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Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective Hardcover – November 2, 2010
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From Sizing Up the Universe
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|In this close-up view, the Carina Nebula features a pair of Bok globules (left and right), which are thought to be concentrations of dust condensing into yet-to-be-born stars. (NASA, ESA, p. 6-7)||The Western Veil Nebula, known as the Witch’s Broom, is part of a huge supernova remnant that spans more than six moon widths (diameters) across in the night sky. (Robert J. Vanderbei, p. 8-9)||The band of light known as the Milky Way is at its widest when one looks at it in the direction of the galactic center. (Jim Richardson, p. 25)||The Pan-STARRS 1 telscope complex in Maui, Hawaii maps the sky. (Stephen L. Alvarez,. 44-45)|
|With 14,000,000-power magnification provided by a hypothetical supertelescope, we would be able to see dramatic views of nearby stars as well as the footprint Buzz Aldrin left behind on the moon. (Stars: Robert J. Vanderbei, p. 43)||The moon is roughly a quarter the size of Earth. When astronauts on the moon looked back at Earth, it was four times the angular diameter of the moon as seen from Earth. (NASA, p. 144)||The Butterfly Nebula, a dying star shedding gas. The ring of dust at the narrow waist, thrown off by the star earlier, now forces newly ejected gas out the top and bottom, creating a nebula that is more than two lightyears in diameter. (NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA, p. 187)||Buzz Aldrin on the moon, photographed by Neil Armstrong. Armstrong is reflected in the visor. (NASA, p. 191)|
“A feast for the eyes and a banquet for the mind."
Neil de Grasse Tyson, best-selling author and NovaScienceNow host
“The genius of Sizing Up the Universe comes directly from the co-authors'
fertile brains. ... It may strike readers, meanwhile, that the authors
must have conjured up some sort of Einsteinian space warp to get so much
information, in such a variety of vivid, gorgeous and conceptually
brilliant forms, into a single book. You can pretty much open it to any
page and have an "aha!" moment that will embed itself in your brain. And
over time, without even noticing, you may even begin to grasp the true
immensity of the universe." ~Michael D. Lemonick, TIME.com
"It may strike readers...that the authors must have conjured up some sort of Einsteinian space warp to get so much information, in such a variety of vivid, gorgeous and conceptually brilliant forms, into a single book." --Time
"You can pretty much open it to any page and have an "aha!" moment that will embed itself in your brain." --Time
"The latest attempt to put the cosmos in perspective, and it may be the most effective yet — even though it takes the retro form of a physical book...it also conveys the relative sizes and distances of cosmic objects in so many different and ingenious ways that it becomes a little dizzying — in the best possible sense." –Time
"This is a wonderful book - one I had been waiting for ever since I was eight years old, and one that would make a memorable gift for imaginations young and old." –New Scientist
“magnified stunning views.” –Book News
“It’s impossible to fathom the scale of the universe, but Princeton professors Robert Vanderbei and J. Richard Gott sure as heck try.” –The Star Ledger (Newark)
Top Customer Reviews
But what does all that really mean? How do you wrap your way around those sizes and compare them to more familiar sizes and distances? J Richard Gott and Robert J Vanderbei, in National Geographic's Sizing Up the Universe, have set themselves this tall order--explain to the reader just how big things are, and tie it to the every day so that readers can get a handle around it. Also add in a gorgeous visual guide to the heavens, from star charts to pictures ranging from Neil Armstrong to the Cosmic Microwave Background, and you have Sizing Up the Universe.
The book starts off with apparent sizes of objects in the sky, starting with the Moon and moving its way upward. While I have seen many books explain size in a more conventional manner (and the book later does delve into the real size of objects), the authors obvious interest in astronomy and backyard sky viewing give them a perspective as to the apparent size of stellar objects that was illuminating even to a astronomy enthusiast like myself. I had no idea, for example, that the apparent size of the small dim smudge of the Andromeda Galaxy is actually much, much larger than that.
The book then launches itself into viewing the night skies, as a way to bridge the previous section with the subsequent ones, and again showing the astronomical interest of the authors. The charts in this book can be used to find objects in the sky in all four seasons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Want to get lost in space? Check this out. A lavishly illustrated treatise on the relative size of the earth and the universe (ours anyway) and everything astronomical in between. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Fred Forbes
Excellent information.... unfortunately it is the stuff not often thought about by authors, so I found it very helpful and exceptionally well done..Published 14 months ago by Keith R. Marley
I was looking for a book with good pictures and diagrams laying out the cosmos that was in depth enough to keep my interest and clear enough for my granddaughter follow. Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by J. Mackenzie
Gott and Vanderbei have created one of those wonderful books, that while all about size relationships between astronomical objects, demonstrates those relationships in a very down... Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by pippin
The concept of size in the universe is beyond our understanding. This book uses an approach which is quite succesfull in coming to grips with this reality. Read morePublished on July 2, 2013 by John M.
Beautiful images along with great descriptions for none scientists, too. Puts your daily life and issues in perspective of the 'big picture'. Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by zoltgold
I'm sure everyone with a slight interest in astronomy will be delighted to flip through the pages of this amazing book, regardless of age. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by PI
I recommend it to everyone interested in modern astronomy.
The book contains lots of great drawings and photographs with excellent quality.