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Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education Hardcover – December 9, 2016
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With the public increasingly questioning scientifically-obtained data, books of this nature are not just welcome they're needed. Astronomy Saves the World makes the case that astronomy should be as much a part of what is taught in schools as reading, writing, and math. Life on Earth could end tomorrow courtesy of a rock from space. Conversely, the problems we're facing today, those stemming from overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, and pollution could also be alleviated, if not resolved, thanks to science, space exploration, and by extension astronomy. Batcheldor does an exceptional job of conveying his ideas through this book. --Jason Rhian, Senior Editor/Founder SpaceFlight Insider
About the Author
Daniel Batcheldor grew up in the city of Bath, United Kingdom. He earned a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire before moving to the United States. At Rochester Institute of Technology he taught university physics and conducted research on supermassive black holes using the Hubble Space Telescope. Since 2010 he has been on the faculty at Florida Institute of Technology where he is now Professor and Head of Physics and Space Sciences. He still conducts research on supermassive black holes, but is now involved with the space-based imaging technologies that could result in the first image of an Earth-like planet around other stars, and the issues associated with establishing a sustainable colony on Mars.
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The book does an excellent job showing how physics shaped (and continues to shape) our understanding of outer space such as how far away other stars and galaxies are, what they are made of, plus how big and how heavy. And knowing these things enables us to understand the beginning—and the end—of the universe as we know it.
Throughout the book are actual lessons in astrophysics that include (gasp!) math, but Batcheldor approaches each subject in an engaging and conversational manner. Even those who think they are adverse to numbers and diagrams will be delighted to discover that they are able to grasp concepts such as those taught in a university physics course.
How else does "Astronomy Save the World"? If we manage to keep our eye on the long-term future of life on Earth, we must look to the stars to consider where our next home may be before some yet-unknown threat wipes us out or when the sun eventually envelops our tiny rock several billion years from now. But where are these habitable planets? How far away? Astronomy will have the answer.
I really enjoyed reading this book and now have a greater appreciation of what I’m actually looking at up there in the starry night sky and our little planet’s place in the universe.