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The Invisible Universe

Why There's More to Reality than Meets the Eye

Published by Oneworld Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
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From the discovery of entirely new kinds of galaxies to a window into cosmic ‘prehistory’, Bothwell shows us the Universe as we’ve never seen it before – literally.

Since the dawn of our species, people all over the world have gazed in awe at the night sky. But for all the beauty and wonder of the stars, when we look with just our eyes we are seeing and appreciating only a tiny fraction of the Universe. What does the cosmos have in store for us beyond the phenomena we can see, from black holes to supernovas? How different does the invisible Universe look from the home we thought we knew? Dr Matt Bothwell takes us on a journey through the full spectrum of light and beyond, revealing what we have learned about the mysteries of the Universe.

This book is a guide to the ninety-nine per cent of cosmic reality we can’t see – the Universe that is hidden, right in front of our eyes. It is also the endpoint of a scientific detective story thousands of years in the telling. It is a tour through our Invisible Universe.

‘Matt’s book is an excellent introduction to how astronomers have learnt ‘what’s out there’, particularly using radiation invisible to the human eye. He deftly conveys ideas with a cheerful and infectious enthusiasm, using humour, vivid analogies and personal anecdotes to bring our understanding of the Universe to life, without losing any scientific rigour. Highly readable, it offers an increased sense of wonder at the workings of the cosmos.’

– Carolin Crawford, Emeritus Gresham Professor of Astronomy

‘Matthew Bothwell’s excellent book is a compelling read. He sets the latest fascinating discoveries in their historical context, and highlights the mysteries that challenge future astronomers. The coverage is comprehensive and clear. The book stands out in a crowded field and deserves very wide readership.’

– Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

The Invisible Universe shows everything in a new light. In clear language this book takes you from the familiar to the deeply strange, from blue skies to black holes and beyond, showing how much we’ve learned and the immensity of what we have yet to understand.’

– Ken MacLeod, author of the award-winning Fall Revolution series

‘Matt Bothwell guides us through the world of astronomy and astrophysics with an engagingly written, up-to-date view of some of the key current frontiers. He opens our eyes to wavelengths beyond the light we can see. His journey includes galaxies, black holes, star formation, dust, gravitational waves, dark matter and dark energy – all with interesting historical context, accessible explanations and richly peppered with accurate analogies. A compelling read.’

– Andrew Coates, Professor of Physics at UCL and Deputy Director (Solar System) at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory

‘Matthew Bothwell has opened a new window onto the night sky for his readers, taking us on a sweeping tour of some of the most cutting-edge phenomena in the cosmos and using his knack for clear, precise, and inventive explanations to help us all see the unseen. A unique and compelling read that will open your eyes to the beautiful and multifaceted universe that scientists are exploring today.’

– Emily Levesque, author of The Last Stargazers