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Astronomy

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Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

HELPFUL VOTES
3013
ratings
REVIEWS
1380
390
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
894
9
  • "Just Right - Not too technical not ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pleasant story of some of the characters and events in astrophysics over the last few decades with a focus on recent data showing the expansion of the universe is unexpectedly accelerating. The characters presented are pleasure to listen to and the level of technical detail is nice for a general audience without being boring to a technical reader. The narration is really good for this kind of material.

    More

    The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (563)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (404)

    Over the past few decades, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown. Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called “dark energy”. This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize.

    Adam says: "Excellent survey of Cosmology and Astrophysics"
  • "Detailed and makes key points - not..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend downloading the PDF. If you can???t understand the PDF without reading the book ??? don???t bother. Now if you find the PDF fascinating, then try the book. It is really not a book that does well with audio unless you are already very familiar with the subject and have excellent multidimensional visualization skills. This book has a truly excellent description of entropy and the second law it is worth it just for that analysis. I don???t find the overall thrust of the book compelling, but it points out very important defects of the basic big bang theory which must be addressed one way or another.

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    Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Roger Penrose
    • Narrated By Bruce Mann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

    Darkcoffee says: "Difficult, Awe-inducing and Fascinating"
  1. The 4 Percent Universe: D...
  2. Cycles of Time: An Extrao...
  3. .

A Peek at CHESTER's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
38
 
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 121 REVIEWS / 589 ratings Member Since 2007 1 Followers / Following 0
 
CHESTER's greatest hits:
  • The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

    "HIGGS BOSON"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sean Carroll is a theoretical cosmologist and senior research associate at the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His most recent book is “The Particle at the End of the Universe” which is focused on the story of Higgs boson, the widely and incorrectly termed “god particle”, that may have recently been found by CERN with Large-Hadron-Collider’ experiments. (HIGGS BOSON PARTICLE CONFIRMED 7/4/2012.)

    Carroll explains that experimental proofs of quantum mechanics are the reason Higgs boson, or something like it, must exist. That is why the discovery is so important. Higgs boson is the field in which known particles of the universe gain mass. Without Higgs boson or something that works like Higgs boson, life would not exist.

    Carroll offers other insights—about symmetry, super-symmetry, and breaking symmetry. He touches on dark matter and string theory. All are interestingly presented.

    In general, Carroll crystallizes the importance of theoretical and experimental science. When listeners finish “The Particle at the End of the Universe, they will understand why Higgs boson is a magnificent discovery and the LHC is worth a nine-billion-dollar investment.

  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

    "COSMOLOGY"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “The 4% Universe” is an exploration of dark matter and dark energy by creative writing academic Richard Panek. Panek has won science and non-fiction writing awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

    Perhaps because Panek is not a scientist, it seems “The 4% Universe” is more about Sciences' human drama than scientific understanding. For example, Panek’s explanation of candle power to determine the distance of Supernovas from earth lacks clarity because his focus is more about competition among scientists than definition and understanding of candle power and its cosmological significance; Panek writes more about names and actions of people than about 96% of the universe that awaits discovery.

    Panek suggests science has not reached cosmology’s destination; because it is Science it never will, but it is on a road that leads to a better understanding of where life came from, how it exists, and maybe, how it ends.

    Panek shows cosmology has evolved from astrology to physics. The study of the cosmos reveals a convergence of the miniscule with the unfathomably large.

    Panek’s book is interesting but using the World Wide Web for additional information is needed to make the book worth its purchase price.

  • The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

    "THE FATE OF EARTH"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are many theories about the origin and fate of earth. They range from religion to science to science fiction. Robert Hazen’s theory revolves around minerals, time, and Darwinism.

    The nature and history of earth suggest yesterday, today, or tomorrow may be the beginning of the end for human life. Hazen suggests, as long as space-ship-earth is humanity’s only safe harbor, human survival is probabilistic.

T. Harms

T. Harms South Dakota 11-05-13 Member Since 2012
HELPFUL VOTES
3
ratings
REVIEWS
7
1
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
0
0
  • "Well Written and Read"

    3 of 3 helpful votes
    Would you listen to Death by Black Hole again? Why?

    Yes. There is a lot of information available in the book, I don't think it is possible to glean everything from the book in a single read or listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Dion Graham does an amazing job reading the book.


    What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

    The excitement in his voice was contagious.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Simple humans trying to understand an immense universe.


    More

    Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (1939)
    Performance
    (1126)
    Story
    (1128)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"

What's Trending in Astronomy:

  • 4.4 (6872 ratings)
    A Short History of Nearly Everything (






UNABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Richard Matthews

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6872)
    Performance
    (2682)
    Story
    (2691)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
  • 4.3 (454 ratings)
    Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon (






UNABRIDGED) by Craig Nelson Narrated by Richard McGonagle

    Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Craig Nelson
    • Narrated By Richard McGonagle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (217)

    A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind. At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon.

    Joseph says: "DeJavous"
  • 4.3 (385 ratings)
    How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming (






UNABRIDGED) by Mike Brown Narrated by Ryan Gesell

    How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Brown
    • Narrated By Ryan Gesell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (233)

    The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

    Rickapolis says: "Informative and fun"
  • 4.5 (256 ratings)
    Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Richard Wolfson

    Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Wolfson
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (226)

    "It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics.

    Joel says: "Enjoyable lecutre"
  •  
  • 4.4 (237 ratings)
    The Modern Scholar: Astronomy I: Earth, Sky and Planets (






UNABRIDGED) by James Kaler

    The Modern Scholar: Astronomy I: Earth, Sky and Planets

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By James Kaler
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (122)

    The heart of this course examines the planets themselves, and reveals how they are constructed and how they differ from one another. By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.

    Anthony says: "Wow... just wow"
  • 4.5 (175 ratings)
    The Modern Scholar: Astronomy II: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (






UNABRIDGED) by James Kaler

    The Modern Scholar: Astronomy II: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By James Kaler
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (85)

    As far as we can see there are countless other galaxies of all shapes and sizes set within an ever-expanding space that was created in a "Big Bang" nearly 14 billion years ago. Along with solutions to old puzzles, however, come new riddles, as most of our Universe appears to be in the form of some kind of unseen "dark matter" and incomprehensible "dark energy" whose natures and origins remain unfathomable.

    R. David Mintz says: "Absolutely awesome!"
  • 4.4 (99 ratings)
    Rocket Boys (






ABRIDGED) by Homer H. Hickam Narrated by Beau Bridges

    Rocket Boys

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Homer H. Hickam
    • Narrated By Beau Bridges
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    In this uniquely American memoir, Homer "Sonny" Hickam beautifully captures a moment when a dying town, a divided family, and a band of teenage dreamers dared to set their sights on the stars. Looking back after a distinguished NASA career that fulfilled his boyhood ambition, Hickam shares the story of his youth, taking listeners into the life of the little mining town and the boys who came to embody both its tensions and its dreams.

    Travis says: "Hard to put down"
  • 4.4 (92 ratings)
    Moon Shot: The Inside Story of Man's Greatest Adventure (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Parry Narrated by John Chancer

    Moon Shot: The Inside Story of Man's Greatest Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dan Parry
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    ‘It didn’t matter that they were now three miles beyond their target site, that communications were dropping out and that they were running low on fuel. All that mattered to Neil as he searched for a safe spot to land was that boulders littered the surface below. “Thirty seconds,” called mission control. In truth, the flight controllers were now no more than spectators, just like everybody else. No more needed to be said. It was down to Armstrong

    Jean says: "Fascinating"
  • First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began (






UNABRIDGED) by David Deamer Narrated by Michael Lenz

    First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By David Deamer
    • Narrated By Michael Lenz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life's connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals, water, and atmosphere, and the physics and chemistry of carbon compounds.

    Gary says: "Not for the faint of heart"
  • Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon (






UNABRIDGED) by Craig Nelson Narrated by Richard McGonagle

    Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Craig Nelson
    • Narrated By Richard McGonagle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (217)

    A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind. At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon.

    Joseph says: "DeJavous"
  • The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries  by The Great Courses, Neil deGrasse Tyson Narrated by Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson

    The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Everything we now know about the universe - from the behavior of quarks to the birth of galaxies - has come from people who've been willing to ponder the unanswerable. And with the advent of modern science, great minds have turned to testing and experimentation rather than mere thought as a way of grappling with some of the universe's most vexing dilemmas. So what is our latest picture of some of the most inexplicable features of the universe? What still remains to be uncovered and explored by today's scientists?

    Prescotttom says: "Wow! I never knew!"
  • Lord Martin Rees: Life and the Cosmos  by Martin Rees Narrated by Martin Rees

    Lord Martin Rees: Life and the Cosmos

    • ORIGINAL (55 mins)
    • By Martin Rees
    • Narrated By Martin Rees
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It's famously called the Final Frontier, and thanks to rapidly developing technology we now know more about the outer reaches of our galaxy than ever. But that leaves unknowns. Lord Martin Rees, speaking before a live audience at Melbourne University Melbourne, Australia, on March 30, 2010.

  • The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter (






UNABRIDGED) by Katherine Freese Narrated by Tamara Marston

    The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Katherine Freese
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe - from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars - constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science - what is the universe made of? - told by one of today’s foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter.

  • The Planets and the Solar System (






UNABRIDGED) by Jen Green Narrated by Ruth Sillers

    The Planets and the Solar System

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jen Green
    • Narrated By Ruth Sillers
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Living busily on Planet Earth, we rarely remember that we actually inhabit only a miniscule part of the universe. In The Planets and the Solar System, Jen Green paints the wider picture, and takes us on a journey across billions of kilometers in our galaxy, from our Sun to near and distant planets. Some, like Mercury, have a molten core surrounded with crust and spins quickly; Jupiter, on the other hand, is a big ball of gas.

  •  
  • Lucky Planet: Why Earth Is Exceptional - and What That Means for Life in the Universe (






UNABRIDGED) by David Waltham Narrated by Richard Dadd

    Lucky Planet: Why Earth Is Exceptional - and What That Means for Life in the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Waltham
    • Narrated By Richard Dadd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    We have long fantasized about finding life on planets other than our own. Yet even as we become aware of the vast expanses beyond our solar system, it remains clear that Earth is exceptional. The question is: Why? In Lucky Planet, astrobiologist David Waltham argues that Earth’s climate stability is what makes it uniquely able to support life, and it is nothing short of luck that made such conditions possible. The four-billion-year stretch of good weather that our planet has experienced is statistically so unlikely that chances are slim that we will ever encounter intelligent extraterrestrial others.

    Russell T. Stauffer says: "Wordy blathering barely-organized, etc"
  • The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light (






UNABRIDGED) by Paul Bogard Narrated by Paul Bogard

    The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Paul Bogard
    • Narrated By Paul Bogard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left. A starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In The End of Night, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art.

  • Kak ustroena Vselennaja: [All that you want to know about the Universe] (






UNABRIDGED) by Brajan Hejbl Narrated by Alexander Tkachev

    Kak ustroena Vselennaja: [All that you want to know about the Universe]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 16 mins)
    • By Brajan Hejbl
    • Narrated By Alexander Tkachev
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Novye miry, planety i zvezdy, nevidimye prostranstva i chernye dyry. Vse jeto - nasha Vselennaja. Prostejshie i odnokletochnye, kvarki, adrony i nejrino - jeto tozhe vse nasha Vselennaja. Milliardy galaktik i solnechnyh sistem… Ne mozhet byt', chto by my byli odni vo Vselennoj. Hotite uznat' eshhe bol'she? Togda jeta kniga - dlja vas!