Accidental Astronomy: How Random Discoveries Shape the Science of Space

Basic: Perseus. Jun. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781541605411. $30. SCI
Will humans will ever find life on other planets or make contact with entities in outer space? That is just one of the topics explored in this latest book by Lintott (astrophysics, Univ. of Oxford; The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse). Perhaps best known for his presenter role on the BBC series The Sky at Night, Lintott is also a leader on Zooniverse, the citizen science platform, and a passionate science communicator who studies galaxy formation. His book focuses on the inadvertent and unexpected nature of findings in the field of astronomy, and it’s a fun and engaging read. It’s brimming with fascinating tales of surprising and often unforeseen discoveries made by scientists—both experts and amateurs—who dared to investigate the fathomless mysteries of the universe.
VERDICT A captivating and approachable narrative. The book’s footnotes are a particular highlight, reminiscent of novelist Terry Pratchett’s witty and humorous writing style. This title is sure to educate and delight general readers and astronomy enthusiasts and will make an excellent addition to any science collection.
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