Plus a bunch of useful stuff. In a month when we have been heard hearing about all things alien, from everything from it’s good news that they probably don’t exist through to they might be hoarding stars… here is a book that has it all in one place:
From Sophia Centre press: An anthology of works stemming from the ninth Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena conference.
Editors: Nicholas Campion & Chris Impey
Series: Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Vol. 9
Publisher: Sophia Centre Press, 2018
Format: Paperback, 352 pp.
Human beings have long imagined what other worlds are like. They have imagined travelling to them, have endowed them with meaning and mystery, and have fantasised about the beings that inhabit them. This anthology brings together chapters from astronomers, historians and writers who are inspired by the sky, and who originally gathered at the conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena at London’s Gresham College in 2015. Its topics range from the representation and exploration of the sky in the arts, architecture and literature, and from the ancient world to the digital age.
This unique volume describes the richness of human encounters with astronomy. In twenty-six papers, it spans cosmic and human time, starting with the beginnings of the universe, continues with the architecture of Christopher Wren, the astronomical operas of Philip Glass, science fiction by Italo Calvino, and ends with speculations about the Last Days of our universe. The first piece by Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of England, is truly extraordinary in the cosmic reach of topics and the clarity of his explanations of items like dark energy, multi-universes, black holes, and neutron stars. I doubt that anyone who reads this volume could avoid being stunned by the crescendo of breakthroughs we are now experiencing in astrophysics and by the fascinating variety of human activity that has been inspired by the heavens. – — J. McKim Malville, University of Boulder, ColoradoMore.
One stop shopping for serious stuff, and aliens if we must. Add it to your cart before July 8 for the discount.
See also: The Atlantic asks experts where the aliens are, seriously
Physicist: It’s good news that aliens likely don’t exist. And a space entrepreneur’s surprising reaction…
Question of the hour: Are space aliens hoarding stars in an expanding universe? If the aliens are really advanced, they can shop for stars in the past and the future and have them delivered. There’s nothing wrong with this stuff at all except that it isn’t science. It uses the trappings of science, in the same way perhaps as Hollywood Bible movies use the trappings of religion. The more “daring” the stuff is, the more likely it is to be off the track.
At Forbes: About extraterrestrial life, “fancy probabilistic analysis” just isn’t science All true. But that said, we have found complex organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, which should provide a basis for genuine research. From a minimalist perspective, what if we encounter a number of instances where the setting seems to be right but life or intelligent life is markedly absent? In certain situations, persistently not finding something can be a source of information. (Ethan Siegel)