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Galaxies: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #175)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Gribbin explains how galaxies are not only fascinating astronomical structures in themselves, but also how their study has revealed much of what we know today about the cosmos. He looks at our own galaxy in detail, and tells the history of our growing understanding of galaxies.
Paperback, 121 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2008)
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The author, John Gibbons, holds a PhD in Astrophysics, and he is careful to stay close to the facts. He combines observational data with analysis from the known laws of physics, then provides an interpretation that is well supported. All of this makes him be very credible.

From its beginning to the current time, the development of the universe was described in good detail. Enough detail to show what happened, but not so much detail that the story gets totally lost in the equations. He put togethe
Reach down and find a grain of sand. Pick it up and hold it lightly between your thumb and fore finger. Hold that out at arms length. Swing it up to the sky. OK how many galaxies are in the sky cover by that grain of sand? Well according to the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photograph 10,000. Reading John Gribbin's book Galaxies: A Very Short Introduction can make you feel pretty mediocre. That's because you should! John Gribbin explains the scientific principle that says you should! His book is a gre ...more
Bojan Tunguz
Of all the astronomical objects that are visible to the human eye, perhaps the most fascinating ones are the galaxies. This is in large measure due to the most familiar spiral galaxies, of which our own Milky Way is an example. Their twirling, irregular shapes are fascinating to the eye, for more or less the same reasons that the rings of Saturn attract attention. They are an exception to the universe that is filled with perfectly spherical or pointlike objects, with very little of internal stru ...more
David Roberts
The book I read to research this post was Galaxies A Very Short Introduction by John Gribbin which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. Galaxies are formed when a galactic blackhole decomposes. The Milky Way has a blackhole at its centre and the immense gravity causes the galaxy to spiral. The stars are very together at centre of the milky way & if our solar system was at the centre the night would be as bright as our day. As it is the sun is about a third of the way out. Every g ...more
Tony Calder
Feb 20, 2013 Tony Calder rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a basic primer on galaxies or cosmology.
Shelves: science
This book really is exactly what the title says, a short introduction to galaxies. It discusses the various types of galaxies, how they were formed, what role they play in the universe, and how they end. All this without requiring that the reader has a degree in advanced mathematics or physics :) In fact, very little mathematical knowledge is required to follow this text.
Dan Cohen
Rather more on general cosmology than I expected. Can't remember much else about the book.
Nov 18, 2008 Mark is currently reading it
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John R. Gribbin (born 1946) is a British science writer, an astrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. The topical range of his prolific writings include quantum physics, biographies of famous scientists, human evolution, the origins of the universe, climate change and global warming. His also writes science fiction.

John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's de
More about John Gribbin...
In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors Science Of Philip Pullman's " His Dark Materials " In Search of the Multiverse

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