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Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

By: J Richard Gott and Robert J Vanderbei

240 pages, 120 Colour Photographs

National Geographic Society

Hardback | Nov 2010 | #190856 | ISBN-13: 9781426206511
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NHBS Price: £19.99 $26/€23 approx

About this book

The almost unimaginably large size of many objects in the universe accounts in part for astronomy's tremendous appeal. Yet the problem of depicting a vast range of scales is perhaps astronomy's greatest challenge. "Sizing Up the Universe" addresses, in highly readable and richly illustrated style, the intriguing concept of size in the universe. The authors - both professors at Princeton University - put forward clear, concise, and understandable answers to the hard-to-answer questions: How big is the sun? Our solar system? Our galaxy? The visible universe? What is the largest structure in the cosmos? And how do we know? With size comparisons as a unifying theme, this gorgeous book goes beyond the facts and figures to work as a superb visual guide to the heavens. It captures a fresh vision of the universe, chronicling a host of exciting recent discoveries: new Kuiper belt objects in the solar system, new planets orbiting nearby stars, great walls of galaxies, even the fingerprints of creation in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

As a special bonus, "Sizing Up the Universe" includes, for the first time in an astronomy book (despite repeated requests to reproduce it in previous titles), a beautiful new full-color version of author Richard Gott's incomparable "Map of the Universe". This remarkable chart includes everything from Earth satellites to planets, stars, and distant galaxies.

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Richard Gott is Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate in Physics from Harvard in 1969, he received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton in 1973. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology and at Cambridge University before returning to join the Princeton faculty. He is the author of the Time Travel in Einstein's Universe (Phoenix). He has written on time travel and other subjects for Time, Scientific American, New Scientist and Nature. He is one of the world's experts on parallel universes, string theories and cosmic origin. Robert Vanderbei is Professor and Chair of the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. A summa cum laude graduate in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976, he received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University in 1981. As an amateur astronomer, Vanderbei has taken, from his backyard, astonishing and very highquality photographs of astronomical objects: these photos rival the best of those taken from some of our greatest observatories.

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