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Archives of the Universe: 100 Discoveries That Transformed Our Understanding of the Cosmos


Archives of the Universe: 100 Discoveries That Transformed Our Understanding of the Cosmos Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An unparalleled history of astronomy presented in the words of the scientists who made the discoveries. Here are the writings of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Halley, Hubble, and Einstein, as well as that of dozens of others who have significantly contributed to our picture of the universe.

From Aristotle's proof that the Earth is round to the 1998 paper that posited an accelerating universe, this book contains 100 entries spanning the history of astronomy. Award-winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak provides enormously entertaining introductions, putting the material in context and explaining its place in the literature. Archives of the Universe is essential reading for professional astronomers, science history buffs, and backyard stargazers alike.

About the Author

Marcia Bartusiak is the author of Thursdays Universe, Through a Universe Darkly, and Einsteins Unfinished Symphony. Her work has appeared in many magazines, including Astronomy, National Geographic, Discover, Science, and Smithsonian. A two-time winner of the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, she teaches in the graduate program in science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts, with her husband.

Table of Contents


I. The Ancient Sky

1 Mayan Venus Tables

2 Proof That the Earth Is a Sphere

3 Celestial Surveying

4 Measuring the Earths Circumference

5 Precession of the Equinoxes

6 Ptolemys Almagest

II. Revolutions

7 Copernicus and the Sun-Centered Universe

8 Tycho Brahe and the Changing Heavens

9 Johannes Kepler and Planetary Motion

10 Galileo Initiates the Telescopic Era

11 Newtons Universal Law of Gravity

12 Halleys Comet

13 Binary Stars

III. Taking Measure

14 The Speed of Light

15 The Solar Systems Origin

16 Discovery of Uranus

17 Stars Moving and Changing

18 The First Asteroid

19 Distance to a Star

20 Discovery of Neptune

21 The Shape of the Milky Way

22 Spiraling Nebulae

IV. Touching the Heavens

23 Spectral Lines

24 Deciphering the Solar Spectrum

25 Gaseous Nebulae

26 Doppler Shifts and Spectroscopic Binaries

27 Classification of the Stars

28 Giant Stars and Dwarf Stars

29 Hydrogen: The Prime Element

30 Stellar Mass, Luminosity, and Stability

31 Sunspot Cycle, Sun/Earth Connection, and Helium

32 Origin of Meteors and Shooting Stars

33 Cosmic Rays

34 Discovery of Pluto

V. Einsteinian Cosmos

35 Special Relativity and E = mc2

36 General Relativity and the Solar Eclipse Test

37 Relativistic Models of the Universe

38 Big Bang Versus Steady State

39 White Dwarf Stars

40 Beyond the White Dwarf

41 Supernovae and Neutron Stars

42 Black Holes

43 Source of Stellar Power

44 Creating Elements in the Big Bang

45 Cosmic Microwave Background Predicted

46 Creating Elements in the Stars

47 A Stars Life Cycle

VI. The Milky Way and Beyond

48 Cepheids: The Cosmic Standard Candles

49 Suns Place in the Milky Way

50 Dark Nebulae and Interstellar Matter

51 Discovery of Other Galaxies

52 Expansion of the Universe

53 Stellar Populations and Resizing the Universe

54 Mapping the Milky Ways Spiral Arms

55 Source and Composition of Comets

VII. New Eyes, New Universe

56 Radio Astronomy

57 Interstellar Hydrogen

58 Molecules in Space

59 Van Allen Radiation Belts

60 Geology of Mars

61 Extrasolar X-Ray Sources

62 Quasars

63 Evidence for the Big Bang

64 Pulsars

65 The Infrared Sky and the Galactic Center

66 Neutrino Astronomy

67 Gamma-Ray Bursts

68 Binary Pulsar and Gravity Waves

VIII. Accelerating Outward

69 Dark Matter

70 Gravitational Lensing

71 Inflation

72 The Bubbly Universe

73 Galaxy Evolution and the Hubble Deep Field

74 Extrasolar Planets

75 The Accelerating Universe





Product Details

Bartusiak, Marcia
Vintage Books USA
Edited by Marcia Bartusiak
Astronomy - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 2006
Grade Level:
8.03x5.22x1.43 in. 1.46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

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