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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic…
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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Death by Black Hole is a collection of essays written for Natural History magazine by Neil deGrasse Tyson. As with Carl Sagan before him, Tyson is a great expositor, explaining the mysteries of science to the layperson.

The book is organized by subject. There are seven large sections. These cover a wide range of material in each subject, from universal constants to how we are able to deduce what we know about the world. Take what we know about stars and the night sky. Most of what we know about stars comes from a technique called Spectroscopy. We can tell what a star is composed of by taking a picture of it and analyzing the spectral lines left behind. This, in turn, can tell us how old the star is and other information like that.

A large amount of information is lost to us due to the fact that we can not naturally detect it. From the entire electromagnetic field, we can only see a small fraction of available frequencies of light. We miss out on a lot of events due to this small fact. Humans are inclined to be biased and not see what is in their field of vision even with all of this. We are enslaved by our senses, with other creatures and machines having to augment our abilities. Telescopes allow us to see further, but even with that, the atmosphere obstructs ground-based observations. That is why Space Telescopes like the Hubble was developed.

While Tyson’s expertise lies in astrophysics, he had received a great amount of aid from other scientists to write and fact check these essays. The essays are all from the period of time between 1995 and 2005 so some of the information is slightly out of date. However, all of it is fascinating and excellent information. There isn’t really much else to say about it at all. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
a fablous collection of NdT's writings. I listened to this on audio and was barely hanging on but was continually entertained and enlightened. Only downside, it wasn't read by the author himself. 8/10 ( )
  mahsdad | Jun 23, 2018 |
Fantastic book. Lots of things to learn. Neil discusses several things that I wasn't aware of. I read this on my way to work and it did bring me out of the ordinary life to the exciting things in the cosmos. Neil's way of explaining things and wit are excellent. ( )
  chrysedonia | Apr 26, 2018 |
A collection of essays on the cosmos, written by American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. ( )
  jrthebutler | Dec 29, 2016 |
A collection of essays by one of the best science popularizers of our time. It's not just about black holes; it's about a lot of different science topics, including astronomy, skepticism, and history of science. It's all very informative and accessible, and each essay is short enough that it's not overwhelming. Recommended.

A note on the audio: Dion Graham is a fantastic narrator, but I really wish Tyson had read his own book. Ever since watching Cosmos I've wanted him to read me bedtime stories about the marvels of the universe. ( )
1 vote melydia | Dec 16, 2016 |
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Epigraph
My own suspicion is that the Universe

is not only queerer than we suppose,

but queerer than we can suppose.

—J. B. S. HALDANE

Possible Worlds (1927)
Dedication
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Preface

I see the universe not as a collection of objects, theories, and phenomena, but as a vast stage of actors driven by intricate twists of story line and plot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393330168, Paperback)

A vibrant collection of essays on the cosmos from the nation's best-known astrophysicist. “One of today’s best popularizers of science.”—Kirkus Reviews.

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right.

Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:14 -0400)

A collection of essays on the cosmos, written by an American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist, includes "Holy Wars," "Ends of the World," and "Hollywood Nights."

» see all 2 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393062244, 0393330168

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