Patrick Moore Firefly Atlas of the Universe

ISBN 13: 9781552978191

Firefly Atlas of the Universe

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9781552978191: Firefly Atlas of the Universe
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The ultimate reference to the worlds beyond.

The Firefly Guide to the Universe is an encyclopedic examination of the stars, planets, and universe with the latest, most comprehensive information currently available. The book features the latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope which are put into context with clear and detailed text.

In seven extensive sections, the book illustrates and explains:

  • Exploring the Universe: the history and current state of astronomy and space exploration
  • The Solar System: Earth and other planets, mapped and imaged using data from the most recent mission probes
  • The Sun: astrophysical phenomena from sunspots to eclipses
  • The Stars: movements and life cycles, novae and supernovae, black holes, and more
  • The Universe: the origin and nature of the universe, our galaxy, local and remote galaxies, quasars, the question of alien life
  • Star Maps: whole sky maps with 22 alphabetized chapter listings of stars and constellations, and seasonal charts for north and south
  • The Practical Astronomer: Tips for beginner and advanced astronomers including equipment selection and how to build a backyard observatory.

The Firefly Guide to the Universe is a lively and useful reference illustrated with spectacular color photographs and illustrations. It is the ideal guide for discovering the vast richness of the universe.

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About the Author:

Patrick Moore is the author of 60 books and hosts the BBC-TV series, The Sky at Night.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

When I wrote the first edition of The Atlas of the Universe, in 1970, the great astronomical revolution was just beginning. Electronic devices had started to take over from photographic plates, and computers had become a real force even though they were very crude compared to those of today. Space research was in full swing: men had already landed on the Moon, probes had been sent out to the nearer planets, and the first astronomical observatories were in orbit round the Earth.

Since then a great deal has happened. Great new telescopes have been built, allowing us to explore the far reaches of the universe; new theories have forced us to change or even abandon many of the older ideas, even if we have yet to solve fundamental problems such as that of the origins of the universe itself.

The progress of space research has been less smooth. There have been spectacular triumphs, but also some serious setbacks. However, there is one very encouraging note; all nations are working together in space, and the International Space Station now orbiting the Earth really is completely international.

Undoubtedly there will be further problems during the next few decades, but all in all the outlook remains bright. There are still people who question the value of the space programs, but the cost of a planetary probe does not seem excessive when compared to that of, say, a nuclear submarine, and there are many benefits to mankind: for example, medical research is now closely linked with astronautics.

There is a major difference between this Atlas and others. We are used to superb, highly colored images produced by the world's greatest telescopes, but in general the colors are added to help in scientific analysis. Obviously I have included some of these false-colored pictures here, but I have concentrated upon things which can actually be seen by an observer who is adequately equipped. This is not always possible, but I have kept to my rule as far as I can.

Much new information has been obtained since the last edition of the Atlas. For this latest edition, I have made further amendments and additions to bring the text up to date in March 2003.

Patrick Moore

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