From Here to Infinity: The Royal Observatory Greenwich Guide to Astronomy Paperback – 18 Sep 2008
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From the Publisher
- The ultimate guide to astronomy by best-selling science authors John and Mary Gribbin
- Flagship title accompanied by national and regional publicity campaigns
- Supporting the recently redeveloped site at the Royal
Observatory, Greenwich, with new astronomy galleries and
About the Author
John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge. A full-time science writer, he has worked for the science journal Nature and New Scientist magazine, and has contributed articles to The Times, Guardian and Independent. He is the author of more than one hundred books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The Universe: A Biography, and Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity. Gribbin is currently a Visiting Fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. Mary Gribbin trained in developmental psychology at the University of Sussex and recently became a qualified hypnotherapist. She has written for publications including She magazine and New Scientist, and is the author of several books on scientific topics for young readers, including Big Numbers and From Atoms to Infinity. Her collaborations with John Gribbin include The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and two sons. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, is home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian, Longitude 0°; it is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its foundation in 1675 by King Charles II, it has played a key role in asking and answering fundamental questions about time, space and the universe.
Top Customer Reviews
As an introduction to the subject, from the history of astronomy through the solar system and Milky Way to the universe beyond, I don't imagine there could be a better book. It does not assume any prior knowledge of mathematics or physics (I don't know whether my very rusty A-levels in those subjects helped), as concepts are explained informally, by means of analogy where possible. Even the more abstruse concepts are made easy to grasp in this way. The tone is just right, being serious but not dry, yet in places slightly chatty without ever being jokey or irritating. The subject matter seems to be presented in a thoroughly sensible order, forming a natural progression through the book. The book design, photography and diagrams are also excellent. (One trivial niggle is that sometimes a numbered figure may not be that close to the current page that references it, but this is unavoidable when trying to accommodate many graphics in a book.)
One thing that is especially commendable is the fact that this book does not just explain what astronomers know, but also explains how they know it. Spectroscopy is explained, along with various applications of trigonometry and other techniques, thus pre-empting the inevitable question `How on earth did they find that out?'
All in all, this book achieves brilliantly what it sets out to do. For anyone with even the slightest curiosity about astronomy, I recommend it very highly.
John Gribbin & Mary Gribbin have collaborated on many science books but 'From Here to Infinity', endorsed by the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, must be one of their very best and is recommended to anyone with the slightest interest in understanding the universe.