Cover image for The astronomer's universe : stars, glaxies, and cosmos
The astronomer's universe : stars, glaxies, and cosmos
Friedman, Herbert, 1916-2000.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1990]

Physical Description:
xvii, 359 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB351 .F69 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QB351 .F69 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Friedman, perhaps astronomy's most articulate spokesman, views this complex, arcane science with the eye of an artist and the enthusiasm of an amateur. From the romping excitement of the first rocket experiments to the awe-inspiring black hole, he gives us history, mathematics, hard science, adventure, and tall tales. His detailed analyses and stories of radio waves, stellar spectroscopy, gamma rays, and quasars are gems of clarity--understandable, to be sure, at various levels by both nonscientists and practitioners (the nomenclature of science is retained throughout). Biographies and anecdotes of major figures in astronomy are handsomely illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings; photographs, charts, and illustrations support technical explanations. Scattered across this literate universe are sparkling bits of poetry on celestial topics. Sometimes difficult but absorbing material. Appendixes, reading list, and glossary; to be indexed. --Virginia Dwyer

Publisher's Weekly Review

Astronomer Friedman here writes one of the most engaging popular science introductions to astronomy to come along in memory. He covers topics such as stellar evolution, quasars, pulsars, black holes, supernovae, nucleosynthesis after the Big Bang, the formation of the galaxies and much more. He also profiles, along with other pathfinders, Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the universe is expanding; George Hale, whose obsessive drive led him to build the four largest optical telescopes in the world; and Jan Oort, who discovered that the Sun is far from the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Friedman details the myriad observation techniques developed by astronomers, ranging from the invention of the telescope by Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey in 1608 to the imminent launch of the Hubble Space Telescope that will peer very nearly to the edge of the universe and revolutionize astronomy. A superb book. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Books that purport to survey all of modern astronomy often read like catalogs of unrelated theories and observations. This volume strays from that pattern with its insightful look at the logic used in scientific discovery and its revealing vignettes into the lives of 20th-century scientists. Friedman shines as he describes the processes and personalities of modern science. So many ideas are mentioned that some topics are covered only fleetingly, but the autobiographical sections greatly enhance the book. Friedman, a recipient of the National Medal of Science, lavishes loving care in relating the development of space science, especially in X-ray astronomy, from early rockets to modern satellites. The book is up to date and offers not only a look at the past, but also a preview of what questions remain to be answered and what telescopes will be available in the near future. A good index and glossary, the well-chosen illustrations and graphs, and a brief list of references help make this a good book for the general reader. For the undergraduate, the book offers insights and information beyond standard sources. -M. K. Hemenway, University of Texas at Austin