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Astronomers study the oldest observable stars in the universe in much the same way that archaeologists study ancient artifacts on Earth. Here, Anna Frebel—who is credited with discovering several of the oldest and most primitive stars using the world's largest telescopes—takes readers into the far-flung depths of space and time to provide a gripping firsthand account of the cutting-edge science of stellar archaeology. Weaving the latest findings in astronomy with her own compelling insights as one of the world’s leading researchers in the field, Frebel explains how sections of the night sky are "excavated" in the hunt for these extremely rare relic stars—some of which have been shining for more than 13 billion years—and how this astonishing quest is revealing tantalizing new details about the earliest times in the universe. She vividly describes how the very first stars formed soon after the big bang and then exploded as supernovae, leaving behind chemical fingerprints that were incorporated into the ancient stars we can still observe today. She shows how these fingerprints provide clues to the cosmic origin of the elements, early star and galaxy formation, and the assembly process of the Milky Way. Along the way, Frebel recounts her own stories of discovery, offering an insider’s perspective on this exciting frontier of science. Lively and accessible, this book sheds vital new light on the origins and evolution of the cosmos while providing a unique look into life as an astronomer.
"A thrilling synthesis from a brilliant scientist who discovered one of the most important chapters in our history." —Sean B. Carroll Big History, the field that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe, has so far been the domain of historians. Famed geologist Walter Alvarez—best known for the “Impact Theory” explaining dinosaur extinction—has instead championed a science-first approach to Big History. Here he wields his unique expertise to give us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences—from the Big Bang to the formation of supercontinents, the dawn of the Bronze Age, and beyond—that have led to our improbable place in the universe.
Within galaxies, stars grow from clouds of gas and dust, shine brilliantly, and die stunning deaths. The Composition of the Universe: The Evolution of Stars and Galaxies traces the lives of stars and also the lives of famous scientists like Edwin Hubble, Albert Einstein, and Henrietta Leavitt. Closely aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, the book demonstrates how technology and scientific ideas evolve over time, just like the universe itself.
A top astronomer explores the universe through the lens of its most jaw-dropping extremes. The universe is all about extremes, and in this engaging and thought-provoking book, astronomer Bryan Gaensler gives a whirlwind tour of the galaxies, with an emphasis on its fastest, hottest, heaviest, brightest, oldest, densest, and even loudest elements. From supernova explosions a billion times brighter than the sun to an asteroid the size of a beach ball, Extreme Cosmos offers a fascinating, fresh, and informed perspective of the remarkable richness of the universe, and the incredible physics that modern astronomy has revealed.
NASA's first book on the Hubble Space Telescope marks the 20th anniversary of one of history's most important scientific tools. Here is Hubble's great visual legacy to humanity in stunning images that are benchmarks of astronomy and photography. Of the more than 100 classic Hubble images that were selected by NASA's experts, the 20 most significant are accompanied by commentaries by notable scientists. Veteran astronauts from NASA's five remarkable manned missions to maintain the telescope also contribute to this volume, making it an authoritative account of a magnificent scientific achievement. Beyond its scientific contributions, twenty years of Hubble research and imagery--ranging from our planetary neighbors to the edge of time and space--have had a profound impact on the world's imagination and spiritual growth, as documented in this inspiring book.

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