Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae / Edition 1

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In 1923 Edwin Hubble confirmed the existence of other galaxies. By the end of the decade, he proved that the universe is expanding, thus laying the very cornerstone of the big bang theory. A revealing portrait of a scientific genius at work, this book also offers an incisive narrative of the history of astronomy, and an evocation of what we see when gazing at the stars.

"Highly entertaining. . . . Hubble may have been the most important astronomer since Galileo. Perhaps since Copernicus."—Dick Teresi,
New York Times Book Review

"Hubble's own story has not been adequately told until now. . . . A
riveting portrait of a great scientist and a haunted man, and the best look we are likely to have of the real Hubble."—Dennis Overby, Los
Angeles Times Book Review

"Displays remarkable strength in its steadfast balance and scrupulous honesty. The greatness of the discoveries is set off against the contrasting pettiness of the man."—Hans Christian von Baeyer,
Boston Sunday Globe

"Fascinating. . . . This is one of the most impressive scientific biographies of recent years."—Kirkus Review, starred review

— "Notable Books for the Year 1995" selection, New York Times Book

—"Best Books of 1995" selection, Library Journal

—Selected as one of the five best science books in 1995 by Carl Sagen,
Washington Post

The first astronomer to offer observational evidence supporting the theory of the expanding universe--Hubble's Law--and to demonstrate the existence of galaxies far beyond the Milky Way, Edwin Hubble stands as a towering figure in the history of astronomy. This first major biography of Hubble reveals his scientific genius and provides an engaging explanation of his ideas. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Australian & New Zealand Physicist
A large telescope bearing Hubble's name now circles above our heads every 100 minutes. That, and this volume, serve as eloquent testimony to the achievements of the man. A book that deserves a place on many a bookshelf.
The Daily Telegraph
Gale E. Christianson has written an exciting Life of Edwin Hubble, filled with splendid descriptions and anecdotes. Only a first-class biographer would tell us that the two favourite books of his eminent scientist hero were 'King Solomon's Mines' and 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.
Astronomy Now
There was nothing dull about Hubble and there is nothing dull in this thoroughly researched biography. This is one of the most readable scientific biographies of recent years. Buy it.
New Scientist
The story of Hubble's greatest breakthrough and what it led to is told with great style. Not only a masterly summary of Hubble's scientific achievements, but also a fascinating account of Hubble the man.
The Observatory
Christianson has done an excellent job putting together this biography, full of illuminating sidelights and with copious references to further reading. This is an enjoyable read and at the very reasonable price should be in the personal collection of anyone with an interest in the recent history of astronomy.
ASLIB Book Guide
This is a fine biography of the outstanding astronomer of our time. Anyone interested in scientific matters will enjoy reading it.
Modern Astronomer
The story of this man [Hubble], and his work, is told beautifully in this timely and thoroughly researched biography.
I reccomend this book to all who are interested in the history of astronomy and the personal lives and conflicts of the great scientists who made the exciting discoveries that form the basis of so much of modern astronomy and cosmology. It is well written, with a detailed bibliography and a detailed index. The low price and attractive sturdy binding of this volume should put it within the reach of even the modestly supported school library; it would make an ideal present for the individual with a liking for scientific biography. If no one buys it for you, pick up a copy for yourself.
The New York Times
A readable, entertaining life of the brilliant astronomer whose work, fundamental to modern theories of the universe, never interfered with his self-promotion, pretension and vanity.
The Library Journal
Christianson's work is a pleasure to read. Jargon-free and requiring no mathematics, it reads more like a novel than a biography and reveals the man behind the scientist.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Son of an overbearing Missouri insurance agent, astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) revolutionized our conception of the universe. Working at Mount Wilson Observatory in California, he proved by the early 1930s that galaxies beyond the Milky Way are rapidly moving away from us. His observational evidence led Albert Einstein to endorse the model of an expanding universe. Catapulted to fame, Hubble, a dashing, formidable figure, hobnobbed with Anita Loos, William Randolph Hearst, Charlie Chaplin and Aldous Huxley. In an exciting biography of a scientific giant who was a very fallible human being, Christianson portrays Hubble as an egotistical, hot-tempered striver who feuded bitterly with colleagues, an antinuclear activist who advocated world government and a prevaricator who claimed to practice law and to have boxed prizefighters to win over his future wife. Biographer of Isaac Newton and Loren Eiseley, Christianson provides close-ups of well-known scientists and astronomers such as Einstein, Harlow Shapley, Percival Lowell and Vesto Slipher. Photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Thanks to the space telescope bearing his name, nearly everyone has heard of Edwin Hubble. Unfortunately, few people know about "Hubble's Constant" or his work on the velocity-distance relationship, which, along with his observational data, solidified the concept of the expanding universe. This knowledge allowed us to determine the age of the universe and thus the time of the Big Bang. A professor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina whose earlier works include biographies of Isaac Newton (In the Presence of the Creator, 1984) and a collection of essays on modern astronomers (The Wild Abyss, 1978), Christianson received a Guggenheim Fellowship to write this book. The foundation's money was well spent. Christianson's work is a pleasure to read. Jargon-free and requiring no mathematics, it reads more like a novel than a biography and reveals the man behind the scientist. Tall, handsome, and athletic (he was an accomplished boxer), Hubble led a most interesting life. His circle of friends included Hollywood celebrities as well as men and women of letters. Highly recommended.-James Olson, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
A biography of Hubble (1889-1953), who confirmed the existence of other galaxies besides our own, provided the first reliable evidence that the universe is pretty much the same in all directions from here, and demonstrated that the universe is expanding, thus setting the stage for the Big Bang theory. He catapulted his stature as an astronomer into social status, hobnobbing in Hollywood and with the rich and famous elsewhere. Christianson, who has already written biographies of Newton and Eiseley, describes him as egotistical and hot-tempered, but deserving of a better memorial than a crippled space telescope. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226105215
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 435
  • Sales rank: 855,117
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Marshfield
2. "An Awful Moment"
3. "A Thing So Outlandish"
4. A Son of Queen's
5. Heaven's Gate
6. Reconnaissance
7. The Cosmic Archipelago
8. Uncharted Water
9. Mariner of the Nebulae
10. "Your Husband's Work Is Beautiful"
11. "Almost a Miracle"
12. "Now Whom Do We Want to Meet?"
13. Landlocked
14. Dark Passage
15. Home Is the Sailor
Notes and Abbreviations of Frequently Used Sources

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