This accessible book explores key discoveries in recent years of space exploration and addresses major questions such as: How prolific is life in the universe? How far back to the Big Bang can we probe? And what hidden treasures still lurk in our Solar System?
In the last thirty years humans have probed the Universe, explored the Solar System and visited with spacecraft some of the most incredible places humans have ever laid eyes upon. We have expanded our knowledge slowly and surely, but still now only see a glimpse of the bigger picture. The Cosmic Keyhole explores the big discoveries of recent years and asks what's next? How prolific is life in the Universe? How far back to the Big Bang can we probe? And what hidden treasures still await us in the hidden corners of our Solar System?
A friendly style which doesn't assume a great amount of knowledge
Focuses on some of the most important discoveries but also discoveries which people are most interested in
Interviews with the people who made the discoveries with their own insight and analysis
Asks some important questions on the prevalence of life, the future of modern astrophysical problems and what we might discover in the far off reaches of our Solar System
Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras
Will Gater has written for the UK's top astronomy magazines and has appeared on television and radio (including the BBC's The Sky At Night) to promote astronomy and science. He has worked for the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope press office, the European Southern Observatory's public outreach department and is a former News Editor of Astronomy Now magazine in the UK. He holds a degree in astrophysics from University College London. Today Gater writes for the BBC's Sky At Night magazine. He regularly blogs about astronomy on his website www.willgater.com.
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It is 400 years since Galileo first turned the newly invented telescope towards the heavens and saw things that few had ever seen before. His discoveries, along with those of his contemporaries, completely changed our view of the world.
Since that time, there have been many revolutions in our understanding of the universe, some perhaps even more revolutionary than the ones from Galileo's time. In this book, Will Gater leads us through various recent advances in modern astronomy that have increased our understanding of the universe and seen it grow from a single Solar System full of intriguing worlds to a galaxy filled with other star systems and their own planets maybe even Earthlike worlds.
This is a journey like no other. What you glimpse through Gater's keyhole is vast, breathtakingly beautiful, and sometimes utterly bizarre, certainly unfamiliar to those of us on Terra Firma. From the desolate plains of Mars and the frozen moons of the outer Solar System, from the Milky Way to the ends of the universe, you will learn of wonders often hard to describe and sometimes even harder to fathom. And you, too, will come to know some of the enthralling secrets of the universe.
Water and the Search for Life in our Solar System.- The Hardiest Microbes on Earth.- The Hunt for Life Begins.- Where Does Water Flow?.- Our Active Solar System.- Cassini and Its Saturnian Adventure.- The Hidden Wanderers and a Cometary Meeting.- Worlds Around Other Stars.- Planetary Nurseries and Dusty Discs.- The Discovery of Extrasolar Planets.- The Universe at Large.- The Universe on a Grand Scale.- The Era of Hubble From Disaster to Deep Field.- Star Life in Starlight.- Exotic Space.