The best books on the universe from Hubble to Hubble

David H. DeVorkin Author Of The Hubble Cosmos: 25 Years of New Vistas in Space
By David H. DeVorkin

The Books I Picked & Why

Edwin Hubble

By Gale E. Christianson

Edwin Hubble

Why this book?

Comprehensive biography of the astronomer who confirmed that the universe is made of galaxies, and the galaxies are all moving away from one another. Based upon extensive archival research including diaries from the Hubble family.


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Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington: Volume 1, the Mount Wilson Observatory: Breaking the Code of Cosmic Evolution

By Allan Sandage

Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington: Volume 1, the Mount Wilson Observatory: Breaking the Code of Cosmic Evolution

Why this book?

Exhaustive descriptive and semi-technical history of the observatory where Hubble spent most of his career, using the 100-inch Hooker reflector to explore the visual limits of the known Universe. Sandage, himself a famous astronomer and Hubble successor, places Hubble’s life and career in lucid institutional context.


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The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics

By Robert W. Smith

The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics

Why this book?

Award-winning, highly authoritative, comprehensive, and accessible history of the long campaign for a large space telescope by astronomers and NASA program officers. One of the most penetrating studies of how NASA constructs and operates major space missions, and how access to space has changed “what it means to be an astronomer.”.


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Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime

By Elizabeth A. Kessler

Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime

Why this book?

A penetrating, creative, and highly accessible exploration of how the incredible images from the Hubble Space Telescope were selected and produced. Most intriguing and revealing is an analysis of the context of these images within the history of frontier landscape art.


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Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut's Story of Invention

By Kathryn D. Sullivan

Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut's Story of Invention

Why this book?

Highly exciting and engaging first-hand account by an astronaut of launching and then repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. The author provides her personal profile as a “Sputnik Baby,” life in science, and becoming the first female astronaut to leave the Shuttle.


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