Was the Universe once a “cosmic egg,” and if so how long ago did that egg explode, hurling flying fragments—including our Earth—into incredibly distant outer space? Will the Universe go on expanding forever? Is it dying? Or is it unborn and eternal?
Quasars, supernovae, and red and white dwarfs—they are all part of our Universe. In this exciting book these terms—and many others, such as X-ray stars, BSO’s, exploding galaxies, and neutrino bombardment—come alive with meaning. Many new developments in astronomy such as pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes are explained.
Starting with a small patch of the Earth’s surface, Isaac Asimov takes the young reader on mankind’s greatest adventure into the unknown: a journey to the ends of the observable Universe, about 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away. Lucidly and without condescension he shows how this amazing enlargement of man’s grasp of his physical environment was carried through in 2500 years and by means of that most powerful and wonderful of all instruments—the questioning human mind.
This comprehensive survey introduces the young reader to the mysteries of time and space by stressing the drama and excitement of scientific reseach. To the Ends of the Universe will guide the beginning student and will stimulate those already fascinated by the vast dimensions of astronomy to further explorations in the field.
Or The Universe lite.
Asimov’s publishers occasionally pressured him to produce a juvenile version of a better-selling science text (such as The Chemicals of Life was of Biochemistry and Human Metabolism, although the latter never sold well). In the case of The Universe, he agreed.
The result is a slim book, one-third the length of The Universe, hitting all the same major points in a simpler fashion. It has all the strengths and weaknesses of the longer book and would be entirely appropriate for a younger audience were the science not so badly behind the times.