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  • Mapping the Heavens

  • The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos
  • By: Priyamvada Natarajan
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Summary

Mapping the Heavens provides a tour of the "greatest hits" of cosmological discoveries - the ideas that reshaped our universe over the past century.

The cosmos, once understood as a stagnant place filled with the ordinary, is now a universe that is expanding at an accelerating pace, propelled by dark energy and structured by dark matter. Priyamvada Natarajan, our guide to these ideas, is at the forefront of the research - an astrophysicist who literally creates maps of invisible matter in the universe. She not only explains for a wide audience the science behind these essential ideas but also provides an understanding of how radical scientific theories gain acceptance.

The formation and growth of black holes, dark matter halos, the accelerating expansion of the universe, the echo of the big bang, the discovery of exoplanets, and the possibility of other universes - these are some of the puzzling cosmological topics of the early 21st century. Natarajan discusses why the acceptance of new ideas about the universe and our place in it has never been linear and has always been contested even within the scientific community. And she affirms that, shifting and incomplete as science always must be, it offers the best path we have toward making sense of our wondrous, mysterious universe.

©2016 Priyamvada Natarajan (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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science in the messy hands of humans

A fascinating mix of well-explained scientific concepts, a history of cosmology, and inciteful biography.

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A marvelloius account, well-told.

For anyone interested in cosmology, past, present and future, this is a must-listen. Brilliantly researched and presented, it requires concentration and attention but this effort is extremely well worth it and rewarding.

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Intelligent presentation that doesn’t lose the layman.

The audio book gives a good overview, without the technical detail, of the key developments in astronomy. It is clear what we think we know, and what we know we don’t. The book also touches on how science works in practice. Personalities may act as a temporary stop on acceptance of truth, but the scientific method leads to an ever closer approximation of the truth in a way which seems lacking in, say, politics.

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  • AJ Rothman
  • 27-01-17

Unoriginal and nothing special

If you have already listened to several other audible books on this topic, and then wanted to write a book about those big moments, it's this book.

Lots of science books must recap historic moments, but this book is a recap of those recaps, recapped into a single book of recaps recapped. Enjoy!

She gives credit to some authors when its due. But it's just the same exact story. I'm positive she listened to the same audiobooks I did and just wrote about it. Im almost positive. She does add a little bit of original knowledge, but it's not enough.

If you're new to this area in science, and have no idea who did what, and how, by all means this is a very solid recap of those major events.
Do you know what pigeons and the cosmic microwave background have in common? Do you know who Edwin Hubble is ? If you answer is no, then enjoy this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • KJE
  • 02-11-20

I would have loved to listen to this...

The narration was terrible. Wayyyy to all over the place. Tone and emphasize on word parts of the sentence. Generally, over dramatized. Fell flat. No Lasting impression.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Johnhmd
  • 30-09-21

An excellent Overview of the state of cosmology.

I enjoyed the balance between the history and sociology cosmology. It provides a clear explanation of how the discipline arrived at the current consensus.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-21

Wonderful

I’ve listened to several books on similar topics, really enjoying this one, listening now for third time.

Note—on this book and others on cosmology & science I’ve seen poor reviews re: narration. I listen to all my Audible books (over 100, all non-fiction) on 0.8 speed. I’d recommend folks play with the speed (slower or faster) if you don’t care for the Narration. It helps in my opinion.

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  • MGGGK9
  • 15-02-22

Good stuff

Information is a little dated due to the changing nature of science, but overall good book.