Origins pp 177-210 | Cite as

The History of Galaxies

Part of the Astronomers’ Universe Series book series (ASTRONOM)


It is March 1999. I am on a plane on my way out to use the telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. This is a long journey: a very early morning start in Cardiff (so early that people are still leaving the night clubs), the coach down to London; the nine o’clock United Airlines flight to San Francisco — duration 12 hours; the flight from San Francisco to Honolulu — duration five hours; and finally the 40-minute hop from Honolulu to Hilo on the Big Island. It is a journey I do several times a year and all that time on planes away from distractions should be a great opportunity to catch up on work. Somehow I never quite manage it. I pack my bag full of recent scientific papers from my research field which I have yet to read and, in case I just don’t feel like science, I put in one of the classics from my bookcase which I have been meaning to read for ages. Usually, however, after half an hour on the plane I am flicking through the channels on the entertainment system and reading the in-flight magazine about what to do in Seattle on a two-day mini-break. The good book remains unread and I read instead the two mysteries I bought in the airport bookstore.


Elliptical Galaxy Distant Galaxy Faint Galaxy Space Telescope Science Institute Hubble Deep 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

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