This book conveys the thrill of observing strange and surprising features of the Universe, and the satisfaction gained by understanding them through modern science. Using simple analogies and a wealth of illustrations, Professor Narlikar skilfully steers us through a cosmic journey of discovery, starting from the Earth and Solar System and stepping out to the farthest reaches of the Universe. The seven wonders represent a range of mysterious phenomena, a class of spectacular events, or remarkable cosmic objects that have challenged human curiosity and explanation. They concern the giants and dwarfs of the stellar world, the catastrophic explosion of massive stars, pulsars - the ultimate timekeepers of the cosmos, the strange effects of gravity, illusions of space, and the majestic expansion of the Universe as a whole. With lucid prose and humorous anecdotes, the author weaves together a host of exciting recent discoveries in astronomy and shows us how these motivate astronomers to unravel the wonders of tomorrow.
Prologue; 1. Leaving the terra firma; 2. Giants and dwarfs of the stellar world; 3. When stars explode ... ; 4. Pulsars: the timekeepers of the cosmos; 5. Gravity: the great dictator; 6. Illusions in space; 7. The expanding universe; Epilogue.