Home Magazine Sky Chart Resources Store

Book Reviews



Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

The Story of Astronomy

Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring and Understanding Alien Worlds

Space Probes: 50 Years of Exploration from Luna 1 to New Horizons

Deep Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe

ARCHIVE

PATRICK MOORE BOOKS



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Book Reviews


Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen
Author: Joseph Silk

Publisher: Templeton Press

ISBN: 978-1-59947-341-3

Price: £12.99 (Pb), 208pp


Check prices on Amazon

amazon.co.uk                 amazon.com


This is not a book for beginners, but those with some grounding in stellar physics and also those who dislike equations can expect a delicious feast of mysteries and ways to solve them in store. I found it difficult, but incredibly rewarding, with some of the best ‘Eureka!’ moments I've yet experienced, especially in understanding dark matter.

The birth of the Universe, inflation, and galaxy formation are examined through the context of dark matter and dark energy. Exquisite structures, more than stars, galaxies and clusters, emerged through thought and technology. Unsolved problems, such as the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, are treated as necessary for an ever-interesting future.

We visit scientists too, and the mistakes of some of the greatest. It is not explicitly spelled out, but the attempts at a ‘grand unification’, and trying to think of theory first and facts later, come out as the worst paths to failure. The only annoyance I found with this book is in the final chapter, when this principle itself is contradicted by the author's assumption that time travel and wormholes will be found in or near black holes. He explains that physics does not forbid time travel, but not where black holes come into it, which felt like sudden science fiction after a very rigorous emphasis on fact.

Although the book is almost all physics, apart from some forecasting and a chapter on the anthropic principle and its variants at the end, it's listed as Science and Religion. It was written for the Templeton Series, which attempts to either contrast, or unite, science with religion. Horizons of Cosmology does something cleverer than either, offering courteous support to both religious and non-religious approaches; I think the author has a preference, but this was only hinted at the end. The three imaginary characters used – a master chef, a physicist on a cloudy world and a time traveller – are pointedly all made female. ‘Don't be prejudiced’ is a very clear message, in both scientific method and socially – you won't be in any doubt that science does not obey our way of thinking!

Alice Sheppard

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

HOME | NEWS ARCHIVE | MAGAZINE | SOLAR SYSTEM | SKY CHART | RESOURCES | STORES | SPACEFLIGHT NOW

© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.