Secrets of the Universe

Secrets of the Universe

How We Discovered the Cosmos

  1. Paul Murdin
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  • ISBN 9780500251553
  • 27.00 x 21.40 cm
  • PLC (with jacket)
  • 342pp
  • 582 Illustrations, 383 in colour
  • First published 2009
I recommend it to all astronomers – amateur and professional – and interested general readers – Journal of the British Astronomical Association
‘This book will not be read in a day or even a week but it will provide good reading for some considerable time … excellent value … and I can do no more than strongly recommend it’ – Astronomy Now
‘Beautifully produced … an up-to-date picture of astronomy and just how we got where we are today … delightfully illustrated with a stunning array of images … the text is lucid and crammed with fascinating facts and figures … an inspiring gift for anyone with some familiarity with the language of science. It should be compulsory reading in the 6th Form … a superb volume’ – Observatory Magazine
'Excellent value for money, this book would be a marvellous addition for any secondary school or college library’ – The School Librarian

• How did our Universe and our planet come to exist?
• Why do stars shine?
• Is there life beyond the Earth?

Hear Paul Murdin talking about the cool universe – the matter between the stars
– on BBC iPlayer

We live in an age of unprecedented astronomical discovery.

World-renowned astronomer Paul Murdin tells the stories of the men and women who first revealed the shape of the Earth, the existence of Pluto, the principles of relativity and cosmic marvels such as black holes and interstellar nebulae. Their findings revolutionized our view of the Universe, our planet, the stars that shine in the night sky and the vastness of space beyond it. Murdin explains clearly the science behind these great discoveries, along with the passions, struggles and quirks of fate that made for some of the most intriguing human dramas of their times.

With more than 500 stunning illustrations from historic prints and paintings to the latest satellite photography, and including specially commissioned artworks, the discoveries described demonstrate how ingenuity, technological innovation and occasionally pure serendipity have expanded our knowledge of the Universe beyond anything we could ever have imagined.

Paul Murdin has spent over forty years working as an astronomer in the UK, the USA, Australia and Spain. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, former president of the European Astronomical Society and Visiting Professor at John Moores University, Liverpool, and he currently works at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Murdin has written numerous popular and scholarly books on astronomy and is a regular commentator for the BBC and CNN. In 1988 he received the OBE for his contributions to astronomy and his efforts to make it accessible to everyone.