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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries Hardcover – January 22, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
What would it feel like if your spaceship were to venture too close to the black hole lurking at the center of the Milky Way? According to astrophysicist Tyson, director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium, size does matter when it comes to black holes, although the chances of your surviving the encounter aren't good in any case. Tyson takes readers on an exciting journey from Earth's hot springs, where extremophiles flourish in hellish conditions, to the frozen, desolate stretches of the Oort Cloud and the universe's farthest reaches, in both space and time. Tyson doesn't restrict his musings to astrophysics, but wanders into related fields like relativity and particle physics, which he explains just as clearly as he does Lagrangian points, where we someday may park interplanetary filling stations. He tackles popular myths (is the sun yellow?) and takes movie directors—most notably James Cameron—to task for spectacular goofs. In the last section the author gives his take on the hot subject of intelligent design. Readers of Natural History magazine will be familiar with many of the 42 essays collected here, while newcomers will profit from Tyson's witty and entertaining description of being pulled apart atom by atom into a black hole, and other, closer-to-earth, and cheerier, topics. 9 illus. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Whenever astronomy intrudes on the news, interviewers flock to the telegenic Tyson for an explanation. The high-profile astrophysicist is also an essayist for Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History's monthly that is the source for this volume. His pieces are organized under whimsical banners such as "All the ways the cosmos wants to kill us," and Tyson's style will connect with general readers who are interested in the form the apocalypse will take. Scientists know that in a few billion years, an expanding sun will vaporize the earth, provided it's not been previously destroyed by a rogue black hole. Besides regaling spooky stories, the selections deploy movies as an astronomy popularizer, with Tyson critiquing the accuracy of the sky depicted in various scenes. Elsewhere, topics in the history of astronomy and physics fall into two categories: essays about the discovery of physical laws, and about cosmic objects such as galactic gas clouds and quasars. Whatever readers' scientific tastes, something in Tyson's wide-ranging collection will sate them. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
and this book covers alot more than just black holes....actually you really don't get much information about black holes until you get into about chapter 14...but that's ok because there are well over 20 chapters !!!...and what else you get is invaluable information about sceince, physics , the universe.....plus the history of how we discovered all this knowledge...So you learn how it all came together and who was responsible for discovering and by what experiments they used to discover it....His chapter on how much science you can do with just one or 2 sticks stuck in the ground is simply amazing and worth the price of the book alone...
Some people found him to be silly in his book and more often then not, laughing at his own jokes. Well, you simply dont know the man... That is in fact, what I love about him ... That's what separates him from the rest... His humble and goofy approach to teaching science, has already positively affected the lives of many future scientists, astrophysicist, engineers alike.