Cover: Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide, from Harvard University PressCover: Our Universe in HARDCOVER

Our Universe

An Astronomer’s Guide

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Product Details


$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674984288

Publication Date: 04/08/2019


312 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Belknap Press

United States and its dependencies only

This luminous guide to the cosmos encapsulates myriad discoveries. Astrophysicist Jo Dunkley swoops from Earth to the observable limits, then explores stellar life cycles, dark matter, cosmic evolution, and the soup-to-nuts history of the Universe. No less a thrill are her accounts of tenth-century Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, twentieth- and twenty-first-century researchers Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Vera Rubin, and many more.Nature

Dunkley takes her readers on a grand tour of space and time, from our nearest planetary neighbors to the edge of the observable Universe… If you feel like refreshing your background knowledge, or are looking for a present for your curious niece or nephew, this little gem certainly won’t disappoint.—Govert Schilling, BBC Sky at Night

Combining observational cosmology with a solid theoretical framework, Dunkley’s Our Universe takes us on a cosmic tour… This is a book any future observational or theoretical astrophysicist would love to have.—Ethan Siegel, Forbes

Provides a high-level overview of our understanding of the universe that is a good introduction for those unfamiliar with astrophysics.—Jeff Foust, Space Review

What with all the commonly appearing stories about space making their way into both the old and new news media these days, an understanding of just what we presently know about what’s ‘out there,’ how we presently think it formed, how it all works together, and where it’s all going is not only fascinating, it also helps to keep things in perspective.—Johannes E. Riutta, Well-Read Naturalist

A fascinating, accessible introduction to the universe, covering topics ranging from the Big Bang and the ‘cosmic dawn’ of the first stars to the ongoing search for exoplanets and for dark matter and energy… Dunkley gives readers a commanding view onto the universe and the wonders to be found in it.Publishers Weekly

Jo Dunkley is an internationally acclaimed cosmologist. She is also a fine expositor, and this book splendidly conveys what we’ve learnt about the universe, and the exhilarating progress we can expect in coming decades.—Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain

A grand overview of modern cosmology from one of the leaders in the field. Dunkley guides us through astronomical history, at every stage explaining the twists and turns and surprises, right up to the most recent discoveries. Readers will have a real appreciation of the most exciting developments in astrophysics of the last millennium, the last century, and the last year.—Michael Strauss, Princeton University

Jo Dunkley is an amiable guide to the universe, but there’s no dawdling in this fast-paced tour. This slender volume whisks you from our own blue marble out to the edge of the universe and the beginning of time. Dunkley is especially good at explaining how the whispers from the Big Bang itself tell us about dark matter and dark energy and hint at its explosive origin in cosmic inflation.—Robert P. Kirshner, Harvard University

This book is simply superb—beautifully written and very clear. It incorporates all the major recent results, and indicates what might come from telescopes now being built.—Jocelyn Bell Burnell, University of Oxford

Jo Dunkley takes us on a fantastic journey through our universe—elegantly weaving together history and the latest scientific discoveries. On her way, she subtly restores all the forgotten women scientists to their rightful places in what has been a male-dominated story until now.—Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature

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“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”