Galactic Encounters: Our Majestic and Evolving Star-System, From the Big Bang to Time's End

Hardcover | September 18, 2014

byWilliam Sheehan, Christopher J. Conselice

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The book is intended as a rich introduction to the wonders of the Galaxy. It is intended for anyone interested in the geography, beauty, and significance of our home star-system which is perhaps (along with the human brain itself) the grandest single structure the human mind can comprehend. Though scientifically informed and up-to-date (Dr. Conselice is a leading researcher) the text can be appreciated by the general reader (Dr. Sheehan is an accomplished writer and historian of astronomy and Julian Baum an award-winning illustrator). By taking a historical approach and emphasizing the colorful personalities who pioneered the understanding of the Galaxy, we hope to make what otherwise might be regarded as rather complex subject matter more easily accessible; the illustrations will include maps showing the different levels of galactic structure from the Sun to the whole star-system produced especially for this book by master-illustrator Julian Baum, which will make this book a work of art that can be appreciated in terms of the sheer haunting beauty of its images, like Timothy Ferris's best-selling Galaxies, published in 1980. Rather than presenting a static picture of the Galaxy, the authors present a dynamic picture of the Galaxy as an evolving, almost-living, entity, and the science thereof as a quintessentially human activity involving curiosity, ingenuity, and soaring inspiration. The book will satisfy the need of its readers to see the "Big Picture" in a world overwhelmed with the sheer volume - and fragmentation - of information. Few "Big Pictures" are bigger than that which frames the present subject.

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From the Publisher

The book is intended as a rich introduction to the wonders of the Galaxy. It is intended for anyone interested in the geography, beauty, and significance of our home star-system which is perhaps (along with the human brain itself) the grandest single structure the human mind can comprehend. Though scientifically informed and up-to-date...

From the Jacket

The Milky Way galaxy is perhaps the grandest structure of which we are a part (along with the galaxy of neurons which is the human brain itself). Long perceived as the milky path across the night-sky and first revealed, in all its beauty and detail, in the wide-angle photographs of the American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard in the ...

William Sheehan is an American astronomical historian and writer, who has written the authoritative (and much-acclaimed) biography of Milky Way photographer and pioneering astronomer E. E. Barnard, The Immortal Fire Within (Cambridge University Press, 1995). A regular scholar-in-residence at leading observatories including Yerkes, Lick...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:387 pages, 10.98 × 8.27 × 0.27 inPublished:September 18, 2014Publisher:Springer New YorkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0387853464

ISBN - 13:9780387853468

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