- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: Springer; Softcover reprint of hardcover 2nd ed. 2007 edition (November 19, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1441921567
- ISBN-13: 978-1441921567
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,688,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy Softcover reprint of hardcover 2nd ed. 2007 Edition
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From the reviews of the second edition:
"In this new edition (1st ed., 1974), radio astronomer/science writer Verschuur (Univ. of Memphis) both entertains and informs about the contribution that radio astronomy is making towards an understanding of the universe. … A number of the excellent figure are in color; good appendixes cover definitions and the many terms unique to the field … . For reader interested in the development and status of this very interesting and important subfield of astronomy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels." (W. E. Howard III, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), August, 2007)
From the Back Cover
Hidden from human view, accessible only to sensitive receivers attached to huge radio telescopes, giant versions of backyard satellite dishes, the invisible universe beyond our senses continues to fascinate and intrigue our imaginations. We cannot really comprehend what it means to say that a galaxy is exploding, yet that is the nature of some of the distant radio sources in the furthest reaches of space. Closer to home, in the Milky Way galaxy, radio astronomers listen patiently to the ticking of pulsars that tell of star death and states of matter of awesome densities. And between the stars, radio emission from a host of over 120 complex molecules radiate outward to reveal a tale about chemical processes that produce the very stuff of life. And all of this happens out there in the universe hidden from our eyes, even when aided by the Hubble Space Telescope.
This is the story of radio astronomy, of how radio waves are generated by stars, supernova, quasars, colliding galaxies, and by the very beginnings of the universe itself. In The Invisible Universe, you learn what astronomers are doing with those huge dishes in the New Mexico desert, in a remote valley in Puerto Rico, in the green Pocahontas Valley in West Virginia, as well as dozens of other remote sites around the world. With each of these observatories, the scientists collect and analyze their data, "listening" to the radio signals from space, in order to learn what is out there, and perhaps even if someone else may be listening as well.
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The author has a lot of negative things to say about SETI. In that section of the book the number of typos suddenly jumps up. It's almost like you can see him getting red in the face and pounding the keyboard when he was writing this section. Later, he completely ignores the new Allen Telescope Array - an instrument for both SETI and radio astronomy uses - but spends a few pages on ALMA - an array that will be fantastic when ready but it will be a few more years.
The best parts of the book are the anecdotes even though some seem irrelevant to the book's intent. For the graduate student, better books are available (possibly Rohlfs and Wilson). For the casual reader, this book won't help much more than a standard introduction to astronomy text (eg.,Paschoff and Filippenko; Chaisson and McMillan; Fraknoi, Morrison and Wolff).