An illuminating and entertaining scientific exploration of everyday oddities
Bob Berman's Strange Universe is a unique guidebook to some of the more bizarre moments in astronomy and astonishingly true facts about the world around us. Berman is motivated by a straightforward philosophy: everyone can understand science. He feels passionately that basic realities of our existence are truly marvelous, and it only takes a little bit of science to appreciate them.
Geared to the nonscientist, Berman's original essays are filled with the trademark wit and cleverness that has earned him acclaim over many years in his columns for Astronomy and Discover magazines. He emphasizes curiosities of the natural world to which everyone can relate, and dishes on the little-known secrets about space and some of science's biggest blunders (including a very embarrassing moment from Buzz Aldrin's trip to the moon).
Fascinating to anyone interested in the wonders of our world and the cosmos beyond, Strange Universe will make you smile and think.
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Bob Berman writes the Strange Universe column in Astronomy magazine. His previous titles on astronomy include Cosmic Adventure: A Renegade Astronomer's Guide to Our World and Beyond and Secrets of the Night Sky: The Most Amazing Things in the Universe You Can See with the Naked Eye . He lives near Woodstock, New York.
Berman (Cosmic Adventure) has written a slim volume filled with enticing scientific tidbits. He expands on the "Strange Universe" column he writes for Astronomy magazine and spends much of his time discussing things astronomical, occasionally branching into physics. The book is split in two sections: "What's Going On Here?" and "What's Going On Out There?" The first half deals with earthly phenomena (how rainbows are formed, the intricacies of UV radiation, unusual facts about meteors and meteorites, and the mechanics of celestial eclipses, to name just a few) while the second half takes a broader view of the universe, addressing such topics as the origin of the universe, whether black holes actually exist and, if they do, whether they are capable of "swallowing" everything in their vicinity, and whether time and space are interchangeable. Throughout, Berman adopts the style of a magazine column; each chapter is self-contained and relatively short, making them easy and enjoyable to read. Berman is writing for a nonspecialized audience and is usually successful at making fairly complex scientific issues generally accessible, even if he does pepper his prose with an overabundance of puns.
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