The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions by David J. Eicher
Finished reading on April 16th, 2016
There are certain topics that you end up against now and again when for example dealing with young children at an observatory – you can be sure that someone will ask about black holes, someone might ask why Pluto isn’t a planet etc. This book pretty much also answers anything that an intelligent person who’s slightly interested in astronomy might ask or want to know about.
In that sense it’s an excellent book – it doesn’t make things too simple and short, but rather goes into quite a bit of depth about the history behind some of the topics – the size and shape of the Milky Way, the end of the Universe etc.
In this book you get a decent amount of information that should be enough for a first contact with astronomy.
I thought that the big questions have been chosen well – couldn’t think of anything more that really would have to be in there, nor was there anything that you’d really not need to know.
I’m sure it’s great reading if you only ever choose to read one book about astronomy. However if you keep up to date with astronomy news and literature anyway, then this book is more of a reminder of who were/are the people behind some of the knowledge we now have about the universe.
I did have fun reading this book right after finishing Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. The biggest difference was that while reading Cosmos I could hear it in Sagan’s voice and that in The New Cosmos I wasn’t thinking “…but now we know more”.
My favorite bit in the book :
Too few people anchor themselves in reality in our culture that seems to be centered on laying back and watching s stream of mostly nonsense on TV, in movies, and online.
David J. Eicher “The New Cosmos”, p 15.