Wednesday 25 May 2016

Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe preview

Due out next month from National Geographic is Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe - The True Science Behind the Starship Voyages, a new book by Andrew Fazekas that contextualises the Star Trek universe with the real world science of today. The press release for the book gives a nice overview:
As Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary in September, this big, beautiful beginner’s guide to the cosmos – planets, starts, galaxies and beyond – reveals the real science behind its fantastic and beloved fictions, inviting readers to step outside, gaze up at the night sky, and observe some of the destinations the Starfleet has visited. Fazekas takes Star Trek fans and astronomers alike on an incredible journey into space, starting with specific Star Trek voyages, explaining the science behind them, and guiding them in observing and learning more about the real-universe corollaries of planets and places in the Star Trek universe. Stunningly illustrated with more than 400 full-color images – some artists' interpretations and some real images generated by the most recent NASA missions – plus 50 maps alongside stills of beloved Star Trek scenes and characters, STAR TREK: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is sure to open readers’ eyes to the fascinating world of astronomy while giving them a treasured bit of Star Trek memorabilia.

Every chapter is a voyage of discovery. From Altair to Vega, from red giants to white dwarfs, from solar system exoplanets only beginning to be imagined, the book visits dozens of celestial objects, spotlighting some 20 in careful scientific detail and offering easy-to-follow star-gazing instructions to find them in the night sky. No warp-driven starship, not even a telescope is required to go on these voyages: Most destinations are bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. This inventive book blends science and fiction, making learning fun and making Star Trek's 50th all the more worthy of celebration.  
The Star Trek Facebook page has now released preview pages from the book. While the book has an emphasises the astronomy of Star Trek - Which we can certainly see here in the star charts and discussion of astronomical objects - These previews also reveal an exploration of other aspects of the Star Trek universe, such as alien life, and pondering how close we are today to Star Trek technologies such as the universal translator and shuttlecraft. Continue below to have a look:

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