First Light: The Search for the Edge of the Universe

First Light: The Search for the Edge of the Universe

Richard Preston

Language: English

Pages: 275

ISBN: 0812991850

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Seven years before Richard Preston wrote about horrifying viruses in The Hot Zone, he turned his attention to the cosmos. In First Light, he demonstrates his gift for creating an exciting and absorbing narrative around a complex scientific subject--in this case the efforts by astronomers at the Palomar Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains of California to peer to the farthest edges of space through the Hale Telescope, attempting to solve the riddle of the creation of the universe.

Richard Preston's name became a household word with The Hot Zone, which sold nearly 800,000 copies in hardcover, was on The New York Times's bestseller list for 42 weeks, and was the subject of countless magazine and newspaper articles. Preston has become a sought-after commentator on popular science subjects.

For this hardcover reprint of what has been called "the best popular account of astronomy in action," (Kirkus Reviews) he has revised the text and written a new introduction.

The Life and Death of Stars

Here Be Dragons: The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life

The Search for Life Continued: Planets Around Other Stars (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy)

Diffraction-limited Imaging With Large and Moderate Telescopes

Universe (9th Edition)













A light-year is the distance that a photon can travel through a void in one year, which happens to be about six trillion miles. Photons produced by an event happening billions of light-years away from an observer will require billions of years to stream toward the observer. When a telescope makes a photograph of deep sky, it makes an image of the past; it displays events that took place in different periods of cosmic history, depending on how far away from the earth they are. Astronomers refer.

Questions. When were the quasars born? When did they die out, as a species? How did their brightness and their population change while they lived? He wanted to know how the quasars had fared en masse. He wanted to understand the birth, life, and death of the quasars over the range of cosmic time; he wanted to know the natural history of the species. Quasars seem to be exclusively distant objects. They are rare enough in our neighborhood so that the Local Supercluster, for example, does not.

The Hale dome, where stands the largest working telescope on earth. The Hale Telescope, which is the size of a small office building, was bathed in sodium light, and the light revealed gleams and glints of metal inside the dome. Whether accidentally or on purpose, the Hale dome is almost exactly the size of the Pantheon in Rome. Jim Gunn took a moment, as he often did, to run his eyes over the telescope. He would admit that he could never look up without a sense of disbelief at the last.

That? Keg.” “Barrel,” Donnie said. “What?” “Barrel,” he said, pointing to the word. “Are you reading this?” “Yes.” She flipped the pages, pointing to other words, and he read the words aloud. He had not had anything to say until he could read it first, at three and a half. Donnie puzzled his mother too. Eileen Schneider taught catechism in Sunday school, and when Donnie was in first grade, he was one of her pupils. She tried to explain to the children what would happen at the end of the.

Jim Gunn, who had started building amplifiers in high school. These two Jims got into a serious amplifier contest, to see whose amplifier would fly inside the Wide Field/Planetary Camera. Janesick would build an amplifier, Gunn would build another, and Janesick would build one better. The quality of a CCD signal processor is determined by how many extra electrons of “noise” it introduces into the faint signal coming out of the CCD chip. The fewer noisy electrons, the cleaner and better the.

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