Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond

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9781426209710: Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond

Filled with lavish illustrations, this book is a grand tour of the universe. Three ever widening domains are presented--the planets, the stars, and the large scale universe itself--each including the ones before it and extending outward.

The tour starts close to home within the first domain, our own solar system. There is a tremendous variety here, from the sun scorched rocks of Mercury to the icy vastness of the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto. We see the sun and planets born from the collapse of an interstellar dust cloud whose atoms were themselves created in long dead stars. Since many of these planets have been visited by space probes or landers, we are able to benefit from the incredible technology of exploration developed by NASA and its counterparts in other countries.

The second domain is made up of the billions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy. We walk in the steps of the American astronomer Edwin Hubble, who first established that the universe is made up of discrete galaxies, then go on to examine the fundamental constituents of those galaxies--the stars. We see stars not as eternal lights in the sky, but as objects born out of a desperate struggle between pressure and gravity. We trace the life cycle of our own sun, from its birth 4.5 billion years ago to its quiet end 6 billion years in the future. We see the galaxy not as a serene and placid place, but as a giant factory, where primordial material is taken up into stars, then returned to the galaxy enriched with the heavy elements necessary for life.

Finally, we move to the ultimate domain--the large scale structure of the universe itself in which galaxies are the building blocks. We discover the most amazing fact, that the solid stuff of stars and planets on which we have been concentrating up to this point make up only a few percent of the mass in the universe, with the rest being composed of two mysterious entities called, respectively, dark matter and dark energy. We descend into deep caverns to see scientists trying to detect dark matter as it sweeps by the Earth, and we talk to theorists trying to solve the riddle of dark energy. This quest brings us to the frontier of knowledge, the edge of the unknown.

To conclude, two ultimate questions remain: How did the universe begin? How will the universe end? We trace our theories back to the first fraction of a second of the life of the universe and listen to the speculations of cosmologists about how it might all have started.

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Featured Photos from Space Atlas

An infared image of the Helix Nebula, taken from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Located some 700 light-years away, the planetary nebula is the gaseous remains of a dying star, seen as a bright white dwarf in the center of the image.

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (Univ. of Arizona), p. 250

Planet-building dust around a young star.

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC-Caltech), p. 45

Half in sunlight, Mercury’s south pole displays the planet’s characteristic craters. Like the moon, the planet has almost no atmosphere, so its craters do not erode; thus, some of these structures are billions of years old.

Photo by NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington, p. 57

Dwarfed by the bulk of its parent planet, little Mimas (at bottom of image) circles in orbit against the bluish mass of Saturn’s northern hemisphere. The dark bands in the picture are shadows cast on Saturn’s surface by its rings.

Photo by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute, p. 147

About the Author:

JAMES TREFIL is a physicist and author of more than 30 books, including The Laws of Nature and Other Worlds: The Solar System and Beyond. He is co-author of an influential textbook, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy, and was a contributor to National Geographic's Encyclopedia of Space. A former physics professor at University of Virginia, he now teaches physics at George Mason University, and regularly gives presentations to judges and public officials on the intersection of science and law. The author lives in Washington, D.C..

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Descripción National Geographic Society, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Combining the cartographic power of National Geographic and the breathtaking imagery of Hubble, Space Atlas is a one-stop guide to the planets in the solar system and the outer reaches of the known universe, using the most up-to-date information and the latest imagery and mapping technology. From maps of the moon to diagrams of multiple universes based on the newest ideas in string theory--this volume takes the concept of an atlas and blasts it intoouter space! With spectacularly colorful and awe-inspiring imagery from all the exciting space telescopes and probes, together with meticulously drafted and labeled maps of nearby planets and even some of their moons, Space Atlas is a wonder to behold and a volume to treasure. Prolific author James Trefil, an endowed professor of physics and veteran writer of science books, guides us through our solar system, then our Milky Way galaxy, and out beyond, at each stage offering pictures, maps, and diagrams, many conveying the newest information about the universe, never-before-presented in an atlas. Nº de ref. de la librería AA89781426209710

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Descripción National Geographic Society, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Combining the cartographic power of National Geographic and the breathtaking imagery of Hubble, Space Atlas is a one-stop guide to the planets in the solar system and the outer reaches of the known universe, using the most up-to-date information and the latest imagery and mapping technology. From maps of the moon to diagrams of multiple universes based on the newest ideas in string theory--this volume takes the concept of an atlas and blasts it intoouter space! With spectacularly colorful and awe-inspiring imagery from all the exciting space telescopes and probes, together with meticulously drafted and labeled maps of nearby planets and even some of their moons, Space Atlas is a wonder to behold and a volume to treasure. Prolific author James Trefil, an endowed professor of physics and veteran writer of science books, guides us through our solar system, then our Milky Way galaxy, and out beyond, at each stage offering pictures, maps, and diagrams, many conveying the newest information about the universe, never-before-presented in an atlas. Nº de ref. de la librería AA89781426209710

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Descripción National Geographic, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. Guides us through our solar system, then our Milky Way galaxy, and out beyond, at each stage offering pictures, maps, and diagrams, many conveying the information about the universe. This book takes the concept of an atlas and blasts it into outer space. Num Pages: 336 pages, 200 Colour Illustrations; 40 Maps. BIC Classification: WNX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 308 x 242 x 26. Weight in Grams: 1818. . 2012. Hardcover. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9781426209710

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Descripción National Geographic. Estado de conservación: New. Guides us through our solar system, then our Milky Way galaxy, and out beyond, at each stage offering pictures, maps, and diagrams, many conveying the information about the universe. This book takes the concept of an atlas and blasts it into outer space. Num Pages: 336 pages, 200 Colour Illustrations; 40 Maps. BIC Classification: WNX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 308 x 242 x 26. Weight in Grams: 1818. . 2012. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9781426209710

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Descripción Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; Combining the cartographic power of National Geographic and the breathtaking imagery of Hubble, Space Atlas is a one-stop guide to the planets in the solar system and the outer reaches of the known universe, using the most up-to-date information and the latest imagery and mapping technology. From ma. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9781426209710_rkm

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