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Posts tagged with "Astrophysics"

  • Einstein's Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable
    Seth Fletcher


    An embedded journalist tells the tale of an Earth-sized telescope that could provide the first image of a black hole

    Size matters, especially when it comes to telescopes. This is partly because larger instruments collect more light and see better in the dark. But just as two separated eyes allow for stereo perception, the larger the distance between points on a telescope, or the farther apart several coordinated telescopes are, the more precisely distant objects… Read More
  • Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes
    Chris Impey


    New data, old rivalries, and enduring questions fill a welcome overview of black hole research

    What happens at the black hole event horizon, where time stands still and intuition breaks down? In the opening chapter of his new book, Einstein’s Monsters, astronomer and popular science writer Chris Impey puts the problem succinctly: “It made no sense for a physical object to have zero size and infinite mass density. Einstein’s theory… Read More
  • Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military
    Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang

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    Accessory to War

    In Accessory to War, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang give a sweeping panoramic overview of the enduring alliance between astrophysics and the military—from the Greeks to Galileo to GPS. The book’s key contribution is in documenting the various ways science has aided military endeavors over the millennia and making the sometimes-arcane source material accessible. Read More
  • 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars
    Nicky Jenner

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    4th Rock from the Sun

    Why should we invest money, time, and resources to go to a barren planet that seems bent on destroying our robotic emissaries? In 4th Rock from the Sun, Nicky Jenner mounts a compelling case for why Mars is worth the effort. Early Greek philosophers noticed that Mars seemed to reverse its direction of motion for… Read More
  • Welcome to the Universe
    J. Richard Gott, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss

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    Tag along on an awe-inspiring journey through the cosmos

    “Every time we make an argument that we’re special in the cosmos … we learn that the opposite is true. In fact, we occupy a humble corner of the galaxy, which occupies its own humble corner in the universe.” The grand size and scale of the cosmos is one of the recurring themes of Welcome… Read More
  • Black Hole Blues And Other Songs from Outer Space
    Janna Levin


    Fear and loathing in the hunt for gravitational waves

    On 14 September 2015, at 9:50:45 universal time, humans detected for the first time a gravitational wave—a rippling, infinitesimal stretching of spacetime itself set off when two black holes spiraled into each other. That mind-boggling discovery was made by the 1000 physicists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a duo of enormous optical… Read More