Firefly Atlas of the Universe

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9781554070718: Firefly Atlas of the Universe
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The new edition of a critically acclaimed bestseller.

"A beautiful, up-to-date oversized volume that is the equivalent of a small astronomy library...a superb visual reference."
- Terence Dickinson,
SkyNews

"Highly recommended."
- Booklist (of the 2nd Edition)

Firefly Atlas of the Universe is the ultimate reference to the stars, planets and celestial objects using the most comprehensive information currently available.

The book features the latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Telescope, Mars Express, the Cassini spacecraft and 2004 Huygens probe of Saturn and Titan. The stunning images are explained with clear and detailed text.

The full color 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 with 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, and the question of alien life
  • Star Maps: whole sky maps with 22 alphabetized chapter listings of stars and constellations, and seasonal charts for both northern and southern hemispheres.

Firefly Atlas of the Universe is a fascinating and encyclopedic reference illustrated with spectacular color photographs and illustrations.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Sir Patrick Moore is the author of 60 books including Guide to Stars and Planets and is host of the long-running 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.

Since the previous edition, in 2003, much has happened, and for this latest edition I have made further amendments; I hope we are now up to date to May 2005.

Patrick Moore

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