Cover: Revealing the Universe: The Making of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, from Harvard University PressCover: Revealing the Universe in HARDCOVER

Revealing the Universe

The Making of the Chandra X-ray Observatory

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Product Details


$29.50 • £23.95 • €26.50

ISBN 9780674004979

Publication Date: 05/28/2001


312 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

12 color illustrations, 40 halftones, 3 line illustrations


In this fast-paced, eminently readable technical history, [the authors] go behind the scenes with NASA decision-makers amid the vicissitudes of one of the largest astrophysics projects since the Hubble telescope. Deft storytellers, the Tuckers convey the monumental accomplishments of our current generation of space scientists and never let highly technical subject matter overshadow their tale of promethean curiosity and scientific daring.Publishers Weekly

[Revealing the Universe] is a fascinating history of the discovery of X-rays from deep space and the uses of these emitted X-rays as a means for solving complex questions of astronomy involving quasars, pulsars, black holes, dark matter and other stellar enigmas… Revealing the Universe is a fun book and interesting book. But it is also a very challenging book, as the concepts involving X-ray astronomy and quantum physics are not easily grasped by lay people. [Tucker and Tucker], who are involved in the Chandra project, do a really outstanding job explaining tough concepts. [They] are also superb storytellers, and have crafted a suspenseful cliffhanger of a story. Of course we all know how the story ends (Chandra did end up funded, built and launched), but this just emphasizes how good the Tuckers are at crafting their story; we know how it ends, but we still bite our nails when things do not go well.—Rob Meltzer, Daily News

The Tuckers, who participated in almost every aspect of the [Chandra X-ray] project, begin with the initial conception of the project in the late 1970s, taking readers through the planning, construction, and launch of the observatory. Revealing the Universe provides a very real look at what it took to complete this project—the unavoidable hassles of the weather, the challenges the high-tech companies…the role of NASA, and political and monetary struggles.techdirections

This highly readable book charts the immense 30-year undertaking that led to the launch of the Chandra X-ray observatory on 1999 July 23. The husband-and-wife team of Wallace and Karen Tucker takes us behind the scenes, from the early pioneering days of X-ray astronomy through to the conception, development, and launch of Chandra on board the Space Shuttle… The descriptions of the immense technical and engineering challenges that had to be overcome will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in astronomical technology, all told with the clarity and pace of a gripping novel.—Omar Almaini, The Observatory

The Tuckers do indeed reveal a universe we have not seen, with an insider’s savvy and an artistic eye. The picture of the glorious Crab Nebula alone, a tornado of wound-up magnetic field lines, lit by x-ray fire, is worth the price of the book.—Gregory Benford, author of Deep Time

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