Galaxy: Exploring the Milky Way

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Quercus, 2009 - Galaxies - 256 pages
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With Stuart Clark's lucid text and nearly 500 cutting-edge images, GALAXY investigates every aspect of the Milky Way - from its place in the Universe to its large-scale anatomy, from its history to its future. We approach the Milky Way from the very edge of the Universe, threading our way through massive conglomerations of galaxies gathered like grains of dust on a veil of cobwebs. Out here we can survey the thriving diversity of galaxy types and galactic life. Homing in on our destination, we skirt fleets of satellite galaxies, orbiting our Galaxy like the Moon orbits the Earth, before plunging through the Milky Way's spiral arms on a course that will ultimately lead us to its dark heart - a gravitational maelstrom of white dwarfs, neutron stars and hypergiants, all in the thrall of a supermassive black hole.As we tour the Galaxy the rhythms of stellar life unfold before our eyes: we pass through dark clouds of dust and gas incubating clusters of embryonic stars, we discover spectacular emission nebulae blazing in the fierce radiation of stellar newborns, we watch dying stars bloom and fade as planetary nebulae, or tear themselves apart as supernovae and we survey the planets and moons of our Solar System.

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About the author (2009)

Dr Stuart Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed The Sun Kings. A former editor of the United Kingdom's best-selling astronomy magazine, Astronomy Now. He currently writes for the European Space Agency and is a regular contributor to such magazines as New Scientist and BBC Focus. Dr Clark's previous books also include Deep Space (Quercus 2007), Journey to the Stars and Universe in Focus: The Story of the Hubble Telescope.

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