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Author: Ken Croswell
ISBN13: 978-0684859316
Title: The Universe at Midnight: Observations Illuminating the Cosmos
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ePUB size: 1502 kb
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Language: English
Category: Astronomy and Space Science
Publisher: Free Press (August 28, 2001)
Pages: 352

The Universe at Midnight: Observations Illuminating the Cosmos by Ken Croswell

1 21. Personal Name: Croswell, Ken. Publication, Distribution, et. New York On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book The universe at midnight : observations illuminating the cosmos, Ken Croswell.

The Universe at Midnight tells the story of 20th-century cosmology. I can't recall anything distinguishing this universe-since-COBE book from any of the other few dozen universe-since-COBE books I've read, which at least means I didn't find any truly appalling errors. This book could practically have been written by stapling Popular Science articles together.

The book covers the whole field of modern cosmology. The first chapter sets the scene with some fascinating historical anecdotes. Many of the quotes from key figures given here will not be found anywhere else. Croswell makes no attempt to disguise the fact that our present knowledge is very limited, and that we are still uncertain about fundamentals such as the Hubble constant, which defines the rate at which the universe is expanding. There is a long and particularly interesting chapter about this. Neither can we be really confident about the age of the universe.

by Croswell, Ken. Publication date 2001. Topics Universe, Science, Science/Mathematics, Astronomy - Universe, 20th century, Cosmology & the universe, Popular science, Science, Physics, Physics, Cosmology. Publisher New York : Free Press. Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china. Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. Contributor Internet Archive.

From the internationally acclaimed author of "Magnificent Universe," Ken Croswell, comes the definitive story of the golden age in our understanding of the universe - the age we live in right now. The universe's origin, evolution, and fate have long fascinated humanity, but until recently these subjects resided in astronomy's never-never land. The Universe at Midnight" is a platform from which to observe these new deep-space landmarks. Mammoth new telescopes on Earth, such as the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the Very Large Telescope in Chile, and Japan's Subaru Telescope, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope overhead, are probing the frontiers of the universe with stunning results. In 1996 astronomers pinpointed the center of the elusive "Great Attractor," a mass of galaxies 250 million light-years away that is trying to tug our Galaxy and thousands of others across the universe.

Ken Croswell Lights the Universe for Astronomers! By Thriftbooks. com User, April 22, 2002. The Universe at Midnight is a truly remarkable book! I was absolutely blown away by it. Ken Croswell has a talent for science writing.

The Universe at Midnight" tells the story of 20th-century cosmology. In this jargon-free guide to the awesome, Ken Croswell does not just simply state the answers to questions about the origin of the universe and its demise based on complicated mathematical theory. Instead he presents the dramatic story of how particular astronomers made the observations that recently have answered many of cosmology's more perplexing questions.

Movies TV Shows Music Books Games DVDs/Blu-Ray People Art & Design Places Web TV & Podcasts Toys & Collectibles Comic Book Series Beauty Animals View more categories . . Written by. Ken Croswell. Manufacturer: Free Press Release date: 28 August 2001 ISBN-10 : 0684859319 ISBN-13: 9780684859316.

Ken Croswell’s The Universe at Midnight is a well-written and popular overview of astronomy.

The universe at midnight. Observations Illuminating the Cosmos. 338 pp. New York: The Free Press. But in 10 years during the early 20th century, the physicist Albert Einstein and the astronomer Edwin Hubble changed that forever.

Reveals how astronomers have made discoveries that answer some of the most puzzling questions, from the "Great Attractor" to the supernovae, billions of light years away, that indicates the rapid expansion of the universe.
Reviews: 7
Midnight. The time when most of the Earth's population is resting it's head. But if you were to take a step outside on a clear night, and turn your eyes up toward the heavens, you would be graced with a beautiful sight. A grand sweep of planets, stars, and galaxies that can hold your gaze long after your neck has begun to cramp. The seemingly unchanging night sky that has mystified, frightened, inspired, and guided people for countless generations.

But ever have we sought to understand it. And while this book doesn't attempt to answer the question of why we seek the knowledge, it does do an excellent job of showing where our seeking has taken us. From learning how the sun and other stars burn their fuel and how they continue to exist, to probing the very furthest reaches of the observable universe, Croswell gives us the facts, the controversies, the theories, and the people behind them all, giving us a well written book that is just as much of a page turner (if not more so) as a best-selling novel.

In the first chapter we are taken on a quick romp through the cosmos as we see our solar system being flung around a super giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy that is hidden from our view by that ever so dusty Centaur (a.k.a. Sagittarius). We see that there are other galaxies close by in our local cluster that are just part of many clusters held together in a large supercluster. Looking even further we see many more of these giant superclusters, and even further the quasars, displaying massive amounts of energy.

From there we move on into the main bulk of the book, our gradual realization of the universe, what it is, what is it's past, and short but very informative biographies of the people behind the ideas. From the beginning of this we are thrown headlong into the first problem that we watch unravel, why is the night sky dark, instead of being bright with the light of an almost infinite amount of stars? And as we are being led down this path of understanding we see Edgar Allen Poe of all people coming up with the answer that there hasn't been enough time for the light of all the stars that exist to reach us. Something that we easily understand today, but this was a major issue for astronomers in the 1800's. It was incredibly hard to believe at fist that as we look at the world around us we are actually seeing things as they were, not as they are, because light takes time to reach our eyes, whether it is a super tiny sliver of a second while watching a live football game or seeing a galaxy 500 million light years away.

After reading about the final debate that this book covers (a debate which is about nothing less than the age of the universe, which is still being heavily debated with the middle ground being around sixteen billion years,) we are given a glimpse of our future in the cosmos. Croswell begins this with a vivid description of our aging Earth and how to survive with our planet intact over the next quintillion years or so. We learn what to do when our sun eventually goes nova, blowing away most of its burning atmosphere which besides the fact of losing our source of heat and light would easily consume us and even reach as far as Mars in the massive burn out of our nurturing star. When this happens we should be advanced enough to move our chunk of starless rock to any star in the vicinity that happens to catch our fancy. If we are lucky enough to still be around when we run out of stars in our galaxy to hop around to we are given a loose plan for herding brown dwarves (superdense shells of stars that have long since stopped burning, as will happen to our Sun after the above mentioned nova,) up, smashing them together to create a new star, giving us billions more years to consume all the brown dwarves in the galaxy. But Croswell says that long before we revert to chasing star shells we will lose the rest of the universe, at least observationally, because the universe is expanding faster than light can reach us, and every day something slips past that horizon of the observable, until 150 billion years from now, ours, and the few thousand or so other galaxies in our local supercluster are all that we will ever see again. To quote Croswell, "With sufficient ingenuity, the Earth can survive and even thrive, but it will do so in a universe that grows ever colder, ever darker, ever emptier."

In closing I will say this. Ken Croswell has shown us the exciting times that we live in, with major discoveries happening and soon to happen, giving me an urge to buy a telescope and to wonder why I didn't pursue that long dormant dream of being an astronomer. Oh well, I am happy where I am right now anyhow and I hear that in amateur astronomy you get to set your own hours to use the telescope.

This is truly a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone curious about astronomy.
This is just the right mix of detail yet not so technical as to push the reader over the edge of excess complexity. The book is a detective mystery and spirals around various topics regarding the structure and evolution of the universe returning again and again to the same issues but from ever more recent vantage points. We gain a sense of what it must be like to be scientists pushing back the frontiers of knowledge yet not above the personal issues and passions that intrude upon the process of discovery. The writing style is clear, clever, and fun while at the same time revealing deep levels of reality. Some long standing puzzles about the expansion of the universe were explained clearer here than I have seen anywhere else. I did not want the book to end and rather wished for a magical way to keep tacking on new chapters as discoveries continue to be made. It helps to have a general knowledge of physics and astronomy although the author does take pains to offer background information in as painless a manner as possible. In fact the seamless incorporation of the basics is unusually effective.
Popular books about cosmology tend to become out of date very quickly, simply because this is such a fast-moving science. Every month seems to bring a fresh batch of discoveries and surprises. "The Universe at Midnight" by Ken Croswell is fully up to date, and clearly the author has carried out a tremendous amount of research.
The book covers the whole field of modern cosmology. The first chapter sets the scene with some fascinating historical anecdotes. Then come sections on the big bang and its rival theories, dark matter, stellar evolution, the expansion of the universe, its "weight," background radiation and much else. The text abounds in quotes from experts thus avoiding the danger of distortion or misinterpretation--most cosmologists, both past and present, have very definite views. Many of the quotes from key figures given here will not be found anywhere else.
Croswell makes no attempt to disguise the fact that our present knowledge is very limited, and that we are still uncertain about fundamentals such as the Hubble constant, which defines the rate at which the universe is expanding. There is a long and particularly interesting chapter about this. Neither can we be really confident about the age of the universe. The best current estimate is of the order of 15 billion years, but it is conceivable that this figure may be drastically modified in the foreseeable future.
The final chapter, which deals with the eventual fate of the Earth, is rather different in approach, and is highly speculative. Our planet cannot last forever, but when the situation becomes intolerable is there anything our descendants could do? As yet we cannot say, but breaking the Earth free from the dying Sun and transferring it to another star is likely to be a rather difficult matter. Fortunately, there is no need for immediate alarm.
The text is accurate, with only a few tiny and wholly unimportant slips (for example, the Large Magellanic Cloud is no longer classed as a completely irregular galaxy). The main disadvantage of Croswell's approach, however, is that the emphasis upon personalities sometimes masks the science. This is probably not the book for a reader who wants a no-nonsense, straightforward and concise account of modern cosmology.
It is also a pity that Croswell has emphasised personal conflicts between researchers--accusations of [...], attempts to claim credit for other people's work and so on. Of course this does happen, but from this book the newcomer might well think that cosmologists are a jealous and arrogant breed. This was certainly not the author's intention. In places, too, the writing tends to be of what may be called the tabloid variety. "Perhaps the universe is expanding into nothing, or into God's living room, or into some physicist's laboratory. Take your pick."
But these are quibbles. "The Universe at Midnight" is vastly entertaining and enjoyable, as well as informative. It will be a welcome addition to any library, particularly if it is read in conjunction with a book that deals with the same subject in a more conventional way.