The numbers involved when it comes to discussing stars, galaxies and the inconceivably vast tracts of empty space between them are staggering. With hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe, all of varying shapes, sizes and ages - each containing hundreds of billions of suns - at first glance our universe appears frustratingly unknowable, and yet it is captivating to explore. As a species we have only recently come to appreciate that our Milky Way is just one of myriad galaxies spread throughout the universe, with modern scientific breakthroughs forcing dramatic re-evaluations of our place in the immense cosmos. Our knowledge is growing daily and the pace of research continues to accelerate but we are still far away from from a complete understanding of how the galaxies came to be, and the processes that shaped them. Written by an active researcher in the field, Galaxy: Mapping the Cosmos tells the rich scientific story of galaxy evolution and observation - discoveries of 'spiral nebulae', the nature of galaxies and the current 'World Model'.Astronomer James Geach takes us on a tour of what is currently known and unknown, discussing why the ancient science of astronomy continues to fascinate humanity.
Appealing to all readers interested in astronomy and cosmology, and featuring 100 colour illustrations, Galaxy explores the enigma of our cosmic habitat, chronicling how our home in the universe came to be.
James Geach is a professional astronomer in the field of galaxy formation and evolution and a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the Centre for Astrophysics Research at the University of Hertfordshire.
1. Cities Beyond 2. Stepping into the Extragalactic Universe 3. Seeing More 4. The Evolution of Galaxies 5. Models of the World Distance Scale Glossary Bibliography Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index