A fresh look at some of the universe’s weirdest astronomical phenomena and the people who study them.
Observations in 2015 proved that black holes create gravitational waves when they collide—but, as Latta points out, that’s hardly the only string in their bows, because they also sing, dance, belch, and blow bubbles! Along with lucidly explaining the significance of said waves in our relativistic universe, the author describes how black holes are formed and how they behave, at least to our current understanding. She does this in such lively language that attentive readers will come away with firm grasps of a host of cosmically slippery notions, from the Chandrasekhar limit and the Schwarzschild radius to Fermi Bubbles and “spaghettification.” She also gives “major props” to the scientists who imagined and then actually found black holes, and she profiles five researchers (all white, but three are women) who are currently engaged in probing their secrets. The photos, graphics, and diagrams are small but sharp, clear, and helpful. The black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A-star”), headlines a closing gallery of “All-Star Black Holes,” and annotated lists of recommended reading and viewing provide deeper dives into the topic.
An up-to-date excursion past the boundaries of Newtonian physics: “Crazy!” as the author aptly puts it. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)