Thursday, February 5, 2009

The sky is falling (and that's the least of our worries)

From astronomer Philip Plait, he who brought us Bad Astronomy (the website, the blog, the book -- could a Broadway show be far behind?), a wonderful new book: Death from the Skies: These Are the Ways the World Will End.

In a word ... kudos!

This is an excellent (and highly enjoyable) astronomy and cosmology popularization. It's structured as a survey of the many ways life on Earth, or Earth itself, or the universe itself, has its days numbered. There's a disaster here for every taste, from asteroid strike to the Big Rip, with lots more catastrophes at varying scales in between. Each hypothetical hazard motivates a survey of the related science.

What's your pleasure? Errant black holes? Gamma ray bursters? Nearby supernova? All in there -- and more.

I found glossed-over details here and there over which I could quibble -- but I'll keep 'em to myself. This was a fun, entertaining read.


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