Shrouds of the Night: Masks of the Milky Way and Our Awesome New View of Galaxies
By David Block and Kenneth Freeman
"The authors research dark subjects, and in this book, they present images and data to help readers understand what‚ going on within galaxies. Shrouds of the Night takes you on a whirlwind tour of astronomy photograph history right up to present-day digital imaging. Present-day astronomical and cultural images make Shrouds of the Night a fascinating read." — Michael Bakich, Astronomy, March, 2009
"This is a beautiful large format book, written by two astronomers who have each spent a life time studying dark matter. This is a must-have‚ book for those interested in the history of astronomy, and an ideal gift for any young aspiring astronomer." — Colin Montgomery, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Vol.12 (1), 2009
The Milky Way has captivated the mind of multitudes ever since the beginning of time. Particularly striking are its apparent dusty gaping voids. With the advent of near-infrared technology, astronomers have discovered an awesome new view of its structure, and of the structure of other galaxies around us. Galaxies are encased within Shrouds of the Night: shrouds or veils of cosmic dust, which have given us a totally incomplete picture of what our majestic Universe actually looks like. In this book, we feature some of the remarkable early photographic work of masters such as Isaac Roberts and Edward Barnard, before presenting to the reader the unmasked (dust penetrated) view of our cosmos, using some of the world's largest ground and space-based telescopes.
"Shrouds of the Night‚ sounds like the title for some supernatural mystery. But when you open up David Block and Kenneth Freeman's big new book you find... Well, a supernatural mystery. Not another photo compilation - but a history, a celebration, and a score or more of quite luminous speculations. It‚ a look far out in space, and back in time, and deep inside ourselves and our capacity for inquiry and wonder. Our greatest scientific minds share its pages with our most suggestive literary voices. And such is its subject and its coauthors‚ own imaginative powers, that it rises not infrequently to the level of poetry itself. It is no surprise those you would expect to find in a book like this - Einstein and Newton, Copernicus and Galileo, Kepler and Hawking - all make their appearance, but it is quite a surprise, and a delight to hear from T.S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett, Mark Twain and Albert Camus, Tagore and Proust as well, and to take a trip not only to Andromeda, but also to New Guinea, and to gaze upon the moon in Africa. A creation of many parts, you might think. Yet like creation Itself, a harmonious whole." — Richard Kaplan of the Harvard Coop book shop