Friendly Guide to the Universe: A Down-to-Earth Tour of Space, Time, and the Wonders of the Cosmos

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9780670839445: Friendly Guide to the Universe: A Down-to-Earth Tour of Space, Time, and the Wonders of the Cosmos
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Features a time-line history of the universe, explanations of key astronomical concepts, explorations of the heavenly bodies, notes on the works of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton, and much more.

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From Booklist:

Astronomy, friendly author Hathaway tells us, "inspires something akin to love" in all sorts of people with little or no science education. Hathaway's chummy yet instructional volume provides stargazers with a lucid and comprehensible overview of theories of the universe, past and present. It begins with an amusing yet quite useful chronology of the universe that runs from the big bang all the way to the distant future, hundreds of trillions of years from now, when life as we think we understand it ends anticlimactically in the big crunch. Having got our attention, she returns to less catastrophic scenarios. She describes each planet in the solar system with a judicious amount of levity, calling Mercury "a heavy metal world," Venus our "Toxic Twin," and asteroids "vermin of the skies." Writing in sound-bite style, she summarizes the work of pioneering astronomers and physicists, confidently escorts us out into the Milky Way and beyond, succinctly introduces quantum physics, and then gamely explains quasars, black holes, and UFOs. Literary types will love the excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses that introduce each section, and everyone will learn something about the universe without brain strain. Donna Seaman

From Library Journal:

Astronomy is a field replete with guidebooks of various sorts; this one is more of an informal personal survey of the field. Hathaway begins with a chronology of astronomical events and then proceeds, in a series of vignettes, to describe various aspects of the solar system, the constellations, the Milky Way, and the outer reaches of the universe. As is the case in many works on such topics, the process and history of scientific discovery is emphasized. Reminiscent of, but more structured than, Patrick Moore's Fireside Astronomy ( LJ 6/1/92), this book would be a good addition to the astronomy collections of larger public libraries.
- Joseph Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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