Presents biographies of astronomers throughout history, including Galileo, Christiaan Huygens, and Edwin Hubble, and documents their discoveries.
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: For many millennia the starry night sky has been a source of wonder and awe to men and women who have tried to unravel the mystery of the billion distant lights that fill the heavens after dark. The story of the great discoverers who succeeded in explaining part of the mystery is told here with the joy and infectious enthusiasm that only a fellow discoverer can convey. David Levy, codiscoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, with his wife, Wendee Wallach-Levy, evokes that marvelous moment of "Eureka!" as he masterfully relates each story. He gives the reader a glimpse of the enthralling adventure of cosmic discovery through stories of the most famous and brilliant astronomers. Beyond their personal accomplishments, these scientists expanded all of humanity's understanding of the universe and our place within it.
Through Levy's unique perspective on cosmic discovery, he is able to connect his own personal life story with that of astronomers of the past and by extension with the history of the whole universe. As the codiscoverer of the spectacular comet that crashed into Jupiter, Levy formulated a whole new range of exciting questions about the universe: Do comets serve to transport the elements of life from one planet to the next? What is the evidence that a large comet once hit the earth? Will the earth someday be in danger of colliding with another such comet and will we have the technology to stop it?
This fascinating book will excite any of us who have stared at the night sky in awe and amazement.