Time for the Stars: Astronomy in the 1990s

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9780670839766: Time for the Stars: Astronomy in the 1990s
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Discusses new astronomical discoveries about the makeup of the universe, and predicts how they will change the study of astronomy in the next ten years

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From the Back Cover:

Now, Alan Lightman, the author of the brilliantly original bestselling novel Einstein's Dreams, presents the real-life drama of astronomy, a journey far into the stars that outpaces any fiction for adventure and excitement. Unsurpassed in its authoritativeness, TIME FOR THE STARS is based on the report of the National Academy of Science's Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, for whose science panel Alan Lightman served as chair. Here is a book that will introduce you to cosmic puzzles about people and planets stars and galaxies, and the beginnings and the ends of the universe. How do we know what's inside the sun? What are the prospects of finding other solar systems -- and extraterrestrial life -- in coming years? What was the universe like ten billion years ago? Will it keep on expanding forever?

Here are the latest advances in technology that have rocketed us to dazzling new frontiers. They may catch you off guard. But they will leave you fixed in wonder.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Lightman (Physics; Science and Writing/MIT) departs from his usual lighthearted essays and popular discourses on science (A Modern Day Yankee in a Connecticut Court, 1986; Time Travel and Papa Joe's Pipe, 1984) to present a no-nonsense summary of prospects for astronomy in the decade ahead. ``Prospects'' seems the apposite word since Lightman is really offering a prospectus here, outlining what could be done to further knowledge of the universe if all the recommendations for new instrumentation and computer technology were implemented. Indeed, he bases his argument on a research plan prepared at the start of each decade (since the 1960's) by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey of the National Academy of Sciences with the hope that Congress will provide the funding. So while the chapters follow a logical sequence of what we do and don't know about the universe from planets to stars to galaxies to cosmology, the emphasis is on why we need bigger and better telescopes, interferometers, earth- bound or orbiting instruments, and the automation to back them up. Alas, the result is more alphabet soup than heavenly broth as we learn what can be done by GONG (Global Oscillations Network Group)- -measure seismic activity on the sun; or AXAF (Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility)--analyze X-rays emitted by supernovae. Lightman packages the plan with enough who, what, and why to be intelligible to curious readers, but primarily those who are already knowledgeable and interested. Let us hope the necessary congressmen are included. (Twenty-five b&w illustrations--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780446670241: Time for the Stars: Astronomy in the 1990s

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ISBN 10:  0446670243 ISBN 13:  9780446670241
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 1994
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