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

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  11 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,
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ebook, 240 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Free Press (first published 2010)
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Tim
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
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Leilani
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
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Kerry
Nov 01, 2010 Kerry rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kerry by: amazon.com 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
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Mary
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
Pam
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.
Rrlgrrl
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.
Ryan
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
Cynthia Karl
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".
Donna
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.
Catherine
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.
Jon
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.
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