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Cosmic Odyssey


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From newborn galaxies to icy worlds and blazing quasars, a behind-the-scenes story of how Palomar Observatory astronomers unveiled our complex universe.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Promise
Chapter 2: Plumbing the Depths of the Universe
Chapter 3: Unraveling the Mysteries of Stellar Evolution
Chapter 4: Milky Way Archaeology
Chapter 5: Galactic Violence: Collisions and Mergers
Chapter 6: Quasars: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Chapter 7: Piercing the Galactic "Smog"
Chapter 8: Starbursts, Superwinds, and Supermassive Black Holes
Chapter 9: Probing the Gaseous Universe
Chapter 10: From Ghosts to Galaxies: The Emergence of Structure
Chapter 11: Solar System Shuffle
Chapter 12: Astronomical Exotica: New Frontiers

About the Author

Linda Schweizer holds a PhD in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. She has observed at many observatories, published in astronomical journals, and taught science writing and was a Visiting Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, all while raising four daughters.


"In Cosmic Odyssey, Linda Schweizer has perfectly encapsulated its rich history and astonishing discoveries in a book which will thrill astronomers and engineers alike...While some hardback astronomy publications can be oversized and cumbersome, Schweizer's easy-to-handle hardback takes it from a 'coffee-table flick-through' book to a 'pick up, take anywhere and delve in' title so, during a time when travel is restricted, sit back and allow yourself to be transported to this beautiful art deco observatory and deep into the Universe."
-BBC Sky at Night Magazine

"Linda Schweizer's Cosmic Odyssey is a thrilling account of the cosmological discoveries of the past century that 'pulls back the curtain' on the brilliant, eccentric scientists who achieved those breakthroughs...A comprehensive and gripping achievement, Cosmic Odyssey is destined to be a landmark work on the history of astronomy."
-ForeWord Reviews, STARRED review

"For those unfamiliar with how George Ellery Hale's 200-inch Big Eye Telescope at Palomar observatory forever changed astronomy, Linda Schweizer's recent book will be a revelation...Schweizer offers a very readable and understandable summary of our astronomical progress over the last 75 years as primarily seen through the lens of this one optical observatory. It's not an easy task to offer up such an historical survey to the general public, but Schweizer does it with aplomb."

"The book examines how Palomar-not just its 200-inch telescope but also a 60-inch telescope and two wide-field Schmidt telescopes-played a major role in discoveries from solar system science to cosmology."
-The Space Review

"Schweizer's style is clear, intelligent and informative."
-Popular Science

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