The Cosmic Keyhole: How Astronomy Is Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe / Edition 1

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It is 400 years since Galileo first turned the newly invented telescope towards the heavens and saw things that few had ever seen before. His discoveries, along with those of his contemporaries, completely changed our view of the world.

Since that time, there have been many revolutions in our understanding of the universe, some perhaps even more revolutionary than the ones from Galileo’s time. In this book, Will Gater leads us through various recent advances in modern astronomy that have increased our understanding of the universe and seen it grow from a single Solar System full of intriguing worlds to a galaxy filled with other star systems and their own planets — maybe even Earthlike worlds.

This is a journey like no other. What you glimpse through Gater’s keyhole is vast, breathtakingly beautiful, and sometimes utterly bizarre, certainly unfamiliar to those of us on Terra Firma. From the desolate plains of Mars and the frozen moons of the outer Solar System, from the Milky Way to the ends of the universe, you will learn of wonders often hard to describe and sometimes even harder to fathom. And you, too, will come to know some of the enthralling secrets of the universe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

“This is a journey through astronomical discoveries past, and what we have learned from and since. … The text is very up-to-date in terms of the latest science … . For those who have a curiosity about the Universe and would like to catch-up with all that has been happening in the past few years, then this book really is a must-buy.” (John Rowlands, Astronomy Now, April, 2010)

“This is a series of short essays of topics of interest in modern astronomy. … This experience manifests itself in the ability to take cutting-edge research topics and present them at a level which is both clearly explained and informative without being too simplistic … . On the whole, this is a considered, well-written, and informative book which can be dipped into as the fancy takes one.” (Robert Argyle, The Observatory, Vol. 130 (1214), June, 2010)

“The Cosmic Keyhole is an absorbing volume that presents recent developments in the fields of planetary science and astronomy at a level that is understandable to general readers and undergraduate students. … The work’s strengths include the author’s selection of subjects that will intrigue readers interested in astronomy; his engaging writing style; and the well-researched chapters … . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and general readers interested in astronomy and planetary studies.” (S. A. Russell Gonzalez, Choice, Vol. 47 (8), April, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441905123
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Series: Astronomers' Universe Series
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Gater has written for the UK’s top astronomy magazines and has appeared on television and radio (including the BBC’s The Sky At Night) to promote astronomy and science. He has worked for the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope press office, the European Southern Observatory’s public outreach department and is a former News Editor of Astronomy Now magazine in the UK. He holds a degree in astrophysics from University College London. Today Gater writes for the BBC’s Sky At Night magazine. He regularly blogs about astronomy on his website

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Table of Contents

Water and the Search for Life in our Solar System.- The Hardiest Microbes on Earth.- The Hunt for Life Begins.- Where Does Water Flow?.- Our Active Solar System.- Cassini and Its Saturnian Adventure.- The Hidden Wanderers and a Cometary Meeting.- Worlds Around Other Stars.- Planetary Nurseries and Dusty Discs.- The Discovery of Extrasolar Planets.- The Universe at Large.- The Universe on a Grand Scale.- The Era of Hubble – From Disaster to Deep Field.- Star Life in Starlight.- Exotic Space.

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