cover image Chasing Hubble's Shadows: The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time

Chasing Hubble's Shadows: The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time

Jeff Kanipe, . . Hill & Wang, $23 (205pp) ISBN 978-0-8090-3406-2

There are at least 127 billion potentially observable galaxies in the universe, according to science journalist Kanipe (A Skywatcher's Year ). The Hubble Space Telescope allows scientists to penetrate the distant shadows of the readily observable and to uncover traces of the earliest galaxies' birth. Kanipe follows in the footsteps of the great astronomer Edwin Hubble and his successors in this deeply enjoyable book, which is part memoir and part scientific detective story. Kanipe chronicles the development of deep space astronomy, traveling, for example, to the 10-meter telescopes atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and observing a galaxy in the making with astronomer Richard Ellis, who has already discovered at least 12 previously unobserved galaxies. By 2011, NASA will be able to probe the universe's dark ages when it launches the James Webb Space Telescope, which will offer the chance to gaze 180 million years back, to the births of many galaxies and stars. Kanipe's breathless writing conveys his own excitement over the revelations that new advances in astronomy can tell us about our planet and our place in the universe. 8 pages of color illus. not seen by PW . Agent, Regula Noetzli. (Feb.)