The Cosmic Keyhole

How Astronomy Is Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe

  • William J.H. Gater

Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Water and the Search for Life in our Solar System

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 2-2
    2. Will Gater
      Pages 3-11
    3. Will Gater
      Pages 13-25
    4. Will Gater
      Pages 27-48
  3. Our Active Solar System

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 50-50
    2. Will Gater
      Pages 51-76
  4. Worlds Around Other Stars

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 98-98
    2. Will Gater
      Pages 99-114
    3. Will Gater
      Pages 115-133
  5. The Universe at Large

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 136-136
    2. Will Gater
      Pages 137-153
    3. Will Gater
      Pages 171-186
    4. Will Gater
      Pages 187-212
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 213-239

About this book


It is 400 years since Galileo first turned the newly invented telescope towards the heavens and saw things that few had ever seen before. His discoveries, along with those of his contemporaries, completely changed our view of the world.

Since that time, there have been many revolutions in our understanding of the universe, some perhaps even more revolutionary than the ones from Galileo’s time. In this book, Will Gater leads us through various recent advances in modern astronomy that have increased our understanding of the universe and seen it grow from a single Solar System full of intriguing worlds to a galaxy filled with other star systems and their own planets — maybe even Earthlike worlds.

This is a journey like no other. What you glimpse through Gater’s keyhole is vast, breathtakingly beautiful, and sometimes utterly bizarre, certainly unfamiliar to those of us on Terra Firma. From the desolate plains of Mars and the frozen moons of the outer Solar System, from the Milky Way to the ends of the universe, you will learn of wonders often hard to describe and sometimes even harder to fathom. And you, too, will come to know some of the enthralling secrets of the universe.


Big Bang Extrasolar planets Extremophiles on Earth Gamma Ray Burst Habitable zone Milky Way Universe astronomy latest discoveries astronomy life solar system

Authors and affiliations

  • William J.H. Gater
    • 1
  1. 1.Newton AbbotUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 2009
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4419-0512-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-0513-0
  • Series Print ISSN 1614-659X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site