Short review of the book, The Discovery of the Universe, by Carolyn Collins Peterson

I was able to see a presentation by Dr. Peterson when she spoke at a meeting of the Denver Astronomical Club, November 2020. Since her book is not in any Colorado libraries, I ordered it for myself.

I found the book to be a great source of information concerning observatories all over the world. She provides a lot of information about the instruments and history of how and why they were constructed, what sorts of things the instruments were designed to observe, how much data they are gathering or plan to gather, and more.

I liked the chapter 7 on Observatories of the Future. It was a little more readable than the other chapters. As a Denver person, I am glad that she mentioned two DU observatories. They were historic Chamberlin Observatory on page 107 and the Meyer-Womble Observatory on page 213. She misspelled Chamberlin as Chamberlain.

She did have several other typos, such as confusing Purdue University using the word Perdue instead. I also feel that the book really could have used an index. For example, if I wanted to see what sections of the book covered observatories in Chile, I would have to search the whole book. If it had an index, I would be able to see what pages covered the large number of observatories in Chile.

Overall, I really liked the book. Now I may have to find some of the other books that she has written.

Two mini book reviews on comets, asteroids, and astrophysics

I’ve been reading a lot more books than usual this year, for some reason. I don’t read a lot, so it has been nice to get back into reading more books.

Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids and the Birth of the Solar System was really good. I really liked chapter 8 on the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. I find it fascinating how the little Philae lander bounced around the comet before coming to rest in a low section. It was still able to do good and unique science on the way there.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry was written by Neil deGrasse Tyson back in 2017. I had been meaning to read it for a while, and it was a good quick read. My favorite chapter was the last one on the Cosmic Perspective. I liked this line:

The cosmic perspective opens our eyes to the universe, not as a benevolent cradle designed to nurture life but as a cold, lonely, hazardous place, forcing us to reassess the value of all humans to one another. (Page 206.)

History of the Science Library Domain

From 2001 till at least December 22, 2009, I had the domain set up in my personal space at the University of Denver as a URL redirect to:

Because of the way that DU redid personal website links (around 2006 or 2007), the internal links no longer work, so these are the internal pages at:

I also saved the content to the Archive at various times.

Then in 2009, I learned that I could have Tumblr host it as a blog, and I could have the URL redirect there instead of redirecting to my personal webspace at the U of Denver. But, Tumblr has a less than stellar reputation in the blogging world.

So, in November 2020, I moved ownership of the domain from Network Solutions to Reclaim Hosting. This is where you see the website now. I hope I can keep it here for more than another 10+ years.