This beautifully illustrated 416-page book consists of 100 concise chapters on key discoveries in astronomy & cosmology.
Some of the topics covered include quantum theory, the Big Bang, the origin of life, stellar evolution, dark matter & energy and the fate of the universe. The book concludes with a useful glossary of astronomical & cosmological terms.
'The Universe in 100 Key Discoveries' is a thought-provoking and accessible state-of-the-art guide to the wonders of astronomy and cosmology.
on 21 April 2014
this provides excellent coverage of the topic and is full of interesting material. i was concerned it might just be100 factoids but no, it's so much richer than that. the beginning of each 'discovery' comprises a rather contrived intro in the form of 4 sentences, in block capitals, supposed to let you know what it's about and why it's there. that can be rather irritating and often appears forced. ignore that and enjoy the clarity of what follows. Giles appears to be a writer who is enthralled by his subject and wants to let you know as much as he reasonably can about this exciting, and rapidly advancing, area of science without a scrap of formality to get in the way.
the kindle edition must be the best value reading material ever (it has loads of information in it) but you might want to consider the paper version because what you don't get with the kindle are some truly amazing colour images.
on 18 January 2014
This incredibly informative, easy-reading book takes you from mankind's earliest search for meaning in the stars to our modern understanding of the universe. It describes the current knowledge of the birth of the universe, the formation of our solar system and the wonders and mysteries of every major body within it, deep space objects, and the theories of how the universe really works and what its ultimate demise may be.
It is a very well-written book, never leaping too far ahead without explanation yet not getting bogged down in detail. Each chapter is fairly short, perhaps only 5-10 minutes' reading but, at 100 chapters, it's a book that will keep you busy for quite some time. As each chapter leads somewhat into the next I found it difficult to put down, wanting to know the next fascinating capsule of information.
There are many colourful and dramatic images throughout. The Kindle edition does contain the colour pictures (and can be viewed on a colour Kindle reader like the PC app) but the black and white Kindles struggle to render these to their intended effect. Nonetheless, the text is the important part and, since I paid the princely sum of 54 pence for this amazing tome of knowledge, I am not in the least disturbed. It is easily worth ten times that even without the pictures.
on 7 March 2014
It takes on a large subject by breaking it up into digestible chunks. It starts round the earth ,moves outwards through the solar system,pausing at the interesting areas just beyond then moves out to the galaxy and so on. Brief but authoritative essays at each stage. I particularly liked the sections on the zones just beyond Pluto including where all the comets are parked up and the section on supernovae. A lot of it I had not thought about before and it sparked my interest.