

Cosmic Dispatches: The New York Times Reports on Astronomy and Cosmology / Edition 1

by John Noble Wilford
     
 

"A must for every armchair cosmic voyager."—Science News
The scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe are among the most imaginative and provocative explorers of our time. Like the geographic explorers of earlier centuries, they venture into uncharted spaces, come upon new worlds, expand the knowable, and challenge thinking about the place… See more details below

Overview

"A must for every armchair cosmic voyager."—Science News
The scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe are among the most imaginative and provocative explorers of our time. Like the geographic explorers of earlier centuries, they venture into uncharted spaces, come upon new worlds, expand the knowable, and challenge thinking about the place of humans in all things. Collected here are the most exciting moments of recent astronomical explorations, presented by the award-winning science reporters of The New York Times. Recent leaps in technology have allowed astronomers to peer deeply into the universe and to bring into focus fascinating and unsuspected phenomena. Cosmic Dispatches conveys in thrilling detail the meaning and significance of what scientists have been learning about our universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393322774
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/17/2002
Edition description:
2ND
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Informed Wonder9
The Big Bang of Dispatches19
1.Let There Be Light24
New Vistas Open for Earthbound Astronomers25
What Else Lurks Out There?32
The New X-ray View of Galaxies37
Observatory for Twenty-first Century Takes Shape41
Pictures of the Infant Universe47
2.Travels in the Solar System51
Apollo and the Moon's Violent Birth52
Water on the Moon?57
Venus's Face Offers Hints of Cataclysm60
The Comet's Gift: Hints of How Earth Came to Life64
Magnetic Fields on Distant Moons Hint at Hidden Life69
Fire, Water, and, Maybe, Life in Jupiter's Realm72
3.The Once and Future Martians77
Clues in Meteorite Seem to Show Signs of Life on Mars Long Ago78
On Mars, Life's Getting Tougher (If Not Impossible)82
Spacecraft to Land on the Planet of Dreams85
The Floods of Mars88
A "Bonus" from Mars91
Highs and Lows of Mars94
4.New Worlds97
A Nursery of New Planets98
Two Sightings of Planet Orbiting a Sunlike Star101
More Discoveries of Extrasolar Planets103
In a Golden Age of Discovery, Faraway Worlds Beckon106
A Disk of Dust Holds a Clue to Birth of Planets116
Search for New Planets Yields Confusion118
At Long Last, a New Family of Planets124
5.The Birth and Death of Stars128
Rare Glimpse of a New Star Aborning129
New Look at Apocalypse: Dying Sun Will Boil Seas and Leave Orbiting Cinder133
The Spectacular Shudders of Dying Stars138
6.Some Strange and Awesome Things142
Space Telescope Confirms Theory of Black Holes143
A Black Hole's Awful Table Manners146
Enormous Plume of Antimatter Alters View of the Milky Way150
Astronomers Detect Explosion Second Only to Big Bang153
Astronomers Confirm the Existence of Failed Stars156
A New Category of Brown Dwarfs159
An Enormous Surge of Stellar Radiation161
In Cosmic Blasts, Clues to Black Holes164
7.Mystery of the Missing Mass170
Physicists Step Up Exotic Search for the Universe's Missing Mass171
Mass Found in Elusive Neutrino177
Astronomers Glimpse Galaxies Aborning182
The Universe as Telescope187
Galaxies' Vastness Surprises Scientists193
8.Cosmology Comes of Age198
Sizing Up the Cosmos: An Astronomer's Quest200
Profound Insight on How Time Began206
In the Glow of Cosmic Discovery, a Physicist Ponders God and Fame209
Scientists, Once Starry-Eyed, Get Clearer View of Universe213
9.A Young or Old Universe?218
Universe's Age Poses New Cosmic Puzzle219
Einstein's Blunder as Fix for New Crisis222
Conflicting Answers for the Age of the Universe227
The Importance of the Number 70232
A Younger Age, Perhaps?235
10.Fate of the Universe238
Wary Astronomers Ponder an Accelerating Universe239
In the Light of Dying Stars, Astronomers See Intimations of Cosmic Immortality243
"Missing Energy" of the Universe252
At the Other End of "Big Bang" May Simply Be a Big Sputter255
11.Looking and Listening for ET259
Widening the Hunt for Alien Life260
In Search of Star Dust and Clues to Life264
Scanning the Heavens for Signs of Life268
12.From the Big Bang to a Theory of Everything274
A Primordial Form of Matter275
New Findings Help Balance the Cosmological Books278
Sailing a Wheelchair to the End of Time285
Almost in Awe, Physicists Ponder "Ultimate" Theory292
13.Cosmic Views from 2001299
New View of a Nursery of Stars300
Two More Planetary Systems304
In Big Bang's Echoes, Clues to the Cosmos307
With Little Evidence, String Theory Gains Influence312
A Test of Einstein's Negative Gravity315
Before the Big Bang, There Was ... What?317
Index325
About the Authors343

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