The Story of the Universe in 100 Stars

The Story of the Universe in 100 StarsThe Experiment/Workman Publishing, 2021, 304 pp., Hardcover. $21.95.

With roughly 100 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, the cosmos is simply too vast for an unabridged tell-all. But here’s the next best thing: 100 stars — bright and faint, near and far, famous and obscure, long dead and as-yet unborn, red, yellow, blue, and white (but, as you’ll learn, never green) — handpicked by astronomer Florian Freistetter because they have the very best stories to tell, including GRB 080319B, the farthest we’ve seen into space with the naked eye; Gamma Draconis, the star that proved Earth rotates on its axis; V1364 CYGNI, pivotal in the discovery of dark matter; 72 Tauri, definitive evidence for Einstein’s theory of relativity; V1, which revealed horizons beyond the Milky Way; Algol, called the Demon Star for its mysterious blinking; and many more. The short, easy-to-read profiles not only invite you to gaze into the past and future of the universe, but they also introduce a stellar cast of scientists who came before, from Annie Jump Cannon, who revolutionized how we classify the stars, to Dorrit Hoffleit, who first counted them. Enjoy your journey through the cosmos!

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