The best books to really understand the first science: astronomy

David A. Aguilar Author Of Space Encyclopedia: A Tour of Our Solar System and Beyond
By David A. Aguilar

The Books I Picked & Why

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

By Dava Sobel

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

Why this book?

In 1609, Galileo Galilei pointed his hand-made 30-power telescope at the sky and became the first person to see the craters and mountains on the moon, the phases of Venus, the dynamic moons of Jupiter, and a new multitude of faint stars hidden in the Milky Way. This beautiful book is a historical memoir of science, faith, and devotion. It is a triumphant story of love shared between a father and daughter who may have been a polymath like her famous dad who was dubbed “The greatest light of our time”.

Dava Sobel is a master storyteller and through the prose of ancient recovered letters exchanged between Galileo and his daughter sequestered in a convent, we hear Galileo’s voice, sense his pain and excitement as he changes the history of science, religion, and the world forever.


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Building Blocks of the Universe

By Isaac Asimov

Building Blocks of the Universe

Why this book?

A recognized genius in his own right, Isaac Asimov takes us on an easy-to-read tour-de-force through the most basic elements that make up everything. Spoiler Alert: It’s not just sugar and spice. Anyone who has the slightest curiosity regarding astronomy, diet, health, cooking, physics, or chemistry should read this fabulous, easy-to-understand guide. It reveals what you and I are really made of. All that “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” stuff becomes crystal clear.

It is full of interesting anecdotes ranging from why the Hindenburg was never a great idea, the water that quenches fire is composed of two elements that explode when separately exposed to flame, and how life uses oxygen to function and survive. The Building Blocks of the Universe are just what Isaac Asimov says they are….the foundations of everything that exists.


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The Brightest Stars: Discovering the Universe Through the Sky's Most Brilliant Stars

By Fred Schaaf

The Brightest Stars: Discovering the Universe Through the Sky's Most Brilliant Stars

Why this book?

The stars have captivated hunter-gatherers, artists and astrologers, sages and scientists, romantics, and civilizations since the beginning of human time. 

In this book we encounter the twenty-one brightest stars visible from earth and dig into their remarkable secrets. Did you know some giant stars spin so fast they flatten out like eggs? There are stars that pulse back and forth like beating hearts? And some stars are cosmic interlopers passing through our Milky Way galaxy on their way back into the void of forever space. This is my go-to book when I want to refresh my imagination with wondrous facts about the stars blazing overhead. It should be within handy reach of every star-struck observer, camper, or poet.


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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

By Peter D. Ward, Donald Brownlee

Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

Why this book?

Some people may think “Hail Caesar” coursing through Frank Drake’s equation on the possibility and abundance of intelligent life out there in the universe. But hold up Hoss, Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee are about to pour cold water all over Frank’s imaginative equation. This was the first book to offer an accurate assessment of the possibility of life among the stars beyond slime, sludge, and bacteria. Intelligent life, capable of technology and communications, may be rarer than we ever imagined.  This is barn-burning thought provoking-informative and sobering look at how unique the sometimes intelligent human species may really be.


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The Science Of Aliens

By Clifford A Pickover

The Science Of Aliens

Why this book?

This marvelous book will rock and sock the fun part of your brain when it comes to the possibilities of alien life out there among the stars. The Science of Aliens provides authoritative speculation on a whole range of possibilities including bizarre alien body structures, enhanced senses, capabilities, life at the edge, alien sex, social structures, religion, and lifestyles. 

If you like captivating mental gymnastics and broad, almost humorous depictions of alien life as seen in Hollywood films and sci-fi books, then run, fly, leap, scurry, scoot, teleport or slime your way to the nearest bookstore and pick up this gem. Remember, in this universe, ALL of us are aliens!


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