Shrouds of the Night: Masks of the Milky Way and Our Awesome New View of Galaxies

Overview

The Milky Way has captivated the mind of multitudes ever since the beginning of time. Particularly striking are its apparent dusty gaping voids. With the advent of near-infrared technology, astronomers have discovered an awesome new view of its structure, and of the structure of other galaxies around us. Galaxies are encased within Shrouds of the Night: shrouds or veils of cosmic dust, which have given us a totally incomplete picture of what our majestic Universe actually looks like. In this book, we feature some...

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Overview

The Milky Way has captivated the mind of multitudes ever since the beginning of time. Particularly striking are its apparent dusty gaping voids. With the advent of near-infrared technology, astronomers have discovered an awesome new view of its structure, and of the structure of other galaxies around us. Galaxies are encased within Shrouds of the Night: shrouds or veils of cosmic dust, which have given us a totally incomplete picture of what our majestic Universe actually looks like. In this book, we feature some of the remarkable early photographic work of masters such as Isaac Roberts and Edward Barnard, before presenting to the reader the unmasked (dust penetrated) view of our cosmos, using some of the world’s largest ground and space-based telescopes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"The authors research dark subjects … and in this book, they present images and data to help readers understand what’s going on within galaxies. … Shrouds of the Night takes you on a whirlwind tour of astronomy photograph history right up to present-day digital imaging. … Present-day astronomical and cultural images make Shrouds of the Night a fascinating read." (Michael Bakich, Astronomy, March, 2009)

"This is a beautiful large format book … written by two astronomers who have each spent a life time studying ‘dark matter’. … This is a ‘must-have’ book for those interested in the history of astronomy, and an ideal gift for any young aspiring astronomer." (Colin Montgomery, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Vol.12 (1), 2009)

"Block … and Freeman (Australian National Univ.) have produced a coffee-table-style book with glorious photographs. Many photos are in color and for the most part cover the Milky Way and other galaxies. … This is a work for those with an eye for details in celestial views. It is … appreciating the gain in imaging today over early photography and drawings of the same objects. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels of undergraduate students, practitioners, and general readers." (A. R. Upgren, Choice, Vol. 46 (10), June, 2009)

"This book, subtitled Masks of the Milky Way and Our Awesome New View of Galaxies, is essentially a chronology of astronomical photography from 1826 to the present day. … The strength of the book is in the consistency of recalling famous astronomers and their observations, which in turn showcases compelling visual evidence. … this book is excellent … ." (Ian McClurg-Welland, Astronomy Now, September, 2009)

“Shrouds of the night is a very entertaining and appealing coffee-table book about the astronomical quest to penetrate the obscuring veils of cosmic dust in an effort to unmask the true structure of galaxies. The book is aimed at a non-specialist audience … . Readers … will find a bounty of interesting material here. … Overall the book is a terrific read. The collection of historically interesting and important photographs, drawings and illustrations is well worth the price of the volume … .” (Charles J. Lada, Journal for the History of Astronomy, May, 2010)

“First-time visitors to any science-based book about space should be able to pick it up and immediately find themselves introduced to … the sky and beyond. That is what … Australia’s most eminent astronomers has been able to achieve with his new book … . use simple, well written and jargon-free language throughout … . If you have ever lost yourself in a cathedral of stars or been lucky enough to view any of the planets … through a telescope you will enjoy this book.” (Lloyd Gorman, Post, August, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387789743
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 12/2/2008
  • Edition description: 2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 436
  • Sales rank: 1,439,113
  • Product dimensions: 12.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Block is Director of the Anglo American Cosmic Dust Laboratory and Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been a visiting astronomer at the European Southern Observatory, the Institute of Astronomy (Hawaii) and the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. His research has twice been featured on the cover of the journal "Nature" and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London at age 19.

Ken Freeman FRS is Duffield Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University. He was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Oort Professor at Leiden University, Blaauw Professorat the University of Groningen and Tinsley Professor at the University of Texas. He is one of the first astronomers to show that spiral galaxies are immersed in a vast halo of dark matter, and is one of Australia’s most highly cited scientists.

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Table of Contents

Preface Vera Rubin Rubin, Vera

Our Choice of Woodcut Initials

Ch. 1 The Grand Stage Before Us: "The Sidereal Messenger" 1

Ch. 2 Cosmic Masks: Shrouds of the Night 5

Ch. 3 Detectives in Chile 19

Ch. 4 Chemical Factories Smaller than a Snowflake 43

Ch. 5 From Seeds to Stars: The Art and Science of Classification 49

Ch. 6 The Dawning of the Photographic Era 97

Ch. 7 John Reynolds: Morphologist Extraordinaire 183

Ch. 8 The Dust Penetrated Universe: Hidden Symmetries 215

Ch. 9 The Grand Bow 255

Ch. 10 Penetrating the Mask of Time 263

Ch. 11 Eyes to the Future: Where Eagles Soar 275

Ch. 12 Planets Orbiting other Stars 335

Ch. 13 The Insignificance of Man? 347

Ch. 14 The Mind of God 361

Ch. 15 Scholium 377

An Epilogue Bruce Elmegreen Elmegreen, Bruce 401

Figure Captions 405

Index 433

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