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First Light : Search for the Edge of the Universe

First Light : Search for the Edge of the Universe - 96 edition

ISBN13: 978-0812991857

Cover of First Light : Search for the Edge of the Universe 96 (ISBN 978-0812991857)
ISBN13: 978-0812991857
ISBN10: 0812991850
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 96
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Published: 1996
International: No

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First Light : Search for the Edge of the Universe - 96 edition

ISBN13: 978-0812991857

Richard Preston

ISBN13: 978-0812991857
ISBN10: 0812991850
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 96
Publisher: Random House, Inc.

Published: 1996
International: No
Summary

First Light is perhaps the best book about astronomy ever written. It tells the story of the men and women at the Palomar Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains of California who peer through the amazing Hale Telescope at the farthest edges of space, attempting to solve the riddle of the beginning of time. "Science is a lot weirder and more human than most people realize," Preston writes in his foreword to this revised and updated edition of his first book, and he skillfully weaves together stories of the eccentricities of his characters and the technical wonders of their work to create a riveting narrative about what scientists do and why they do it. The telescope itself is the main character. It is huge, seven stories tall, the heaviest working telescope on earth, with a mirror that is two hundred inches wide and took fourteen years to cast and polish. The telescope is used by astronomers like James E. Gunn, a "gadgeteer" who scavenges for junk parts and fashions them into sensitive instruments he uses to look into the glittering depths of the universe. Preston's rendering of the obsessions and adventures of Gunn and his colleagues is a witty and illuminating portrait of scientists in action and a luminous story of what modern astronomy is all about.

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