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on May 8, 2000
Want to know what a supernova, neutron star or black hole is, explained in everyday language? If so then this is the book you are looking for. Simply put, it's the perfect source for easy to understand explanations about all facets of astronomy and astrophysics. Find out how astronomers know the universe is expanding, how they determine how far away other galaxies are, or how a supernova happens. Learn about energy and particle physics, all explained in an intelligent yet easy to understand fashion. Learn about the different states of matter, about energy and Einsteins theory of relativity. Nicely formatted with stunning graphics, I highly recommend this book, especially to those with no background in the sciences who are looking for a simple, easy to understand yet intelligent explanation of science.
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on March 2, 2000
The beauty of this book is apparent as soon as you open it. It is filled with wonderful pictures that help to explain the valuable information that is contained in this book. Neil De Grasse Tyson has taken the information that most of us find to difficult to understand and brought it to a level that makes it not only understandable, but exciting to read. The pictures give us a visual understanding of the dynamics of all the things around us. This is a book for all, young and old. I especially found it to be a great way to stimulate the minds of our youth, who seem to have lost interest in many of the sciences. This book breathes new life into a subject that affects all of us.
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Now that science fact has become stranger than science fiction, it's good to have a book that explains the physical universe in clear prose and pictures. The authors' stated intention is to make readers feel "at home in the Cosmos," although many of the astronomical photographs might leave us a bit in awe of the place where we live. In fact, I'm surprised that the authors didn't use more images from the Hubble space telescope. Perhaps it is because their stated intention is to explain, not simply astound. Conceptual drawings such as "How protons decay" are also found in abundance.
Tyson, Liu, and Irion introduce readers to 'the' golden age of astronomy (Right here. Right now) and explain the principles that govern our everyday lives, as well as the workings of the cosmos. That's quite a lot to accomplish in a book that is also a visual feast (400 full-color illustrations). However, the authors are well-suited to tackle the job. Neil de Grasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Charles Liu is an astrophysicist at the Museum. Robert Irion is a free-lance journalist, and a contributing editor and correspondent to Astronomy and Science.

Using everyday analogies (as opposed to mathematical formulae), the authors take us on a journey through our universe, from the infinitesimal to the infinite. Here is an example illustrating Newton's second law of motion:
"Imagine standing behind two people wearing roller skates. One is a 90-pound ballerina, and the other is a sumo wrestler who weighs five times as much. If you push on each person with equal force (and tact), you will accelerate the ballerina five times more quickly. That ratio holds true in space as well."
"One Universe" includes an illustrated timeline of the major advances in astronomy and physics, from Democritus to Hale-Bopp.
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This work would make a wonderful gift for a student in
grammar school or early high school. It has a thorough
explanation of the color band, motion and energy.
Major Newtonian laws are explained and demonstrated. The author
demonstrates comparative orbital forms; such as, the arch,
ellipse, parabola and hyperbola. He explains how changes
in matter are a function of temperature, pressure and density
factors. The work concludes with some important theories of
an expansive universe. The book is challenging-intellectually.
The science is firmly grounded in classic theories of
Sir Isaac Newton and a host of other important mathematicians
and physicists.
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on May 18, 2014
Lavishly illustrated to support the text, this large format book is a wonderful addition to any reader's library. While I have started reading it it is going to take me awhile to fully comprehend the subject matter
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What a wonderful book. I can't decide if it is a coffee table book or a textbook? There are so many pictures involved that are stunning that anyone just sitting down to peruse through it would be fascinated for an hour or more. They would also find themselves learning about the universe, the Cosmos. That's because when you see the pictures you are just drawn to want to read the captions and learn what they are, then in turn you want to read the textbook portion to learn even more. The learning experience is fascinating.

I am a Theologian and thus I am happy to say that I am a young earth believer and also a believer in Intelligent Design, i.e. in God, Yahweh, Elohim, the I am of the Bible. So, I have a definite take on the details of the creation of Earth and the creation of the universe. I am not drawn to the "scientific" or "Astronomic's" of the Big Bang Theory.

BUT, I must say that as I read through this textbook I found that it was teaching me more and more about the Universe and the Galaxies and stars and planets than I ever imagined I would learn, and learn quickly.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson does a great job in this textbook of laying the ground work for the "Big Bang Theory" and the resulting galaxies that "evolved" out of it. Like I say, I am not a fan of that theory, BUT, it was so interesting to read and understand his concepts and they helped me to form even more knowledge and belief in the fact that the universe is incredible and I believe must have had an intelligent designer to create it.

The book takes you through four main sections:
MOTION
MATTER
ENERGY
and FRONTIERS

Each is described and the history of the men and women who brought us the great thinking regarding these areas and the theories that come out of them is amazing. Taking about Plato, Galileo, Einstein, Newton,Copernicus, etc. There is so much to learn.

The writing style is very straightforward and easy for school age children to read and understand. Thus it is a great primer for thoughts regarding our Cosmos/Universe and the lessons that can be drawn from the research and science that is detailed.

I loved the section on "Evidence for Supermassive Black Holes." That was so cool to read and understand. It is just amazing.

Then the fact that our galaxies are moving away from each other at anywhere from 186 miles per second to 700 miles per second, THUS, the universe is still expanding. This is mind boggling.

Why is that? What can it mean? and what is the final result? Those speculative questions will be talked about but not necessarily answered.

Maybe the most disconcerting thought was that while Galaxies are moving, all but one are moving AWAY from the Milky Way, where Earth resides. But the Andromeda galaxy is moving "TOWARDS" the Milky way at a rate of 186 miles per second. You must ask yourself, "What will happen when the Milky Way and Andromeda collide? Fortunately Andromeda is so far away this won't happen in our lifetime or our children's or grandchildren's lifetime, so at least for now we are safe.

But that kind of information is found in this textbook and brings you to stop and think and have to ask questions.

I loved the book, even if I did disagree with it's main scientific thoughts on the Big Bang.

I think you would enjoy it was well and it would be a good teaching tool for you with your children.
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on December 2, 2009
I have always loved astronomy. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an excellent author. Astronomy is not easy to grasp, but Mr Tyson makes it enjoyable and understandable.
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on July 5, 2010
Being a few decades out of college physics, this book offers some amazing new information, in a pleasing well written format. Though these cosmic ideas are hard to describe, the authors try to connect to our experience, for example when discussing the density of a neutron star "That's life stuffing a heard of 50 million elephants into a thimble". The book is divided into three aspects of natures: motion, matter, and energy. The final chapter deals with frontiers, such as the search for life and Drake equation, and how the big bang brought forth the universe (though it seems incomprehensible that all space and matter initially "could have passed through the eye of a needle"). The book is well illustrated with both drawings, and photographs such as deep space shots from the Hubble Space Telescope. I used this as a good accompaniment of the Teaching Company's class "My Favorite Universe".
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on August 19, 2013
Both my daughter and I are enjoying this book. The photographs are stunning and the content really gets you thinking without being boring or too complex.
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on August 5, 2015
I found this book to be unfocused and out of date. The authors tend to wander around in the sections and focus on unrelated topics.
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