by Richard Sherman
Galaxies by Govert Schilling
Hardback $32.99 on Amazon
If you are fascinated by galaxies and love great photos of galaxies, then this is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed Govert Schilling’s book—the writing was excellent, the photographs were outstanding, and the graphics were well-done.
A large, expensive, hardback book like this must have great photographs, and this book is packed with fascinating images—dozens are spread over two pages which makes for exceptional viewing. For example, pages 220-221 show 27 images of galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope that are, or are almost colliding. Very cool. The photo credits listed at the back of Galaxies span two full pages and four packed columns. In short, the pictures alone are worth the price of the book.
The graphics are also helpful and well done. My favorite is perhaps the graphic (page 168) that shows the movement through space of the Laniakea Supercluster of galaxies. Then on page 210, a two-page spread shows four galaxies as they appear today, and how they might have looked four billion and 11 billion years ago.
There are six chapters: Our Milky Way, Cosmic Neighbors, A Gallery of Galaxies, Monsters and Gluttons, Galaxy Clusters, and Birth and Evolution. The writing is excellent, and complex subjects, like the Epoch of Reionization, and Dark Energy are handled with enough detail to provide a basic understanding, but without so much detail that your head starts spinning.
I will end with a quote. In noting that matter only constitutes about 4% of the universe, Schilling writes, “The true nature of this mysterious dark energy is still unknown. Nor do we know whether there may be a relationship to the equally mysterious dark matter already mentioned in this book. The fact is that the universe hasn’t become more comprehensible in recent decades.”
This is a wonderful book to add to your “astro library” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.