The Universal Book of Astronomy: From the Andromeda Galaxy to the Zone of Avoidance

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9780471265696: The Universal Book of Astronomy: From the Andromeda Galaxy to the Zone of Avoidance
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The ultimate guide to the final frontier
This alphabetical tour of the universe provides all the history, science, and up-to-the-minute facts needed to explore the skies with authority. Packed with more than 3,000 entries that cover everything from major observatories and space telescopes to biographies of astronomers throughout the ages, it showcases an extraordinary array of newfound wonders, including microquasars, brown dwarfs, and dark energy, as well as a host of individual comets, asteroids, moons, planets, stars, nebulas, and galaxies. Featuring nearly 200 illustrations and eight pages of color photographs, this comprehensive guide provides easy lookup of topics and offers more in-depth information than can be found in existing star guides or astronomy dictionaries. It's an ideal resource for the amateur astronomer or anyone with an interest in the mysteries of the cosmos.
David Darling, PhD (Brainerd, MN), is the author of The Complete Book of Spaceflight (0-471-05649-9) and Equations of Eternity, a New York Times Notable Book.

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From the Inside Flap:

Breakthroughs in astronomy seem to be emerging almost as rapidly as the universe itself is expanding. In just the past few years, scores of planets have been discovered, large amounts of ice and possibly liquid water have been found on Mars, dark energy has joined dark matter as a likely chief ingredient of the universe, and we have added more brown dwarfs, microquasars, and magnetars to an already extraordinary cosmic menagerie. With discoveries occurring at meteoric speeds, it’s hard even for professional astronomers–let alone fascinated stargazers–to keep track of all the developments. David Darling’s The Universal Book of Astronomy provides all the history, science, and up-to-the-minute facts you need to explore the skies with authority and with awe.

A perfect complement to Darling’s Complete Book of Spaceflight, The Universal Book of Astronomy provides an alphabetical tour of the universe. More than 3,000 extensively cross-referenced entries span everything from astronomical societies and major observatories to historical biographies of key astronomers, and include a host of individual comets, asteroids, meteorites, moons, planets, constellations, nebulae, and galaxies. Entries include:

  • Arches cluster: A group of about 150 hot, young stars crammed within a volume of space roughly one light-year across near the center of the galaxy.
  • Cape York meteorite: A huge iron meteorite that landed more than 1,000 years ago in Cape York, West Greenland. Of the three pieces that landed, the Ahnighito chunk weighs 31 tons and is the largest meteorite on display in any museum in the world.
  • Castalia: An Earth-crossing and potentially hazardous asteroid that is a member of the Apollo group.
  • Crab nebula: The most famous and conspicuous known supernova remnant; it is the centuries-old wreckage of a stellar explosion first noted by Chinese astronomers on July 4, 1054.
  • Donati’s comet: Discovered by Giovanni Donati on June 2, 1858, it is one of the brightest and most visible comets of the nineteenth century, last seen on March 4, 1859.
  • Fireball: A meteor that is brighter than any planet or star, with an apparent magnitude of —5 or greater.
  • Galaxy cannibalism: The swallowing of a smaller galaxy by a much larger one.
  • Stephen Hawking: The English theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist famed for his work on black holes and the origin of the universe.
  • United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT): A 3.8-m telescope that is the world’s largest dedicated solely to infrared astronomy.

From the Back Cover:

A dynamic, alphabetical tour of our mysterious universe–from the A Star to the ZZ Ceti Star and everything in between

"We are all part of this astonishing creation–our very bodies fashioned of atoms that were made inside giant stars long ago. Bring only your imagination and the courage needed to gaze up and out across 1.5 billion light-years!"
–From the Introduction

The Universal Book of Astronomy compiles more than 3,000 extensively cross-referenced entries to cover every noted star, planet, authority, and telescope that has influenced our modern understanding of the universe. Spanning everything from major observatories and space telescopes to biographies of astronomers throughout the centuries, The Universal Book of Astronomy showcases an extraordinary array of newfound wonders, including microquasars, brown dwarfs, and dark energy, as well as a host of individual comets, asteroids, moons, planets, stars, nebulas, and galaxies. A one-stop reference for the seasoned astronomer as well as the starry-eyed layperson, The Universal Book of Astronomy is further complemented by:

  • More than 200 illustrations throughout
  • Eight vibrant pages of color photographs
  • Succinct articles on astronomy’s esteemed history and technology
  • The fascinating biographies of those who shaped, and continue to shape, our knowledge of this infinite universe

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9781630268688: The Universal Book of Astronomy: From the Andromeda Galaxy to the Zone of Avoidance

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ISBN 10:  1630268682 ISBN 13:  9781630268688
Publisher: Wiley, 2003
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Wiley, 2003
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