The Astronomer's Universe: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmos

Herbert Friedman, Author
Herbert Friedman, Author W. W. Norton & Company $24.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-393-02818-8
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Astronomer Friedman here writes one of the most engaging popular science introductions to astronomy to come along in memory. He covers topics such as stellar evolution, quasars, pulsars, black holes, supernovae, nucleosynthesis after the Big Bang, the formation of the galaxies and much more. He also profiles, along with other pathfinders, Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the universe is expanding; George Hale, whose obsessive drive led him to build the four largest optical telescopes in the world; and Jan Oort, who discovered that the Sun is far from the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Friedman details the myriad observation techniques developed by astronomers, ranging from the invention of the telescope by Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey in 1608 to the imminent launch of the Hubble Space Telescope that will peer very nearly to the edge of the universe and revolutionize astronomy. A superb book. (May)