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Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes

Overview

The universe is rapidly expanding. Of that much scientists are certain. But how fast? And with what implications regarding the fate of the universe?
Ellen Jackson and Nic Bishop follow Dr. Alex Fillippenko and his High-Z Supernova Search Team to Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, where they will study space phenomena and look for supernovae, dying stars that explode with the power of billions of hydrogen bombs. Dr. Fillippenko looks for black holes—areas in space with such a strong ...

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Overview

The universe is rapidly expanding. Of that much scientists are certain. But how fast? And with what implications regarding the fate of the universe?
Ellen Jackson and Nic Bishop follow Dr. Alex Fillippenko and his High-Z Supernova Search Team to Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, where they will study space phenomena and look for supernovae, dying stars that explode with the power of billions of hydrogen bombs. Dr. Fillippenko looks for black holes—areas in space with such a strong gravitational pull that no matter or energy can escape from them—with his robotic telescope. And they study the effects of dark energy, the mysterious force that scientists believe is pushing the universe apart, causing its constant and accelerating expansion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This] handsomely designed volume displays the joys of being fascinated by one's work.” 6/1-615/2008 Booklist, ALA

“Thoughtful design adds to the pleasure of this splendid invitation to explore darker corners of the universe." 5/1/08 Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"[A] sense of adventure that readers will feel as they join a team of researchers on science's biggest frontier." School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 5-7- This entry in an exemplary series follows prominent astronomer Alex Filippenko and associates from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii to the Lick Observatory in California on a hunt for supernovae and related large-scale astronomical phenomena. Though portraying astronomers in action isn't easy-mostly they sit and stare at screens- the charismatic Filippenko does his best, pouring sand through his fingers to hint at the numbers of stars in one of Bishop's bright color photos and dressing up as a Black Hole in another. Along with depicting the scientists, the images also include massive telescopes and photos or digital simulations of galaxies, exploding stars, and other astronomical phenomena. Gray mottled backgrounds give the blocks of text a smudged look, but that won't diminish the sense of adventure that readers will feel as they join a team of researchers on science's biggest frontier. Multimedia resource lists are appended.-John Peters, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
"Strange as it may seem, 96 percent of the universe seems to be made of two ingredients that no one understands." This shining addition to the Scientists in the Field series focuses on astronomer Alex Filippenko, part of a team researching dark energy and dark matter in the universe. Jackson's clear, logically organized text provides appropriate background, introducing Filippenko as teacher and researcher and following him as he uses the Keck Observatory in Hawaii to find a supernova. One chapter discusses current thinking about the big bang theory and the composition of the universe, and the book concludes with a description of the scientist's day-to-day work at the Lick Observatory in California. Bishop's photographs and illustrations bring readers into Filippenko's world, while NASA photographs add to their sense of wonder. Special sections explain spectrographs, the electromagnetic spectrum, black holes and the measurement of time and light. Thoughtful design adds to the pleasure of this splendid invitation to explore darker corners of the universe. (bibliography, student and teacher resources, clubs and organizations, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547519920
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 266,335
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Jackson is the award-winning author of more than fifty fiction and nonfiction books for children. Like her father, an amateur astronomer, Ellen has been interested in planets, stars, and galaxies since she was a child. She remembers family "star parties," at which neighbors were invited to gaze through her father's telescope at an eclipse of the moon or other astronomical objects.

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