Chasing Hubble's Shadows

The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time

Jeff Kanipe

Hill and Wang

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Chasing Hubble’s Shadows is an account of the continuing efforts of astronomers to probe the outermost limits of the observable universe. The book derives its title from something the great American astronomer Edwin Hubble once wrote: “Eventually, we reach the dim boundary—the utmost limits of our telescopes. There, we measure shadows, and we search among ghostly errors of measurement for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial.”
 
The quest for Hubble’s “shadows”—those unimaginably distant, wispy traces of stars and galaxies that formed within the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang—takes us back, in effect, to the beginning of time as we are able to perceive it, when the first discrete stellar objects appeared out of what has lately come to be known as the “cosmic dark age.” The information that is being gleaned from these dim sources—chiefly with the aid of Hubble’s namesake, the Hubble Space Telescope—promises to yield clues to many cosmic puzzles, including the nature of the mysterious “dark energy” that is now believed to pervade all of space.

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Excerpted from Chasing Hubble’s Shadows by Jeff Kanipe. Copyright © 2006 by Jeff Kanipe. Published February 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved

1

HUNTING FOR SNARKS

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

—Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark”

“The cup of the Big Dipper contains over four hundred galaxies,” said the planetarium director, emphasizing his remark by rapidly circling the famous star grouping

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Reviews

Praise for Chasing Hubble's Shadows

“A fast-paced tour . . . [Kanipe’s] enthusiasm is bound to excite and inspire.” —New Scientist
 
“Part history, part detective story, and even part travelogue . . . This book will be both instructive and enjoyable for anyone with an interest in the night skies.” —Science News
 
“A vivid description of how astronomers work and how ideas develop . . . If general readers are happy to leave a few technical details unexplained, they will be able to enjoy this entertaining approach to the mysteries of our Universe. Anyone curious about the mechanisms of our world will be thrilled by the book.” —Patrick Petitjean, Nature

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About the Author

Jeff Kanipe

Jeff Kanipe is an independent science journalist, specializing in astronomy, cosmology, and planetary science. His most recent book was A Skywatcher’s Year.

Jeff Kanipe

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Available Formats and Book Details

Chasing Hubble's Shadows
The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time
Jeff Kanipe

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hill and Wang
January 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374707224
ISBN10: 0374707227
224 pages, Includes 8 Pages of Color Illustrations, a Bibliography, and an Index
$7.99
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Hill and Wang

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