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Publisher's Summary

From the Big Bang to the Gaia Mission, this is a very personal history of the universe through the author's favourite 100 stars.

Astronomer Florian Freistetter has chosen 100 stars that have almost nothing in common. Some are bright and famous, some shine so feebly you need a huge telescope. There are big stars, small stars, nearby stars and faraway stars. Some died a while ago, others have not even yet come into being. Collectively they tell the story of the whole world, according to Freistetter. There is Algol, for example, the Demon Star, whose strange behaviour has long caused people sleepless nights. And Gamma Draconis, from which we know that the earth rotates around its own axis. There is also the star sequence 61 Cygni, which revealed the size of the cosmos to us.

Then there are certain stars used by astronomers to search for extra-terrestrial life, to explore interstellar space travel, or to explain why the dinosaurs became extinct.

In 100 short, fascinating and entertaining chapters, Freistetter not only reveals the past and future of the cosmos, but also the story of the people who have tried to understand the world in which we live.

©2019 Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, München (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

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  • Matthew Skinner
  • 07-03-22

Cosmic Tour de Force

I loved this book. 100 short stories makes for a fast-paced barrage of wonderful facts and explanations. As soon as I finished I began again as there was so much to absorb. And I am glad I did as it was just as enjoyable the second time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-22

The best audiobook on astronomy that I own

This is a great listen. As the title says, it’s divided into a hundred self-contained chapters and each chapter is properly labelled so you can find things again later: ALL audiobook producers should do the same. The translation from the original German is seamless and the reader is absolutely excellent. I could listen to him all day and he’d obviously done his homework because there are none of the pronunciation howlers that mar so many technical books. There’s a fair bit of physics detail but each new definition is described in detail as it comes up, and thereafter the listener is treated as a grown-up and is assumed to have understood what has already been explained. Recommended without reservation.

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  • Michael G.
  • 05-01-22

Utterly superb

The best audiobook on astronomy.
Over 100 short chapters he covers all the history and current developments in astronomy.
I loved this audiobook!