Dan Martinez's Reviews > Coming of Age in the Milky Way

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
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May 02, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: Everyone
Read in November, 1995

I nicked this book from my father's recent-purchases stack while home from college one Thanksgiving, but in the end it wouldn't let me go. It ultimately cost me nearly two weeks of finals-study time, but I couldn't say that the price was too high.

While in principle it's simply a history of astronomy, the material, in Ferris's capable hands, winds up feeling more like a detective story. How have we come, from our fixed vantage point on the limb of a spiral galaxy, to know what we know about the size, structure, and composition of the universe?

Ferris walks us through the evolution of our astronomical models, demonstrating how each new one incorporated new observations to refine and build upon its predecessors.

If I could choose only one popular-science book to keep in my library, this would be it.
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