The Kingfisher Book of the Universe is a comprehensive and informative guide to our planet and beyond. Spectacular state-of-the-art illustrations offer a close-up look at our planet, the solar system and into the most far-flung corners of our universe. The opening chapters lay bare the structure of the earth from the outer surface to the inner core and examine the story of life on Earth, as well as the great natural forces that have shaped the planet. The central section takes a closer look at the oceans and marine exploration, revealing amazing underwater landscapes and creatures that live there. The final section breaks free from Earth's gravity to explore the solar system, galaxies, black holes and the Universe's fascinating web of space and time. Along the way the reader will discover what happened in the first few seconds after the big bang, and find out how the Universe may end. Resources include a glossary, factfile, and index.