Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Grand and Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering In A New Era of Discovery” as Want to Read:
A Grand and Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering In A New Era of Discovery
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Grand and Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering In A New Era of Discovery

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  50 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
LATE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, what had been a fevered pace of discovery in astronomy for many years had slowed. The Hubble Space Telescope continued to produce an astonishing array of images, but the study of the universe was still fractured into domains: measuring the universe’s expansion rate, the evolution of galaxies in the early universe, the life and death of stars, ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Free Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Grand and Bold Thing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Grand and Bold Thing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 194)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 09, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: science
It warms my astronomer heart to see someone write a pop science book about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Of course the Hubble Space Telescope is the media darling of the astronomy world with its exciting backstory and gorgeous, National Geographic-ready imagery. But in terms of data the SDSS has been the real transformative instrument over the past decade and it's nice to see it get some lovin'.

However, as I was reading this book I kept asking myself -- where's the science? The book dedicates a
Sep 14, 2010 Leilani rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This was a fantastic look at what it would be like to be an astronomer!

I heard an interview with the author on a local NPR show - as an interviewee, she was a bit rambly & unfocused, to be honest. But her subject sounded fascinating! She covers the design and development of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and how it changed the way astronomy works. Instead of applying for a few nights a year on a government telescope, astronomers have access to a huge database of information. The planning beg
Nov 01, 2010 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kerry by: free download
How often do we hear/read true stories about people who do something because it's the Right Thing To Do?

This is the story of the hardware, software, and people that comprise the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, an attempt to map the characteristics of the universe.

Many of the scientists in this book knew from an early age that they were interested in astronomy, and they acted on that conviction. Several of them worked on the project for free; others sacrificed academic opportunities. The project resul
Jul 10, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
A truly wonderful, in-depth account of the assembly of the Sloan telescope and it's program. Often, when we read about programs like these, they are often summarized in less than a paragraph in an astronomy textbook or perhaps, at best, a page in an astronomy magazine. If you are really interested in how telescopes and astronomers work, you should read this book. If you don't like any of these things and if you are not a detail oriented person, then it might be in your best interest to go read a ...more
Jul 24, 2015 Richp rated it it was amazing
This is a book about doing science. In this case, big science, which meant the protagonist left behind doing science as a primary profession and became a project manager of a new instrument, so others could do the science. James Gunn "gave up" what he figured were the last real productive years of his professional career to invest in this project. Along the way, he learned that engineering project management was far from easy.

I was impressed with this story.
Jun 20, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
This is the story of a vision and its pursuit, of imagination, craftsmanship and passion, of men, women and machines, of tools and plans and overcoming defeats. Was it possible to take a census of the universe, its galaxies and its stars, collecting as detailed information as possible. Was it then possible to collect all that information into a data base that would be open to all astronomers! Beyond belief at first, then underway – the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - has changed the way many astronom ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
The project management side of this book it quite interesting, especially in the early stages of the project. The vision and accomplishment of the team is quite incredible, it made me look at the stars and galaxy in a new way,checking out the SDSS site right now.
Oct 14, 2014 Rrlgrrl rated it really liked it
A nice history of the early days of SDSS. I liked the dramatic flair added to some of the problems encountered with getting this survey off the ground. A fun read for me since it is more personal for me.
May 01, 2016 Mara rated it liked it
Interesting for the outsiders, funny for the insiders. For the insiders, reading about your colleagues as characters of a book is enjoyable, because *you know* the meaning of the description!
Cynthia Karl
Nov 05, 2011 Cynthia Karl rated it really liked it
A very interesting account written for non-astronomers about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project. The collaboration of people and institutions almost broke down more than once but ultimately succeeded spectacularly and changed astronomy. It also enabled several successful offshoots one of which is the "Galaxy Zoo".
Mar 25, 2011 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: science, read-in-2011
Interesting book that covers the development of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I didn't really know anything about this so it was great to learn about something so important that has really changed the way astronomy is done. Not too technical--non-science readers could definitely enjoy it.
Author does a good job of explaining the science, though I still got a little lost now and again. Interesting story of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - how it came to be and how it has changed astronomy and astronomers, how it has opened up the field to amateur astronomers and enthusiasts.
Dec 28, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This was a great history of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and all of its trials and triumphs. The best parts where about the building of the Jim Gunn designed telescope at the heart of the project. An amazing amount of work done in the name of the pure science of astronomy.
Abigail marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2016
Peter Tillman
Peter Tillman rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2016
David Wu
David Wu rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2016
Bilal added it
Jun 26, 2016
Bradley rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2016
Dana added it
May 30, 2016
Memory Toast
Memory Toast marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Abigail Advincula
Abigail Advincula marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Birdingrver marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Abhay rated it it was ok
Jul 25, 2016
Kirk Howard
Kirk Howard marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2016
FLbookgirl marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book