The Alchemy of the Heavens by Ken Croswell

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Synopsis

The Alchemy Of The Heavens offers an exciting and accessible survey of what we know about our galaxy.  The home of the earth, the sun, and countless other stars, the Milky Way has long been an object of human fascintation, but it's been in the last forty years that astromoners and astrophysicists have made the most startling discoveries about our galaxy.  Author Ken Croswell reveals that the Milky Way formed as many earlier galaxies collopsed and smashed together; that may of the elements in the galaxy--including the iron and carbon that course through our bodies--were born in exploding supernovae; that in all likelihood there is a massive black hole at the center of the galaxy, with a million times more mass than the sun, and that the Milky Way's oldest stars preserve the elements created in the big bang, thereby serving as "fossils" of the universe's earliest days. A captivating journey through the modern astronomy of the Milky Way, Croswell shows us how a deeper understanding of the nature and working of the galaxy can offer larger clues into the origins of the universe itself.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Ken Croswell

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Ken Croswell is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including "Magnificent Universe" and "See the Stars: Your First Guide to the Night Sky". He earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and lives in Berkeley, California.
 
Published April 1, 1995 by Doubleday. 340 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Education & Reference, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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It becomes clear that, as he writes, the story of the Milky Way is a ``deeply human story, full of colorful and controversial characters,'' but Croswell takes the stance of an insider rather than a journalist, providing only snippets and sketchy portraits.

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Publishers Weekly

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Croswell, an astronomer and experienced science writer, has authored an up-to-date and quite readable overview of our present knowledge concerning the Milky Way.

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Los Angeles Times

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many cosmologists have reached the alarming conclusion that the universe seems to be younger than the Milky Way's oldest stars, a discrepancy that could threaten big-bang cosmology."

Jun 06 1995 | Read Full Review of The Alchemy of the Heavens

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