"In his captivating book Sanders gives an authoritative and entertaining, easy to read account of this 'detective story', from the beginnings in the last century to the most recent developments. As he tells his story, Robert Sanders conveys to the reader the fascination of research, the often unexpected discoveries, but also the meandering path of the research towards better understanding and knowledge, including the 'human' side of some of the major players in the story. I highly recommend this book to readers who want to understand and get captivated by one of the highlight discoveries of the modern astronomy."
Reinhard Genzel, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany
"This book gives a personal enthusiastic and well informed view of the exciting discoveries in astronomy since 1950. Major advances in astronomy are led by technology, but the theme of this engagingly written book is the development of ideas, and how they are tested and refined as new observations become possible. Sanders' central subject is the revelation of the structure of our Milky Way galaxy with its "rather small" four million solar mass central black hole. However the reader will gain also insight into how astronomy and science develop via world-wide cooperation and debate. It is fun to read!"
Donald Lynden-Bell, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
"Sanders ... [inserts] helpful summaries after particularly dense sections. Those interludes contain charmingly personal reflections on both the practice and development of astronomy and help to ensure that interested readers of all backgrounds can share in the thrill of a wondrous discovery."
Matthew Walker, Physics Today
Written in an informal and engaging style, this volume traces the discoveries that led to our understanding of the size and structure of the Milky Way and the conclusive evidence for a massive black hole at its center.