Over the past decade, astronomers, planetary scientists, and cosmologists have answered – or are closing in on the answers to – some of the biggest questions about the universe. David J. Eicher presents a spectacular exploration of the cosmos that provides you with a balanced and precise view of the latest discoveries. Detailed and entertaining narratives on compelling topics such as how the Sun will die, the end of life on Earth, why Venus turned itself inside-out, the Big Bang Theory, the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, and the meaning of life in the universe are supported by numerous color illustrations including photos, maps and explanatory diagrams. In each chapter the author sets out the scientific history of a specific question or problem, before tracing the modern observations and evidence in order to solve it. Join David J. Eicher on this fascinating journey through the cosmos!
Foreword Alex Filippenko
1. The awakening of astronomy
2. How the Sun will die
3. The end of life on Earth
4. How the moon formed
5. Where has all the water gone?
6. Why did Venus turn inside-out?
7. Is Pluto a planet?
8. Planets everywhere
9. The Milky Way as barred spiral
10. Here comes Milkomeda
11. The Big Bang's cosmic echo
12. How large is the universe?
13. The mystery of dark matter
14. The bigger mystery of dark energy
15. Black holes are ubiquitous
16. What is the universe's fate?
17. The meaning of life in the cosmos
David J. Eicher is Editor-in-Chief of Astronomy magazine, and one of the most recognized astronomy enthusiasts in the world. He has spoken widely to amateur astronomy groups and written eight books on astronomy including Comets: Visitors from Deep Space and The Universe from your Backyard. He is president of the Astronomy Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors for Starmus Festival. An avid observer of astronomical objects for more than thirty-five years, he was honored by the International Astronomical Union with the naming of a minor planet, 3617 Eicher.
"Eicher synthesizes a wealth of relatively new information into an interesting, coherent, up-to-date overview of many of the most important and exciting areas of astronomy [...] There's little doubt that this book will help inspire inquiring minds to further investigate the Universe and its contents."
– Alex Filippenko, University of California, Berkeley, from the Foreword