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Cosmological Enigmas: Pulsars, Quasars, and Other Deep-Space Questions 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801884603
ISBN-10: 0801884608
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Editorial Reviews


The ideas of the sciences flow together smoothly, interwoven with personal reminiscences and observations. Highly recommended.

(Choice 2008-01-00)

Provides an excellent introduction to the rapidly changing fields of cosmology, stellar astrophysics, and galactic studies.

(Marc Rothenberg Magill Book Reviews 2008-01-00)

A mix of standard astronomy lessons and some wonderful analogies, bring concepts that can be truly mind boggling closer to home... Kidger's explanations often sparkle with interesting 'I didn't know that' factoids... The book is truly a conversation between astronomer and reader, illuminating the 'Big Questions' in astronomy with a down-to-earth approach.

(Carolyn Collins Petersen Sky and Telescope 2008-01-00)

Easily accessible to the nonspecialist.

(Paul V. Pancella Science Books and Films 2008-01-00)

It is always a pleasure to read a book that is written by someone who has such a passion for the subject... The overall impression is of a book that is worthy of inclusion in any bookcase. On a final note, it has a superbly designed and eye-catching dust jacket!

(John Griffiths Observatory Magazine 2008-01-00)

About the Author

Mark Kidger is an astronomer at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid. He is the author of Astronomical Enigmas: Life on Mars, the Star of Bethlehem, and Other Milky Way Mysteries, also published by Johns Hopkins.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801884608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801884603
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,705,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce D. Wilner on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kidger has written an estimable sequel to his "Astronomical Enigmas." He addresses a wide range of questions treating the origin and fate of the universe, exobiology, and the like. He presents a first-class series of _conceptual_ essays, finely toeing the line between unacceptable vagueness and over-the-top mathematics. That having been said, this is definitely not a book for the professional astronomer or physicist. However, the curious dilettante should find Kidger's discussions lively, engaging, and thought-provoking, while his numerous links to Internet resources and other published works for the non-specialist are a welcome addition that rounds out this first-class offering.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Kidger's book, "Cosmological Enigmas - Pulsars, Quasars & Other Deep-Space Questions", is written with the layperson in mind. It cuts across many of the top cosmological phenomenon that are the sources of research in cosmology and astrophysics; but, does so without dragging you through the muddle astronomer/astrophysicist "speak" and leaves behind any maths required to fully explain things. That does not mean that the book is absent of all math; it does bring up important equations that are explained. Overall is fairly well written with explanations given on ground terms to those who do not have a strong background on any of the subjects covered.

Given the target reader, the book presents a very god synopsis of current objects of interest and questions most commonly asked of astronomers and astrophysicist; however, the book suffers from high quality pictures and diagrams that are misplaced in two locations of the book that forces the reader to rifle through the pages in search of the figures being referred to in the text and goes as far as breaking a chapter forcing the user to both sections of figures. There are numerous typographical errors and mistakes made in explanations that should never have been present in the book. One cannot blame the author totally. The editors and reviewers should have caught the mistakes prior to publishing the book.

Overall the quality of the material is there; but the publishing mistakes knock the book down from 5 to 4 stars. Like any subject in the sciences, things change very rapidly. When talking about the things that are on the cutting edge of research, discussion, and theorization, it does not take long for the contents of a book like this to become dated. Many things have changed since the date of publication; however, the layperson will not be disappointed due to the well-thought out way the book was written.
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