Galaxies and the Cosmic Frontier
William H. Waller and Paul W. Hodge
For the past twelve billion years, galaxies have emblazoned the Universe, bringing
form to the firmament, light to the void. These gigantic realms, each one containing
millions to trillions of stars, delineate an expanding cosmos of wondrous complexity
and activity. Using groundbased and spaceborne telescopes, astronomers have
made tremendous progress in understanding galaxies – what they are made
of, how they formed, and how they have evolved. This book acquaints readers
with the nature of galaxies and of their lives over cosmic time, from their
emergence shortly after the Hot Big Bang to their ongoing gyrations and transmutations.
Orienting us with an insider’s tour of our cosmic home, the Milky Way,
William Waller and Paul Hodge then take us on a spectacular journey, inviting
us to probe the exquisite structures and motions of giant spiral and elliptical
galaxies, to witness the transformative dramas of colliding and erupting galaxies,
and to pay our respects to the most powerful galaxies of all – the quasars.
Along the way, the authors elucidate the accumulating evidence for dark matter
in and among galaxies and for dark energy as a critical arbiter of the expanding
Universe. They then guide us farther out in space and back in time to the cosmic
frontier, where incipient galaxies, the mysterious microwave background radiation,
and the cosmic expansion itself manifest a primeval Universe that was radically
different from what we know today. Featuring the latest observations and most
compelling theories, this book provides a firm foundation for exploring the
more speculative reaches of our current understanding.
William H. Waller is Research Associate Professor of Astronomy at Tufts University
and co-founder of NASA’s New England Space Science Initiative in Education
(NESSIE). Paul W. Hodge is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University
of Washington and editor-in-chief of the Astronomical Journal.
Here is a link to the original Introduction: