How is a galaxy billions of light-years away connected to us? Is our home nothing more than a tiny speck of blue in an ocean of night? In this exciting tour of a universe far larger than we can imagine, astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter emphasizes how amazing it is that we are part of such a huge, complex, and mysterious place—and he explores how our experience here on Earth fits into that grand context.
Through metaphors and uncomplicated language, Sutter breathes life into the science of astrophysics, unveiling how particles, forces, and fields interplay to create the greatest of cosmic dramas. With his characteristic breezy, conversational style—which has made him a breakout hit on venues such as the Weather Channel, the Science Channel, and his own popular Ask a Spaceman! podcast—the author conveys the fun and wonder of delving deeply into the physical processes of the natural universe. He weaves together the past and future histories of our universe with grounded descriptions of essential modern-day physics as well as speculations based on the latest research in cosmology.
Topics include our place in the Milky Way galaxy; the cosmic web, a vast weblike pattern in which galaxies are arranged; the origins of our universe in the big bang; the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy; how science has dramatically changed our relationship to the cosmos; conjectures about the future of reality as we know it; and more.
For anyone who has ever stared at the starry night sky and wondered how we humans on Earth fit into the big picture, this book is an essential road map.