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Parting the Cosmic Veil Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 6, 2006

ISBN-10: 0387307354 Edition: 1st

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 6, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews: "I read astronomy books both for information and for entertainment. Rarely do I come across one that provides gobs of both. Kenneth Lang’s Parting the Cosmic Veil easily makes that cut. It’s also beautifully written … . This book can be appreciated by the general reader, but its broad, imaginative scope is sure to benefit professionals too, especially those who teach. In short, this is a must read!" (Leif J. Robinson, Sky & Telescope, Vol. 113 (3), March, 2007)

From the Back Cover

Parting the Cosmic Veil describes our gradual awareness of a vast, previously concealed Universe. It is a story of expanding horizons and the discovery of invisible worlds, made possible with new technology and novel telescopes that have broadened our range of perception and sharpened our vision. Spacecraft have carried men to the Moon, and traveled throughout the Solar System, obtaining close-up views that have transformed the moons and planets from moving points of light to fascinating, diverse worlds. Modern technology has also enabled the detection of giant planets around other stars, taking us one step closer to the possible detection of life outside the Earth. Astronomers have used telescopes, operating at the visible wavelengths that we see with our eye, to reveal the true extent of the Milky Way and discover billions of remote galaxies that are rushing away from us in an expanding Universe. Each of these galaxies contains billions of stars wheeling around their massive central hub. Radio waves and X-rays, which lie beyond the range of visual perception, are used to detect a violent Universe, from exploding stars to gamma ray bursts and the Big Bang itself, with the associated discoveries of pulsars, black holes and quasars. Radio astronomers have also shown that the dark spaces between the stars contain vast tracts of cold hydrogen atoms and a host of molecules. Dark invisible matter has been discovered residing outside the shining stars and galaxies, outweighing them all. And a mysterious dark energy has also been found, which fills the nooks and crannies of seemingly empty space. The Cosmos is evolving, participating in ongoing processes of creation, destruction, and re-birth. But even though we are pushing the boundaries of knowledge closer to an understanding of the origins and destinies, of either the Universe or Life, the ultimate answers to these grand questions still lie hidden behind the Cosmic Veil. Parting the Cosmic Veil is additionally broadened by including the perceptions of artists, poets and writers, each example chosen for the insight it offers, as well as with line drawings that forcefully compact a scientific insight. Professor Lang is known for his famous, widely used reference books Astrophysical Formulae I, II, published in their third edition in 1995 by Springer-Verlag. He is also a writer of prize-winning science books that have a broad readership, including amateurs, experts and the educated layperson. Some of these popular books, which include Sun, Earth and Sky, Wanderers in Space, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun and the Cambridge Guide to the Solar System, have been translated into seven languages.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (September 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387307354
  • ASIN: B008SMBDB2
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,648,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This well written book is a nice effort to communicate basic features of modern astronomy and cosmology to a broad audience. Lang is a lucid and enthusiastic writer. The quality of illustrations is very good, which really enhances the book. Lang aims for broad coverage of not only the basic features of the universe but also who we came to our present understanding. There is a good balance of basic instruction and historical analysis. The discovery of the extent of the universe, universal expansion, the Big Bang, and some of the many surprising features of the universe such as pulsars and massive black holes are disoussed (and illustrated) quite well. Lang communicates the wonder of discovering the many unexpected and counter-intuitive phenomena that characterize the universe. He also shows how the development of astronomy and cosmology has been a function of developing new methods of observation, particularly as spinoffs of military technology, and is intertwined with developments in some fields of physics.
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