Secrets of the Universe

How We Discovered the Cosmos


World-renowned astronomer Paul Murdin tells the stories of key astronomical discoveries.


ISBN: 9780500295199 Category:

Paul Murdin


How did our universe come to exist? Why do stars shine? Is there life beyond the Earth?

For millennia, humans have looked to the celestial sphere to explain the cosmos,first recording the movements of the Moon 25,000 years ago. Since the Enlightenmentand the dawn of the space age, scientists have been unravelling cosmic mysteries, andraising astonishing new questions for future generations to answer. Today we live inan age of unprecedented astronomical revelation, from the discovery of water on Marsto the detection of gravitational waves and the first photograph of a black hole.

World-renowned astronomer Paul Murdin explains the science behind these discoveries, along with the passions, strugglesand quirks of fate that made them some of the most intriguing dramas of their times,demonstrating how human ingenuity and technological innovation have expandedour knowledge of the Universe beyond anything our ancestors – even as recently asa generation ago – could ever have imagined.

Additional information

Weight 336 g
Dimensions 19.7 x 12.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 26 March 2020
Number of pages 352
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 19.7 x 12.9 cm
Weight 336 g


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Paul Murdin, OBE, has worked as an astronomer in the UK, the USA, Australia and Spain, and discovered the first stellar black hole, Cygnus X1. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, former president of the European Astronomical Society and Senior Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. In 2012 Asteroid 128562 was named 'Murdin' by the IAU in honour of his contributions to the field. His book Secrets of the Planets was published in 2019.