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By Gary on 04-09-03
About astronomy as well as astronomers
Every now and again, I listen to an Audible title that makes me wish I also had the online text or paper hard-copy. This narrative about star-gazing, star-gazers and stars was very well composed, and was pretty inspiring about actually GOING to do the sky-watching.
Unfortunately (well, not unfortunately, but disappointingly), the narrative included a HUGE compendium of great ideas and facts, which have proved too hard for me to retain after just hearing them. I really wanted to back up and write down a few of these numbers, analogies and references to the scale of things. My Audible setup and habits make this very hard to do.
I wonder if audible might someday enable us to note a portion of a book we're listening to (based on hr:min notation) and request an electronic copy of just the pertinent text for future quotes and reference. There'd be dozens of such citations I wish I could have retained from this book.
The work is divided into sections, based on the distance from earth that the observers' are witnessing, and starts with the moon, and actually ends with remote quasars. At each level, there are amazing and admirable folks (might some call them kooks?) who actually contribute and participate in the Real Science of astronomy.
Eleven hours is a long audio-book, and I could have done without the long lists of stars and galaxies with particular properties (especially those merely provided a code and number as their name).
I do recommend it for an overview of the visual content of the universe.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
By Alan Rither on 08-17-03
The perfect audiobook for thoughtful listening
The author is well-known among amateur astronomy fans for his balanced and carefully researched books and articles. In this audiobook, he tells his autobiography and gives personal vignettes involving the people he has known who are amateur and professional astronomers. This first-person treatment keeps the book from becoming dry or overly technical. Understanding the context in which telescopes were built or discoveries made provides an important link between the people and the scientific discoveries they made. His calm voice is ideal for thoughtful listening. I would highly recommend it for someone who can read the popular astronomy magazines but it would be too technical for a person who doesn't have at least a good background in recent scientific discoveries.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful