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
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Material Type
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QB857 .W35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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For the past 12 billion years, galaxies have governed the Universe, bringing form to the firmament, light to the void. Each one a giant system of as many as hundreds of billions of stars, the galaxies are the building blocks of the cosmos, and through new data from modern telescopes - including the Hubble Space Telescope -we are discovering dizzying new facts about how they formed, how they evolve and what they are made of. This book acquaints readers with these facts and findings -and with what they can tell us about the lives of galaxies over cosmic time, from their emergence shortly after the Hot Big Bang to their ongoing gyrations and transmutations.

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