- Provides concise, informative answers to basic questions spanning planets, stars, the Universe, and the tools astronomers use
- Makes widespread use of color graphics and photos, to ensure the book is attractive and, more importantly, to help aid understanding
- Written by two astronomers experienced in teaching and working with the public, the content is detailed and rigorous, while remaining approachable for a broad range of people
Are we alone in the Universe? Was there anything before the Big Bang? Are there other universes? What makes stars shine? Where does Earth's water come from? Why is the night sky dark? Was there ever life on Mars? How do telescopes work? This engaging guide book answers all these questions and hundreds more, making it a practical reference for anyone who has ever wondered what is out in the cosmos, where it all comes from, and how it all works. Richly illustrated in color throughout, it gives simple yet rigorous explanations in non-technical language, summarizing current astronomical knowledge, without overlooking the important underlying scientific principles. This second edition includes substantial new material throughout, including the latest findings from the New Horizons, Rosetta, and Dawn space missions, and images from professional telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.
Table of Contents:
- 1. The sky viewed from Earth
- 2. The Earth and Moon system
- 3. The Solar System
- 4. Stars and stellar systems
- 5. Galaxies and the Universe
- 6. Life in the Universe
- 7. Amateur astronomy
- 8. Telescopes and instruments
About the Authors: Carol Christian is a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore. Jean-René Roy is a retired astronomer who was professor at Université Laval, Québec from 1977 to 2000.