Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

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Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective by J. Richard Gott, Robert J. Vanderbei

Sizing Up the Universe reveals an ingenious new way to envision the outsize proportions of space, based on the work of Princeton University professors Richard Gott and Robert Vanderbei. Using scaled maps, object comparisons, and beautiful space photographs, it demonstrates the actual size of objects in the cosmos —from Buzz Aldrin's historic footprint to the visible universe and beyond. The authors offer visual comparisons with astonishing precision and maximum reader-friendliness, conveying clear and understandable explanations of unimaginable vastness. Plus, as an unprecedented bonus, their 1.5-million-selling Map of the Universe is published here for the first time ever in a book—presented on an oversize foldout page that maximizes its eye-popping presentation of satellites, planets, stars, and galaxies. Based on the popularity of the map and of Richard Gott's Time Travel in Einstein's Universe, and offering innovative ways to appreciate the majesty of the universe, this new title should soar.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426206511
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 588,268
Product dimensions: 10.10(w) x 10.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard Gott is Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate in Physics from Harvard in 1969, he received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton in 1973. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology and at Cambridge University in England before returning to join the Princeton faculty. He is the author of the popular book Time Travel in Einstein's Universe (Houghton Mifflin, 2001; approx. 50,000 copies in American hard cover and paperback editions sold to date, with 11 other editions around the world).
Robert Vanderbei is Professor and Chair of the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. A summa cum laude graduate in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976, he received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University in 1981. As an amateur astronomer, Vanderbei has taken, from his own back yard, astonishing and very high-quality photographs of astronomical objects, rivaling the best of those shot from some of our greatest observatories.

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Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Gurgeh More than 1 year ago
A guide for those of us who live in the universe! The images are fantastic. Hats off to Gott and Vanderbei. The pair of authors must be workaholics -- they have managed to squeeze enough information into this short book to keep the reader filled to the brim for many a day.
Rus More than 1 year ago
There are many astronomy books that show beautiful pictures of the sky, and there are many smart books that give you a deep understanding of what those pictures are. Sometimes a book even does both together. However, after perusing almost any popular astronomy book, the reader is often left with only an abstract feeling of where and how big the different objects in the universe are, because the sizes and distances involved defy the human mind's grasp and intuition. Unlike Earthly objects, there are no cues in the night sky to help sense the sizes and distances involved -- the human mind is blind in this respect. A few books in the "powers of ten" style convey some understanding of the different scales in the universe, but this new book by Gott and Vanderbei accomplishes this in a truly superb manner. It is not only full of beautiful images and intelligent (yet accessible) text, but its main goal is to give the reader an intuitive understanding and appreciation of how big and far away the different objects in the universe are. It does this through many clever examples and juxtapositions which gradually build up a deep coherent picture and map of the entire known universe in the reader's mind. In addition, it also explains exactly how we know these sizes and distances. Some of the highlights include a beautiful fold-out logarithmic map of the universe (officially known as the Gott-Juric Map), and many amateur images by one of the co-authors (Vanderbei) taken from his backyard that anybody with a modest budget and a little bit of effort can reproduce. The book is also peppered with anecdotes and personal touches that make the text fun and accessible to read. After reading this book, when you look at the night sky, you will no longer see merely an abstract field of dots. Your mind's eye will be opened to the rich and magnificent universe we live in.
The_Prince_of_Darkness More than 1 year ago
Gott and Vanderbei's book "Sizing Up The Universe" is wonderfully written and illustrated. The size of the universe is actually astonishing and this book really puts that in perspective. You get a real understanding of our place in the cosmos. The printing quality and and text and picture quality are excellent and typical of a National Geographic publication.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellently written, easy to understand perspective of the universe complete with illustrations and photos.
Frugal_Astronomer More than 1 year ago
This gorgeously illustrated tour of the universe explains the apparent and actual size of the universe and the objects in it from the earth to the cosmic microwave background. Gott and Vanderbei's book has the best presentation of the universe's scale out of the many astronomy books out there. Well done!
M-McElwain More than 1 year ago
This is an spectacular book on sizes in the Universe. It is clearly written and illustrated with breathtaking imagery on everything from the constituents of our Solar System to the beginning of the Universe. Many of the featured places have comparison objects displayed in the exact scale, which is perfect for putting these hard to imagine sizes into perspective. This book belongs on the reference shelves of astronomers, in the classrooms of all science teachers, and on the coffee tables of all astronomy lovers!
tg77 More than 1 year ago
Extraordinarily educational. True to the title, it certainly shows the wonder of our universe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This well illustrated book uniquely depicts the vastness and wonders of the cosmos. What I found most useful was the discussion of the apparent size of objects, such as the comparison of our Moon with the Andromeda Galaxy, the distances within our own solar system and Milky Way galaxy, and the universe nicely illustrated with a fold out Gott-Juric Map portraying the relative distance of the major objects and structures of the known universe. The images are awe-inspiring and provide a realization of the vastness of objects and distances in the cosmos. This book is a welcome addition to my amateur astronomy collection of twenty-five years. Although I have many books and journals on the topic of the universe, our galaxy, the solar system and all associated structures and objects, this book stands out for its ability to clearly communicate complex concepts using words, breath taking images, and illustrations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago