24. February 2019
Written by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dive in to any chapter, it matters not where you start: Between the Galaxies, Dark Matter, Invisible Light - the author brings you up to speed quickly with fun language and insights. If you are drawn to the night sky especially (like me), this book helps put together the larger story and context that gives those moments more awe. Where common yet incredible technology is abstracted to a phone in your pants pocket, it's fascinating to read about the physics (Astro or otherwise) that became the foundation for our high tech life.
Some random quotes and passages:
"Nobody doesn't like intergalactic space, but it can be hazardous to your health if you choose to go there. Let's ignore the fact that you would freeze to death as your warm body tried to reach equilibrium with the 3-degree temperature of the universe. And let's ignore the fact that your blood cells would burst while you suffocated from the lack of atmospheric pressure. These are ordinary dangers. From the department of exotic happenings, intergalactic space is regularly pierced by super-duper high-energy, fast-moving, charged, subatomic particles. We call them cosmic rays. The highest-energy particles among them have a hundred million times the energy that can be generated in the worlds largest particle accelerator."
"Earths mountains are also puny when it compared with some other mountain in the solar system. The largest on Mars, Olympus Mons, is 65,000 feet tall and nearly 300 miles wide at its base. It makes the highest of Earths mountains look like molehills. The cosmic mountain building recipe is simple: the weaker the gravity on the surface of an object, the higher its mountains can reach. Mount Everest is about as tall as a mountain on Earth can grow before the lower rock layers succumb to their own plasticity under the mountains weight."
"Whether you prefer to sprint, swim, walk, or crawl from one place to another, you can enjoy close-up views of our planet's unlimited supply of things to notice. You might see a vein of pink limestone on the wall of a canyon, a ladybug eating an aphid on the stem of a rose, a clam shell poking out from the sand. All you have to do is look.
From the window of an ascending jetliner, those surface details rapidly disappear. No aphid appetizers., No curious clams. Reaching cruising altitude, around seven miles up, and identifying major roadways becomes a challenge."