Astronomy for the utterly confused
by Terry Jay Jones
Here an astronomy professor and a popular science writer team up to fill you in on all the essentials of modern astronomy. From the solar system and the constellations to space-time, gravity, and quantum physics, you'll go on a fascinating journey through the cosmos, becoming acquainted with the most recent astronomical phenomena and concepts, and dozens of fun facts.
Chasing Venus : the race to measure the heavens
by Andrea Wulf
"On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the Earth and the sun in more than a century. Through that observation, astronomers could calculate the size of the solar system--but only if the transit could be viewed at the same time from many locations. Overcoming incredible odds and political strife, astronomers from Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, and the American colonies set up observatories in remote corners of the world only to have their efforts thwarted by unpredictable weather and warring armies. Fortunately, transits of Venus occur in pairs: eight years later, the scientists were given a second chance to get it right. Chasing Venus brings to life this extraordinary endeavor: the personalities of eighteenth-century astronomy, the collaborations, discoveries, personal rivalries, volatile international politics, and the race to be first to measure the distances between the planets"--Provided by publisher.