Conventional wisdom says the universe is infinite. But could it be finite, merely giving the illusion of infinity? Modern science is beginning to drag this abstract issue into the realm of the real, the tangible and the observable. HOW THE UNIVERSE GOT ITS SPOTS looks at how science is coming up sharp against the mind-boggling idea that the universe may be finite. Through a decade of observation and thought-experiment, we have started to chart out the universe in which we live, just as we have mapped the oceans and continents of our planet. Through a kind of cosmic archaeology and without leaving Earth, we can look at the pattern of hot spots left over from the big bang and begin to trace the 'shape of space'. Beautifully written in a colloquial style by a world authority, Janna Levin explores our aspirations to observe our universe and contemplate our deep connection with it.