A Review of Our Accidental Universe

On a pleasant late April evening I went to see Chris Lintott at the Queen's House Greenwich as part of the Flamsteed Astronomical Society. There Chris was doing a talk focused around his new book Our Accidental Universe. So I thought I would leave a quick review of both the talk and the book.

Chris Lintott has been a long time presenter on the Sky at Night, but as a fan of the late Sir Patrick Moore
Chris mid way through his talk
Chris midway through his talk
 I was curious if he would be able to present with the same enthusiasm. Especially as the deeper you go into the scientific detail there is a danger that some of the majesty of what you are describing would be lost.

However, I needn't have worried Chris is a natural and passionate speaker who enthralled the audience with past astronomical discoveries.

I think the book, Chris's third. Is best summed up by the phrase go explore, keep an open mind and you never know what you might find.

What was surprising was the early focus on aliens, but what is astronomy for but to discover what is out there. It also did a good job of hooking the reader.

Of course I had to get a signed copy!
It then goes on to cover Enceladus the moon of Saturn this moon was due to be ignored by the Cassini space probe after detecting a high electromagnetic field a close pass was made and discovered to have geysers ejecting salty water into space. Indicating a potential ocean beneath the icy moon. While this is not the only moon with a potential ocean, it is the only one you can sample without a complex mission to penetrate it's surface.

The book then leads on to many other subjects from interstellar objects, meteorites and the big bang.

But some how Chris ties everything together giving a nice overarching story of some of the most interesting discoveries of the last hundred years written in a easily accessible manner. Which, makes it an easy read and not dry in the slightest an unfortunate problem that afflicts a lot of astronomy books. I recommend you read the footnotes it added immensely to my enjoyment of the book. 

The best astronomy book I have read so far this year. So all in all I can thoroughly recommended Our Accidental Universe!

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