Space: Our Final Frontier Hardcover – 19 Jul 2001
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The BBC documentary series Space is sure to inspire purchases of the accompanying coffee-table book. Some will buy it for the pictures--and they won't be disappointed. Young stars eject gas and dust in pearl-coloured billows that wrinkle up under their own weight until they resemble morel. Radiation sculpts a molecular cloud into fingers clustered with rings of newborn suns.
Those who buy Space for its account of the Cosmos, however, are in for the biggest treat. The author, John Gribbin, is a scientist of some reputation, having helped calculate the best current estimate of the age of the universe. But it is in the rarely celebrated role of popular educator that Gribbin excels. He is a most prolific science writer (not least thanks to his wife Mary, a science writer in her own right and John's frequent and adept collaborator).
In Space, Gribbin's task is to cover everything cosmological. In the first few pages, we learn that the Sun is a star. By the end, we're slipping comfortably and entertainingly through mini essays on quantum fluctuations, the negativity of gravity and how to create your own universe. And this in a book of only 230 pages, many filled by pictures.
This book would inspire a budding astronomer--if only her dad wouldn't keep nicking it. The design is lively and not too fussy. "Topic guides" in the margins relate articles together in themed reading plans; they look naff, but are genuinely useful. The bibliography is a bit short--but who wouldn't be left wanting more after such an exhilarating introduction? --Simon Ings
Mention space and the outer reaches of the galaxy to people not interested in the subject and their first thought will be Star Trek. It's refreshing to report that John Gribbin's Space has dropped its hackneyed original title (Final Frontier), which gives an indication of the more science-oriented approach of this fascinating book. Gribbin has long been one of the most accessible and involving of guides to scientific subjects, but even he has never before taken part in such an ambitious endeavour. Stunning photo-graphs and images constructed utilising the latest graphic techniques are used to illustrate a fascinating space odyssey. The huge technological advances of recent years have expanded our knowledge at an amazing pace and this book - tied in to a six-part BBC TV series - vividly brings to life up-to-the-minute astronomical findings: How scientists map the universe; a star's life from birth to sun to supernova; other earths (the possibility of life elsewhere) and a cogent examination of the Big Bang theory of our expanding, accelerating universe. As a one-volume guide to a mind-bending subject, this will take some beating - and it's supplemented by three satellite books: Ian Nicholson's Stars and Supernovas, Paul Parsons' The Big Bang and John Man's Comets, Meteors and Asteroids.See all Product description
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There are many stunning images of stars,galaxies, supernovas etc and I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject. A good number of diagrams are also used to illustrate and explain some of the ideas or processes that are covered in the text
The final chapters cover the more " out there " concepts of cosmology today such as the origin of matter , the fate of the universe , alternate theories etc. While some of this subject matter is rather difficult to grasp Gribbin does manage to make one think and question the ideas presented.
All in all a first rate publication suitable as an introduction to cosmology and our universe.
An excellent read if you want to find out things about space that you never though that could really happen or how they happened.
Only problem I found was that once an idea or theory had been suggested was thought to be true. Then they didn't put forward anyother ideas to this. It was just believed that the suggested idea or theory was correct all the time. A bit of a let down when you have ideas of your own.
Apart from this I would suggest it to anybody who like space and the theory and going ons in the great outdoors.