Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos

Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos


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An entertaining and accessible trip to the most interesting stops in the cosmos. Accompanied by dramatic visuals, Your Ticket to the Universe is a hybrid coffee-table book and field guide.

Beginning with our home planet, Your Ticket to the Universe embarks on an entertaining and accessible trip to the most interesting stops known in the cosmos. Learn about objects nearby within our Solar System (our backyard in space, so to speak) as well as wonders that are found throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond (the most distant and exotic lands to explore). Accompanied by brilliant photographs that bring the reading experience to vivid, immediate life, Your Ticket to the Universe is designed to make space exploration accessible to everyone. Your Ticket to the Universe outlines the essentials anyone needs to know, while piquing the reader's curiosity to learn more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588343758
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

KIMBERLY K. ARCAND and MEGAN WATZKE have a combined 25 years of experience working to bring the wonders of the cosmos to the public. Arcand is the media coordinator and Watzke is the press officer for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has its headquarters at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are the award-winning creators of the "From Earth to the Universe" program, a series of 1,000 astronomy exhibitions and activities initiated in 2008 in public spaces such as gardens, metro stations, airports, hospitals, and town squares throughout the world. Arcand and Watzke are authors of dozens of published articles and scholarly journal articles. Their writings have appeared in the New York Times online, the Christian Science Monitor online, National Geographic online, SEED magazine online, Mercury magazine, Sky and Telescope's Beautiful Universe annual publication, and numerous professional journals. They are widely recognized as creative leaders in reaching out to the public and exposing new audiences to the wonders of astronomy.

Read an Excerpt

The sky belongs to everyone. That’s the premise of this guidebook to the Universe. You don’t need a medical degree to know when you’re sick or a doctorate in literature to appreciate a novel. In the same spirit, even those of us who do not have advanced degrees in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science can gain access to all the wonder and experience that the Universe has to offer.
The goal of this book is to get you cosmically oriented for your own exploration, guiding you through the Universe, step by step, with pictures along the way to show where we’re going and to point out must-see sights that no celestial traveler should miss.
We might leave out someone’s favorite galaxy or a famous nebula, but that’s the nature of a travel guide. We’ll start our journey locally on Earth, hit our favorite star (the Sun, that is), head out through our Solar System, and then travel far, far beyond it.
The more we look at the Universe, the more interesting it gets. In recent years, astronomers have learned more about black holes, found hundreds of planets around other stars, and determined that 96 percent of the Universe is made up of stuff that we haven’t yet been able to figure out. Everything we know about the Universe comes from basic and applied science, even if some of it may sound as if it comes from science fiction.
Welcome to your Universe.
— Megan and Kim

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