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Hardcover Voyage to the Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalactic Space Book

ISBN: 0394588991

ISBN13: 9780394588995

Voyage to the Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalactic Space

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In 1987, astronomer Alan Dressler made the electrifying announcement that much of the cosmos is being drawn down toward a massive stellar body comprising thousands of galaxies. In this lucid and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Intergalactic Samurai

This is the story of the journey of the Seven Samurai. I am glad that Dressler is the one to tell it. Alan knows how to turn a phrase, construct a sentence, and piece together paragraphs that I found myself highlighting, not only for what was said, but how he said it. For all its prosaic goodness, the Great Attractor is a completely alluring topic in the Big Bang revelations.

A great book on the topic of mapping the cosmos.

This is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in astronomy. It tells the story of seven astronomers who would come to be known as the 7 Samurai for their work in researching the topography of the cosmos. Come to find out, the 7 scientists discovered that the Milky Way (as well as the entire Virgo Supercluster) is being pulled towards a huge black "wall" in space that is over 450 million light years across. That phenomena has come to be known as the Great Attractor. Amazingly, the galaxies (and we, too) are moving towards it at an astonishingly 750 miles per second! The book is filled with great facts about astronomy & its history (particularly the groundbreaking discoveries of the 20th century such as the Hubble Redshift). I learned a lot about how astronomy "works" and how the people involved in the field come to understand the data that is rendered them by their equipment. One of the things that Dressler did very well was incorporate the "human element" to the celestial quest for knowledge. He described very nicely the personalities and quirks of the other 6 astronomers & also did a great job of being honest about what happened when things went wrong (often blaming himself for quarrels which broke out). I felt as though I knew all 7 of them personally by the end of the book. This is a nice feature in a science book as in this day & age so many books of the genre come across as cold and indifferent. This is a great book. Buy it, read it and you just might feel compelled to invest in a telescope! (I did!)

Voyage to the Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalatic Space

This is an astonishingly good book. Having spent most of my life ignoring the sky, based on simplistic reasoning of "what's the point?", besides the fact that I found it less than interesting squinching my eyeball into an eyepiece to look at spots of lights, I picked up this book and found that there was much more to Astronomy than met my eye. Having at the same time discovered that CCD (charge coupled device) cameras and compound Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes could photograph deep space objects instantly at a reasonable cost, and could be displayed and edited on my home computer with ease, I became addicted. Alan Dressler has the knack of explaining the complex in terms that can be understood, and he makes Astronomy come alive, particularly when it comes to deep space and the sheer magnitude of space-time. Photons really did leave that galaxy 10 million years ago and are just now reaching your retina, but what does the galaxy look like now and where is it in the time that has elapsed since those photons took off in your direction? You may find yourself rereading parts of it just to try and understand, but I have never seen many of these concepts better explained, and I have done some considerable amounts of reading since my awakening. I am getting a copy for my Astronomy professor (yes, I am auditing a college course despite the fact that it has been 25 years since I graduated from college)as I think that this book is just as useful for novices as professionals. You will not be disappointed, particularly if you are a novice and considering getting into the field of amateur astronomy (astrophotography in my case) but you have to learn the basics first before you charge out there with your brand spanking new telescope and camera. This is a very non-boring way of getting started and turned on! We really are made of the stuff of old stars! Dr. need to write some more books!

A first-hand view of the astronomer's world

Alan Dressler excellently illustrates the politics and personalities behind the scenes in the astronomical world, as well as the actual SCIENCE behind his Great Attractor work. The book is an easy read for those of scientific mind, and will not bog down the novice reader. I heartily recommend VOYAGE TO THE GREAT ATTRACTOR to those interested in galactic astronomy.

Personal Astronomy is Still Alive

This book was a mistake for me. That is, I ordered it in error, and was rather upset when the bill came. Fortunately for me, I gave it a chance and was well rewarded with the rich journals of a fascinating astronomer. It isn't very often that one comes across a text that is both inspiringly artistic while being uncompromising in it's technical content. Dressler has assembled the story of years of research and turned it into an opus of accomplishments, failures, emotions, and friends...a touching and enlightening piece well worth picking up.
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