Cover image for Galaxies and the cosmic frontier
Galaxies and the cosmic frontier
Waller, William H. (William Howard), 1952-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 317 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB857 .W35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Orienting us with an insider's tour of our cosmic home, the Milky Way, William Waller and Paul Hodge then take us on a spectacular journey, inviting us to probe the exquisite structures and dynamics of the giant spiral and elliptical galaxies, to witness colliding and erupting galaxies, and to pay our respects to the most powerful galaxies of all--the quasars. A basic guide to the latest news from the cosmic frontier--about the black holes in the centers of galaxies, about the way in which some galaxies cannibalize each other, about the vast distances between galaxies, and about the remarkable new evidence regarding dark energy and the cosmic expansion--this book gives us a firm foundation for exploring the more speculative fringes of our current understanding.

This is a heavily revised and completely updated version of Hodge's Galaxies , which won an Association of American Publishers PROSE Award for Best Science Book of the Year in 1986.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In the 60 years since the first title in the series "The Harvard Books on Astronomy"--Galaxies, by Harlow Shapley (1943)--was published, astronomers have learned a lot about the universe. Waller (Tufts Univ.) and Hodge (Univ. of Washington) have followed the spirit of the early Harvard series--a profusely illustrated book aimed at general readers. There are 32 color plates, numerous graphs and diagrams, and well-chosen black-and-white illustrations accompanying the well-written text. The book appears to be an update of Hodge's Galaxies (CH, Sep'86) and the fourth edition of Shapley's original title. The change in title reflects how modern astronomy has begun to pull together the various information on galaxies as it endeavors to obtain a coherent view of the universe, its history, and its future. The authors describe basic underlying information on galaxies, as well as how new instruments and telescopes, recent discoveries, and new insights have changed this science. They also point out where questions and puzzles remain. Although Shapley's book was centered on research at Harvard, its current successor reflects the international nature of astronomical research. Mathematical equations are avoided, but some technical graphs and illustrations are used. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates. M.-K. Hemenway University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

I A Galaxy Primer
1 Galaxies and the Universe
2 Form and Function
3 Galactic Anatomy
4 The Missing Mass
5 Creation and Evolution
II Nearby Galaxies
6 The Milky Way
7 The Clouds of Magellan
8 Dwarfs of the Local Group
9 The Nearest Giants
10 Interacting and Starbursting Galaxies
11 The Most Powerful Galaxies
III Our Galaxian Universe
12 Gauging the Galaxies
13 Clusters and Superclusters, Filaments and Voids
14 The Expanding Cosmos
15 Scenarios of Origin
16 The Cosmic Frontier
Selected Readings
Periodicals and Websites
Illustration Credits