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How the World Works: The Universe: From the Big Bang to the present day... and beyond

How the World Works: The Universe: From the Big Bang to the present day... and beyond

by Anne Rooney


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Since astronomers first looked up into the nebulous sky, humanity has been occupied with the great mysteries of our universe. How did it all begin? Will it ever end? What is our small planet's significance within this vast expanse of space?

Within recent years scientists have made huge leaps in answering these questions. Anne Rooney narrates the story of our universe and the scientific discoveries that have led us to these conclusions. Learn about the Big Bang, the life cycle of stars, dark matter and the enigmas that still trouble us today, such as why the expansion of our universe is now accelerating. Also discover the pioneering men and women who aided such discoveries, such as Henrietta Leavitt, Georges Lemaître and Edwin Hubble.

Including fact boxes, useful diagrams and stunning space photography, this illustrated guide to the universe provides an engaging and comprehensive introduction to this 13.8 billion-year history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789505658
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Limited
Publication date: 12/15/2019
Series: How the World Works , #5
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 759,804
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Anne Rooney gained a degree and then a PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge. She lives in Cambridge and has written many books on science and technology for adults and young people, including ten titles in the 'How the World Works' series.

Table of Contents

Introduction In The Beginning 6

Creation and cosmology

The ultimate story

Chapter 1 The 'Day With No Yesterday' 8

'Nothing will come of nothing'

'Primeval atom'

The beginning of the beginning

Expanding evidence

The Bang gets bigger

Rogue galaxies

Chapter 2 The First Micromoments 30

Starting from zero

Things fall apart


The start of stuff

Nuclear age

Chapter 3 Darkness Visible 52

A cosmic battle

Electrons and more

Cosmic waves in the background

After COBE

Chapter 4 Star Light, Star Bright 64

Into the darkness

Revealing gravity

Building a framework

Making stars

The mechanism of the stars

Chapter 5 The Lives Of Stars 92

The end of the beginning

From death to life

Peering into the nursery

Grouping stars

The Draper catalogue

Curating the astronomical zoo

How stars eat themselves

Ageing stars

Chapter 6 The 'Phoenix Of Nature' 124

Seeing supernovae

Working backwards

After the firestorm

Left behind

From theory to fact

Chapter 7 Making Worlds 152

Burning bright

Planets in close-up

Thinking about origins

Origins beyond Earth

Chapter 8 Homing In On Home 178

Planets growing up

The raw material of planets

Rocks in space

What about life?

Chapter 9 Where Will It All End? 192

Bigger and bigger

Where do we go from here?

Conclusion Into The Multiverse 202

Index 204

Picture Credits 208

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