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Galaxies and the Cosmic Frontier First Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674010796
ISBN-10: 0674010795
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Review

Waller, a professor of astronomy, teams with Hodge, editor-in-chief of Astronomical Journal, to present recent advances due largely to the advent of massive earthbound and spaceborne telescopes. In fact, these instruments now allow astronomers to detect 'galaxies so distant that we are seeing them shortly after their emergence from the din of the Big Bang,' the authors write. (Science News 2004-02-21)

Some galaxies erupt in starbursts; most contain giant black holes at their cores, each containing several million or billion times as much mass as our sun. William Waller and Paul Hodge give us a magisterial tour of these galaxies and their environment in space. (Jay Pasachoff Times Higher Education Supplement 2004-03-12)

About the Author

William H. Waller is Investigator and Liaison for Space Scientists at NASA's New England Space Science Initiative in Education.

Paul W. Hodge is Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, at the University of Washington and Editor-in-Chief of Astronomical Journal.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (July 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674010795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674010796
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,959,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you are new to astronomy and are looking for a primer on galaxies and cosmology, do not buy this book. If, however, you have exhausted the million and one "begginer's guide to (insert cosmologically correct buzzword here) " books, then this is the book for you.
The amount of detail is increadible and rewarding. The reader is given detailed, text book-like information on galaxy genesis, structure and developement. Everything from million mass black holes at the center of spirals, to the structure of our own Milky Way, to gas flow patterns in spiral arms, even to the increadible pyrotechnics exhibited by merging galaxies is addressed in a clear, concise and entertaining narrative.
I can not recommend this book enough. Part of the fun has been reading the descriptions of some of the naked eye galaxies and then finding them in the telescope. It is great to see that little smudge in the eyepiece and to know what's REALLY going on.
Although I have enjoyed the beginner books and they definately served their purpose, it was time to sink my teeth into something meatier. I couldn't be more pleased.
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Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this nicely written guide to the structure and organization of galaxies near and far. It opens with a general outline of what galaxies are and what they look like, then describes those galaxies surrounding our Milky Way, finally it looks at the Cosmos as a whole, exploring (as so many have) the Big Bang etc. What I loved about this book is that it had some meat to it. I've grown tired of astronomy books that simply outline the science so that 94% of the population can smile and shake their heads about black holes and the like. I don't think this book is written for the masses, but it is written for that 1% of people that really want to learn something about galaxies. It has loads of information, several sets of lovely astro-photos, and a usable glossary and index. Though it has textbook content, I found it easy and enjoyable to read. I recommend it to those with an interest in astronomy looking for a bit of substance.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent and up-to-date book about galactic astronomy that can be read by just about any interested person. It has an enormous amount of descriptive material about galactic anatomy, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Magellenic Clouds, the Local Group, Clusters, and Superclusters. It discusses the problem of the "missing mass," and of galactic origin and evolution. There's an introduction to interacting and starburst galaxies, to ultra-luminous infrared galaxies, to radio galaxies, Seyfert galaxies, Gamma-ray bursters, and Quasars. All in all, it is an easy way to learn a great deal about the subject: it has more meat than most books for the layman but is easy to understand.
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Format: Hardcover
This book starts off with simple galactic morphology, and quickly delves into much weightier topics, such as the dynamics and evolution of galaxies, galactic interactions, and active galactic nuclei. The book gets into some deeper cosmological issues, as well.

The style of writing is that of a textbook, but it is never dry or boring, merely very informative, and not wasteful of words.

This book could easily be used for an astronomy course for non-scientists, or added as supplemental reading for a more rigorous astronomy class.
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