The Restless Universe: Understanding X-Ray Astronomy in the Age of Chandra and Newton

Hardcover | September 15, 2002

byEric M. Schlegel

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Carl Sagan once noted that there is only one generation that gets to see things for the first time. We are in the midst of such a time right now, standing on the threshold of discovery in the young and remarkable field of X-ray astronomy. In The Restless Universe, astronomer Eric Schlegeloffers readers an informative survey of this cutting-edge science. Two major space observatories launched in the last few years--NASA's Chandra and the European Newton--are now orbiting the Earth, sending back a gold mine of data on the X-ray universe. Schlegel, who has worked on the Chandra project for seven years, describes the building and launching ofthis space-based X-ray observatory. But the book goes far beyond the story of Chandra. What Schlegel provides here is the background a nonscientist would need to grasp the present and follow the future of X-ray astronomy. He looks at the relatively brief history of the field, the hardware used todetect X-rays, the satellites--past, present, and future--that have been or will be flown to collect the data, the way astronomers interpret this data, and, perhaps most important, the insights we have already learned as well as speculations about what we may soon discover. And throughout the book,Schlegel conveys the excitement of looking at the universe from the perspective brought by these new observatories and the sharper view they deliver. Drawing on observations obtained from Chandra, Newton, and previous X-ray observatories, The Restless Universe gives a first look at an exciting field which significantly enriches our understanding of the universe.

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From the Publisher

Carl Sagan once noted that there is only one generation that gets to see things for the first time. We are in the midst of such a time right now, standing on the threshold of discovery in the young and remarkable field of X-ray astronomy. In The Restless Universe, astronomer Eric Schlegeloffers readers an informative survey of this cut...

Eric M. Schlegel is a research astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is responsible for ensuring data quality for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. He has also worked at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:228 pages, 6.38 × 9.57 × 0.87 inPublished:September 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195148479

ISBN - 13:9780195148473

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"By introducing the reader to the notion that what we see in the Cosmos is certainly not all that is there, Schlegel brings one to the realization that a more complete and accurate view of the Universe is at hand. Indeed, his marvelous description of the historical and cultural development ofour use of X rays seems natural beside his explanations of how X rays now permit us to see structure where once we saw none--from shock waves flung out into space by exploding stars to diffuse, high-temperature gas that fills the 'visibly' empty space in clusters of galaxies. He brings to ourmind's eye the vision of a restless, high-energy Universe, one until now just beyond the limit of our ability to see."--Dr. Jay White, Van Vleet Professor of Physics at Rhodes College