“Sheehan (astronomy historian/writer;psychiatrist) and Conselice (astronomer, Univ. of Nottingham, UK) do this in an informative and engaging style by choosing prominent scientists who made significant contributions and then giving biographical information about these individuals. In this way, the authors not only maintain the scientific standard of the writing at a high level but also convey a flavor of how research is undertaken. … Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers.” (D. E. Hogg, Choice, Vol. 52 (8), April, 2015)
“In an accessible and gripping way, the authors tell the story of the history of modern astronomy from its beginnings to the present. This book can be read either casually, as an entertaining introduction to astronomy in its human, historical context, or it can be read in detail to absorb what science has to say about the universe and how this knowledge was achieved. It can also be perused for the aesthetics of its fantastic photographs of the universe. For me, it was an opportunity to renew and expand on my childhood fascination with astronomy. However you read it, you won’t be disappointed. This is a book that you will return to many times.” (John Kounios, Drexel University, Amazon, March 2, 2015)
“Galactic Encounters … is a beautifully written and illustrated compilation of our progressive understanding of the cosmos since Galileo first pointed his telescope at the Milky Way and saw multitudes of stars. … Galactic Encounters is an informative and enjoyable read … .” (Klaus Brasch, The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 109 (1), February, 2015)
“The book is written starting from the earliest observations and scientists and continues all the way to twenty first century. … The book is also suitable for general readers with maybe less background in physics or astronomy, as you don’t need any mathematics to fly through the book and observations described within. … ‘Galactic Encounters’ is very interesting, thorough and well-illustrated.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, December, 2014)
From the Back Cover
Written by William Sheehan, a noted historian of astronomy, and Christopher J. Conselice, a professional astronomer specializing in galaxies in the early universe, this book tells the story of how astronomers have pieced together what is known about the vast and complicated systems of stars and dust known as galaxies.
The first galaxies appeared as violently disturbed exotic objects when the Universe was only a few 100 million years old. From that tortured beginning, they have evolved though processes of accretion, merging and star formation into the majestic spirals and massive ellipticals that dominate our local part of the Universe. This of course includes the Milky Way, to which the Sun and Solar System belong; it is our galactic home, and the only galaxy we will ever know from the inside. Sheehan and Conselice show how astronomers’ understanding has grown from the early catalogs of Charles Messier and William Herschel; developed through the pioneering efforts of astronomers like E.E. Barnard, V.M. Slipher, Henrietta Leavitt, Edwin Hubble and W.W. Morgan; and finally is reaching fruition in cutting-edge research with state-of-the-art instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope that can see back to nearly the beginning of the Universe. By combining archival research that reveals fascinating details about the personalities, rivalries and insights of the astronomers who created extragalactic astronomy with the latest data gleaned from a host of observations, the authors provide a view of galaxies – and their place in our understanding of the Universe – as they have never been seen before.