Astrophysics For People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson

At one time or another every one of us has looked up at the night sky and wondered: What does it all mean? How does it all work? And, what is my place in the universe?

I just absolutely love the way Neil deGrasse Tyson writes. It’s just so good. This book was captivating from the beginning, and even though is barely 200 pages it encompasses a lot. I don’t know if this is like a “for dummies” version of the stuff, because I did read a bit of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and I’ve watched the entire tv show, so I have a small amount of knowledge, however I dare say that it is easy to follow, and Neil’s writing is responsible for that. Also the jokes he uses sometimes are hillarious, this book has humor about space I love it.

Anyways, here we go from the very early birth of our universe, to discussions about gallaxies, dark matter, dark energy (which I had never heard of before!), periodical elements explained within astrophysics (who knew more than 2/3 of my body’s atoms are hydrogen ones?), the spectrum of light, planets, exoplanets, and well, the closing chapter is the most poetic one and it reflects on the future of the cosmic perspective.

Whenever I’m reading about space in a scientifc kind of way, I always feel small, but there is such a comfort, at least for me, in knowing that there are so much bigger things out there, that there is a whole big universe happening that I am a part of. It could be depressing (and that is even discussed here as well) but for me it’s just like a huge relief, like I’m being embraced by the cosmos itself and it says “you’re part of this”.

Every one of our body’s atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnaces within high-mass stars that exploded more than five billion years ago. We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.

Not only this is incredibly poetic in writing, but in my eyes it is also poetic in it’s essence. I don’t understand much about math and physics and it’s equations and concrete concepts, but when put in words like that my mind just clicks. And I love it.

I recommend this book to everyone, because for me it is truly an essencial read.

We do not simply live in this universe. The universe lives within us.

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