Cover image for The universe and beyond
The universe and beyond
Dickinson, Terence.
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Willowdale, Ont. : Firefly Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
168 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

"A Firefly book"--T.p. verso.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB64 .D52 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
QB64 .D52 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Award-winning astronomy writer Terence Dickinson takes readers on a factual journey in space and time from the Earth's surface to the most remote boundaries of the universe - and beyond. This major revision of an astronomy classic features 50 new photographs and illustrations, including the latest images from the Hubble space telescope, the Galileo spacecraft and other NASA missions. Additional imagery of the universe is from recently completed giant telescopes situated at remote mountaintops in Hawaii and Chile. This edition also includes extensively updated information on Mars and Jupiter; a completely new section on comets; full coverage of the latest evidence for the existence of black holes; an expanded section on galaxies and the mysterious "dark matter"; a fully updated section on the size, age and destiny of the universe; and expanded data tables using information released in 1998 from the Hipparchos satellite, which achieved a tenfold increase in the accuracy of celestial distance determination.

Author Notes

Terence Dickinson is a prolific science writer specializing in astronomy. More than one million copies of his books are in print. He is the recipient of many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Sciences Book of the Year Award and the Royal Canadian Institute's Sandford Fleming Medal. He live near Kingston, Ontario. Dickinson's new edition of Nightwatch has already sold over 75,000 copies.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Authors of introductory astronomy books strive to cover, in a single volume, an ancient yet dynamic discipline whose scope literally spans the universe. Dickinson (Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe) and Nicolson (Heavenly Bodies) succeed in meeting this challenge. Both provide brief overviews of the universe and organize their work in traditional fashion, progressing from study of Earth and the moon to examination of more remote objects and thence to cosmology. Each book includes data obtained as recently as 1998. Both authors examine the likelihood of finding living organisms elsewhere in the solar system and the possibility of intelligent life existing in another part of the universe. Dickinson, however, devotes considerably more space to (highly speculative) discussion of extraterrestrial life. His upbeat book, displaying an abundance of stunning photographs and space art, is by far the more appealing. Nicolson's work, on the other hand, is more inclusive and covers topics in considerably more detail. It could easily serve as a college-level text (although it lacks the exercises and review questions found in many introductory textbooks). Dickinson's book is recommended for all libraries; Nicolson's for academic and larger public collections.ÄNancy Curtis, Fogler Lib., Univ. of Maine, Orono (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Preface About This Book If you are looking for a factual, up-to-date guide to the universe, written in accessible language and illustrated with the latest images from space probes and the largest observatories on Earth, then this is the book for you. At least, that's my not-so-humble opinion! But it's backed up by the fact that this is the Fourth Edition, a rare honor for most books. I have attempted to cover most major topics in modern astronomy without delving into them at textbook depth, but I didn't skimp on detail. Rather, I made many hard decisions about what to put in and, especially, what to leave out. In doing so, I tried to focus on areas about which people most often ask questions. In my astronomy classes and when I am a "guest expert" on radio call-in shows and even in everyday conversation, I have noticed the same questions coming up again and again. I have included answers to as many of these as possible. But beyond that, this book is a celebration of our magnificent and, in many ways, still mysterious cosmos. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but astronomical pictures often require some explanation before they can be fully appreciated. Therefore, many of the photograph and illustration captions in this book are fully descriptive -- long and meaty to provide proper background and to augment the main text, rather than merely extract tidbits from it. Peruse the captions either as appetizers or during the reading of the main text. The first edition of The Universe and Beyond was published in 1986, midway through what many regard as the golden age of astronomy -- roughly the last third of the 20th century -- a period during which our knowledge of the universe, both nearby and at its farthest reaches, expanded enormously. Although no one expects the pace of discovery to slow anytime soon, the beginning of the 21st century is an ideal opportunity to take an inventory of what we know and would like to learn about nature on its largest scale. This completely revised and enlarged Fourth Edition contains significantly more illustrative material than previous editions. I am especially pleased that we were able to include four full pages of high-resolution reproductions from the 2004 Hubble Ultra Deep Field. This astonishing image is best appreciated in print, with your nose close to all those galaxies! In a book of this size, there are inevitably some topics that we can only wave at on the way by. For those who are inspired to dig deeper, an annotated guide to further reading is offered. But I hope you will find The Universe and Beyond on its own a worthy celestial feast for both eye and mind. Terence Dickinson NightWatch Observatory June 2004 Excerpted from The Universe and Beyond by Terence Dickinson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 7
Prefacep. 9
Chapter 1 A Journey Through Time and Spacep. 11
Cosmic Dimensions
Overview of the Universe
Chapter 2 Nearby Worldsp. 21
Origin of the Planets
Why Mars and Venus Are Different From Earth
Exploring the Martian Surface
Problems With the Ecosphere
Chapter 3 Realm of the Giantsp. 41
Jupiter the Colossus
Life in a Hydrogen Atmosphere
Saturn and Its Rings
Uranus and Neptune
Chapter 4 Ice Worldsp. 55
Callisto's Ice Craters
Ganymede's Grooves
Europa's Ocean
Io's Volcanoes
Titan's Glaciers
Triton, Pluto and Comets
The Kuiper Belt, Sedna and the Oort Cloud
Chapter 5 Cosmic Furnacesp. 73
Nearby Stars
Planets of Other Stars
Red Dwarfs, Brown Dwarfs
Death of a Star
Black Holes
Chapter 6 Galaxiesp. 99
Origin of Galaxies
Galactic Collisions
Quasars and Giant Black Holes
Chapter 7 Into the Abyssp. 117
The Expanding-and Accelerating-Universe
The Enigma of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Origin of the Universe
Cosmic Inflation
Other Universes
Chapter 8 In Search of Extraterrestrialsp. 137
Assessing the Possibilities
Do They Know About Us?
What About UFOs?
Will We Make Contact?
Chapter 9 How the Universe Will Endp. 149
Fire or Ice?
Asimov's Last Question
Contemplating the Cosmos
Chapter 10 Telescopes for the 21st Centuryp. 155
A 100-Meter Giant?
Chapter 11 Reflections on Astronomical Illustrationp. 163
Astronomical Datap. 166
Further Readingp. 176
Illustration Creditsp. 177
Indexp. 178