Unfolding our Universe / Edition 1

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The beauty of the stars, the planets, and other faraway objects of wonder is readily apparent, while the reason for their splendor is not. Now, there exists a source of expert advice that amateur astronomers and interested stargazers can actually understand: Unfolding Our Universe. Popular science writer and award winning author Iain Nicolson opens the world of astronomy to a wide audience. He takes readers into the heart of the Universe, clearly detailing the facts, concepts, methods, and current findings of astronomical science. This unique book strikes a perfect balance between the fundamentals of the subject and cutting-edge research. Step by step, the volume leads to a complete understanding of astronomy. Readers can access the material without referring to any mathematical principles or formulas. The well-designed text allows more ambitious readers to easily delve more deeply into key points and consult basic mathematics found within self-contained boxes. More than 100 full-color photographs beautifully and clearly illustrate all concepts. The wealth of color illustrations and very readable chapters make this book a delight for the casual reader to browse, while the clear and concise explanations will appeal to anyone with an interest in the science of astronomy. Iain Nicolson is the author or co-author of some 17 books, including The Universe (with Patrick Moore) and Heavenly Bodies. In 1995, he received the Eric Zucker Award from the Federation of Astronomical Societies (UK) for his work in popularizing the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this new book, by Iain Nicolson, is in every way outstanding. It is written with immense skill, with excellent illustrations, and it is very well produced; the publishers have clearly taken the greatest care...Perhaps the strongest point about the book is that it will appeal to readers of all kinds. The beginner will have no difficulty in following it through, and the serious student will find it very useful indeed because it is so comprehensive and well-ordered...should be read by everyone who has an interest in astronomy." Journal of the British Astronomical Association

"...covers the entire field of current astronomical knowledge from our own Earth to the farthest galaxies. [The] book is an excellent guide for a student or anyone who has ever looked into the night sky with awe and wonder. There are plenty of photographs, diagrams, charts and tables to help illustrate Nicolson's clean, clear, no-nonsense prose." Ben Bova, Scripps-Howard News Service

"Unfolding the Universe is a richly illustrated introduction to astronomy that explores the cosmos without relying on complex mathematics." Dallas Morning News

"...presents an attractive and neatly organized look at the new astronomy...there is also an abundance of wonderful photos, sidebars and useful illustrations and charts to excite the imagination of a serious student of the skies." Camera

"...up-to-date, well illustrated and authoritative this book is an excellent introduction to modern astronomy and astrophysics. Its clear, informal style gives the reader a quantitative understanding of our Universe without resorting to unnecessary mathematics." Dr. Graham Woan, University of Glasgow

"...contians a vast amount of information, but is so beautifully written and illustrated that it will appeal at every level, from absolute beginners to serious students -- the best book of its kind that I have encountered for many years."/ s Patrick Moore, I^Mail on Sunday

"...excellent photographs and numerous color drawings...the large glossary is an added benefit. A lovely book with well-laid out pages and high printing quality. Highly recommended for general readers." CHOICE

"...a useful introduction to astronomy that I recommend for an advanced high school or introductory college astronomy class." Science Books & Films

Library Journal
Authors of introductory astronomy books strive to cover, in a single volume, an ancient yet dynamic discipline whose scope literally spans the universe. Dickinson (Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe) and Nicolson (Heavenly Bodies) succeed in meeting this challenge. Both provide brief overviews of the universe and organize their work in traditional fashion, progressing from study of Earth and the moon to examination of more remote objects and thence to cosmology. Each book includes data obtained as recently as 1998. Both authors examine the likelihood of finding living organisms elsewhere in the solar system and the possibility of intelligent life existing in another part of the universe. Dickinson, however, devotes considerably more space to (highly speculative) discussion of extraterrestrial life. His upbeat book, displaying an abundance of stunning photographs and space art, is by far the more appealing. Nicolson's work, on the other hand, is more inclusive and covers topics in considerably more detail. It could easily serve as a college-level text (although it lacks the exercises and review questions found in many introductory textbooks). Dickinson's book is recommended for all libraries; Nicolson's for academic and larger public collections.--Nancy Curtis, Fogler Lib., Univ. of Maine, Orono Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521592703
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword; 1. Overview of the universe; 2. Observing the universe; 3. The moving sky; 4. Orbits and gravity; 5. The earth-moon system; 6. Worlds beyond - the planets; 7. Wandering fragments: minor members of the solar system; 8. The sun - our neighborhood star; 9. Stars - basic properties; 10. Nebulae and the birth of stars and planets; 11. Stellar life cycles; 12. Collapsing, exploding and interacting stars; 13. The Milky Way and other galaxies; 14. Active Galaxies and Quasars; 15. Cosmology: beginnings and endings; 16. Wider issues; Appendices: 1. Units of measurement and physical constants; 2. Solar system data; 3. The brightest and nearest stars.
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