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Understanding the Universe
  • Format
  • Authored by: Raman K. Prinja and Richard Ignace
  • Trim Size: 8 3/4 x 11
  • ISBN-10: 081605228X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-5228-8
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Imprint: Checkmark
  • Published: 01/01/2003
  • Dewey Number: 520
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 144


In clear, accessible language suitable for beginners and more experienced observers, Understanding the Universe explains the broad concepts of astronomy and introduces readers to the workings of the universe, starting with the sun, Earth, and planets in the solar system. The formation and composition of the wide variety of galaxies present in the universe is discussed in detail along with other topics, such as the creation and future of the universe itself and the possibility of life existing elsewhere.

This thought-provoking introduction to the fascinating subject of astronomy is illustrated with the latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other world-class telescopes, both from the ground and space. Several specially commissioned artworks depict what the solar system may have looked like in the earliest stages of its formation; what planets in other solar systems might look like; and how Earth and the sun will appear in 5 billion years.

Coverage includes:

  • White dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and supernovas
  • Quasars and active galactic nuclei
  • Important cosmological theories, such as the big bang and inflation
  • and much more.


Full-color photographs and illustrations. Index. Glossary.

About the Author(s)

Raman K. Prinja received a degree in physics and astronomy and a doctorate in hot star astronomy from University College London. He was the recipient of a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship and is actively involved in promoting the general understanding of science through teaching, lecturing, and writing.

Richard Ignace received a degree in astronomy from Indiana University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He teaches astronomy at the University of Iowa, where he studies the winds of hot stars, gravitational lensing, and extrasolar planets.

Reviews and Awards

"Understanding the Universe offers the reader a truly fascinating and informative survey and presentation of the wonders of the solar system and beyond."
Midwest Book Review

“A clearly written book for the amateur enthusiast or interested layperson, who will be enthralled as the variety and magnificence of the Universe is unveiled.”
Society for Popular Astronomy

Science - Grades 7-12 Honor Book, 2003 Book Awards
- Society of School Librarians International (SSLI)

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