Reviews of The Violent Universe

"A complete and engaging history of astronomy as seen through X-ray eyes . . . Weaver's easy-to-understand text does an outstanding job of bringing high-energy science to a wide audience. Esoteric concepts like black-hole physics and active galactic nuclei are explained with grace and clarity. The Violent Universe stands out as an excellent look at the heavens in a way that only our space telescopes can capture by anyone can appreciate." -- Sky & Telescope

"Within these pages, Kimberly Weaver has done an excellent job of compiling a selection of images that demonstrate both the scientific value offered by x-ray observation and the sheer beauty of the cosmos. By comparing x-ray images with those made with visible, infrared, and radio telescopes, she shows how modern astronomers use the all-wavelength approach to the study of space, which offers the best hope to advance our understanding of the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy, and of the origin and evolution of the universe. Weaver has made it possible for everyone to share in this great intellectual adventure." -- Riccardo Giacconi, from the foreword

"People often look puzzled when Kimberly Weaver tells them she is an X-ray Astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University in the US. 'What's X-ray Astronomy?' they invariably ask. Her solution is simple: she shows them one of the spectacular images obtained using X-ray telescopes like Chandra or XMM Newton. Orbiting the Earth because our atmosphere only lets through visible, radio and some microwave frequencies, these space-based observatories have captured in stunning detail the X-rays emitted by galactic collisions, supernova explosions, quasars, stellar implosions and other extreme cosmic events. Indeed, thanks to developments in X-ray instrumentation and telescopes, the sensitivity of such observations have increased a billion-fold over the last 40 years. In The Violent Universe: Joyrides Through the X-ray Cosmos, Weaver presents stunning full-colour X-ray images of the universe and explains what they tell us about the cosmos." -- Physics World

"College-level collections strong in astronomy yet seeking acquisitions general interest readers would also enjoy would do well to consider professor/astronomer Kimberly Weaver's The Violent Universe: Joyrides Through The X-Ray Cosmos. The history and changing technology of x-ray astronomy is revealed, from its beginnings in the 1950s when the first artificial satellites began transmitting to modern-day x-ray telescopes. Beautiful color images of quasars, black holes and more captured by x-ray satellite Chandra are presented along with a fine explanation of the new worlds and environments discovered through x-ray astronomy. With its emphasis on color photos and science mixed with an easy reading style, The Violent Universe is sure to captivate beyond a readership of astronomy students alone." -- Library Bookwatch

"Our universe is filled with enormous cataclysms-supernova explosions, galactic collisions, and stellar implosions--but until recently, many of these events went unseen, with the launch of X-ray-discerning satellites in the late 20th century, many of these events became available for study and interpretation. This book is filled with spectacular full-color X-ray images collected by these satellites, especially the Chandra X-ray Observatory, launched by NASA in 1999. Chandra, which orbits Earth at a distance more than a third of the way to the moon, collects data without interference. Earth's atmosphere and most telescope-mirror surfaces absorb and thus obscure X rays. Author Weaver, an adjunct professor of astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, explains how X-ray astronomy works and describes what its practitioners have discovered about the universe. She starts with the development of the technique in the 1950s and in subsequent chapters describes and shows what X rays reveal of stars, galaxies, black holes, supernovas, and more. Many of the book's X-ray images appear side by side with visible-light images collected by the Hubble Space Telescope and other powerful observatories. The comparisons show the wealth of information available to modern astronomers." -- Science News

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