The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

by Moiya McTier
The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

by Moiya McTier


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Listen to Moiya McTier in conversation about The Milky Way on Poured Over: The B&N Podcast.


Notes From Your Bookseller

A bit Bill Bryson, a dash Mary Roach, the canvas of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and all the excitement of a Ms. Frizzle Magic School Bus field trip. With an expertise in astrophysics and folklore, Moiya McTier is the perfect tour guide for all of us to have gazed transfixed at the heavens, full of wonder and questions. The Milky Way is a delightful and constantly surprising treat! Thrilling, eye-opening, and just plain fun.

In this approachable and fascinating biography of the galaxy, an astrophysicist and folklorist details everything humans have discovered—from the Milky Way's formation to its eventual death, and what else there is to learn about the universe we call home. 

After a few billion years of bearing witness to life on Earth, of watching one hundred billion humans go about their day-to-day lives, of feeling unbelievably lonely, and of hearing its own story told by others, The Milky Way would like a chance to speak for itself. All one hundred billion stars and fifty undecillion tons of gas of it.

It all began some thirteen billion years ago, when clouds of gas scattered through the universe's primordial plasma just could not keep their metaphorical hands off each other. They succumbed to their gravitational attraction, and the galaxy we know as the Milky Way was born. Since then, the galaxy has watched as dark energy pushed away its first friends, as humans mythologized its name and purpose, and as galactic archaeologists have worked to determine its true age (rude). The Milky Way has absorbed supermassive (an actual technical term) black holes, made enemies of a few galactic neighbors, and mourned the deaths of countless stars. Our home galaxy has even fallen in love.

After all this time, the Milky Way finally feels that it's amassed enough experience for the juicy tell-all we've all been waiting for. Its fascinating autobiography recounts the history and future of the universe in accessible but scientific detail, presenting a summary of human astronomical knowledge thus far that is unquestionably out of this world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538754153
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 08/16/2022
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 146,218
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Moiya McTier is an astrophysicist, folklorist, and science communicator based in New York City. After graduating from Harvard as the first person in the school’s history to study both astronomy and mythology, Moiya earned her PhD in astrophysics at Columbia University where she was selected as a National Science Foundation research fellow. Moiya has consulted with companies like Disney and PBS on their fictional worlds, helped design exhibits for the New York Hall of Science, and given hundreds of talks about science around the globe (including features on MSNBC, NPR, and NowThis News). To combine her unique set of expertise, Moiya hosts and produces the Exolore podcast that explores fictional world-building through the lens of science. When she’s not researching space or imagining new worlds, Moiya can likely be found watching trashy reality tv with her cat, Kosmo.

Table of Contents

Foreword from Moiya ix

Chapter 1 I Am the Milky Way 1

Chapter 2 My Names 13

Chapter 3 Early Years 18

Chapter 4 Creation 37

Chapter 5 Hometown 42

Chapter 6 Body 67

Chapter 7 Modern Myths 88

Chapter 8 Growing Pains 96

Chapter 9 Inner Turmoil 116

Chapter 10 Afterlife 136

Chapter 11 Constellations 144

Chapter 12 Crush 151

Chapter 13 Death 169

Chapter 14 Doomsday 188

Chapter 15 Secrets 195

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 221

Index 235

About the Author 244

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