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The 20th edition of the Atlas of the World has been completely updated and revised. Changes include: Additions Include: According to current theory, in the first millionth of a second of its existence it expanded from a dimensionless point of infinite mass and density into a fireball about the size of our present Solar System and it has been expanding ever since. It took about , years for the primal fireball to cool enough for atoms to form.
They were mostly hydrogen which is still the most abundant material in the Universe. The radiation from this era still pervades the Universe, though its subsequent expansion means that we see it at about 3 above. Observations of this faint background glow reveal slight fluctuations.
It is these which appear to have become, over the next billion years or so, the large-scale structures in the present Universe. As well as the matter which we can see, there is evidence of a much greater quantity of dark matter whose nature remains unknown. Within knots of this dark matter, the first stars and galaxies formed, probably within the first billion years of the life of the Universe. Our own Galaxy was among them. There were several generations of stars, each feeding on the wreckage of its extinct predecessors as well as the original galactic gas swirls.
With each new generation, pro-. About 9 billion years after the Big Bang, a star formed on the outskirts of our Galaxy with enough matter left over to create a retinue of planets.
Nearly 5 billion years after that, human beings evolved. The Sun is one of more than billion stars in the Home Galaxy alone. Our Galaxy, in turn, forms part of a local group consisting of approximately 30 similar structures, mostly small dwarf galaxies but a few large ones, and one the Andromeda Galaxy larger than our own. There are at least billion galaxies in the Universe, many of which are members of huge galaxy clusters.
The duration of this hydrogenburning period known as the main sequence depends on the stars mass; the greater the mass, the higher the core temperatures and the sooner the stars supply of hydrogen is exhausted. Dim, dwarf stars consume their hydrogen slowly, eking it out over billions of years. The Sun, like other stars of its mass, should spend about 10 billion years on the main sequence; since it was formed less than 5 billion years ago, it still has half its life left. Once all of a stars core hydrogen has been fused into helium, nuclear activity moves outward into layers of unconsumed hydrogen.
For a time, energy production sharply increases: Its energy output will increase a thousandfold, and it will swell to a hundred times its former diameter.
After a few hundred million years, helium in the core will become sufficiently compressed to initiate a new cycle of nuclear fusion: The star will contract somewhat, before beginning its last expansion, in the Suns case engulfing the Earth and perhaps Mars.
In this bloated condition, the Suns outer layers will break off into space, leaving a tiny inner core, mainly of carbon, that shrinks progressively under its own gravity. The white dwarf star thus formed can attain a density more than 10, times that of normal matter, with crushing surface gravity to match.
Gradually, the nuclear fires will die down, and the Sun will reach its terminal stage: Black holes However, stars more massive than the Sun may undergo a different transformation.
The additional mass allows gravitational collapse to continue indefinitely: The star has become a black hole: Although vast coruscations of radiation will be emitted by any matter falling into its grasp, the singularity itself has an escape velocity that exceeds the speed of light, and nothing can ever be released from it. Within the boundaries of the black hole, the laws of physics are suspended. The center is invisible from the Earth, masked by vast, light-absorbing clouds of interstellar dust.
The Galaxy is probably around 12 billion years old and, like other spiral galaxies, has three distinct regions. The central bulge is about 30, light-years in diameter.
The disk in which the Sun is located is not much more than 1, light-years thick, but approximately , light-years from end to end. Around the Galaxy is the halo, a spherical zone , light-years across, studded with globular star clusters and sprinkled with individual suns. Accorging to one theory top of diagram, below , the expansion begun at the time of the Big Bang will continue indefinitely, with aging galaxies moving further and further apart in an immense, dark graveyard.
Alternatively, gravity may overcome the expansion bottom of diagram. Galaxies will fall back together until Many of the Universes billion galaxies show clear structural patterns, originally classified by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble in Spiral galaxies like our own have a central, almost spherical bulge and a surrounding disk composed of spiral arms. Barred spirals have a central bar of stars across the nucleus, with spiral arms trailing from the ends of the bar.
Elliptical galaxies have a more uniform appearance, ranging from a flattened disk to a near sphere. M51 was the first astronomical object in which a spiral structure was identified, in Although smaller and less massive than our own Galaxy, M51 is much brighter, due to recent star formation. The first theory is supported by the amount of visible matter in the Universe; the second theory assumes that there is enough dark material in the Universe to bring about the gravitational collapse.
Most galaxies, however, have no obvious structure at all. Galaxies also vary enormously in size, from dwarf galaxies only 2, light-years across to great assemblies of stars 80 or more times larger.
Many of the nearest stars, like Alpha Centauri A and B, are double stars, orbiting about their common center of gravity and to all intents and purposes equidistant from Earth.
Many of them are dim objects, with no name other than the designation given to them by the astronomers who first investigated them. However, they include Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and Procyon, the seventh brightest. Both are larger than the Sun; of the nearest stars, only Epsilon Eridani is similar in size and luminosity. Most of the other bright stars in the sky are within light-years of the Sun a small fraction of the diameter of our Galaxy.
The Oxford Atlas guarantees endless hours of contented browsing. Entertainment Weekly Resting the large, heavy volume in my lap and inhaling the ink from its coated pages offers sensuous escapism of a high order.
The New York Times A page-turning stroll through the continents. Chicago Tribune This authoritative volume is the standard by which others will be measured. Boston Herald Breathtaking.
School Library Journal. ATLAS WORLD The benchmark by which all other atlases are measured Key Features The only atlas to be updated annually Fascinating features including world statistics tables, in-depth opening sections on Will the World Run Out of Food and The Future of the Oceans, an Introduction to World Geography, and an A-Z Gazetteer of Nations Stunning satellite imagery and sophisticated digital mapping Well-designed interior for heightened accuracy and easy locating Sophisticated digital mapping showing detailed political and topographical information with exceptional brightness and clarity Comprehensive index with thousands of historical names, geographical features, and cities with full latitude and longitude coordinates.
Opening with world statistics and a colorful, instructive page Introduction to World Geography; beautifully illustrated with tables and graphs; this acclaimed resource provides details on numerous topics of geographic significance such as climate change, food and water supply, biodiversity, energy, global conflict, and landforms.
This milestone 20th edition includes a new six-page opening section on The Future of The Oceans, a new spread on food production as part of the Will the World Run Out of Food? Country descriptions have been updated to reflect the latest developments around the world, and existing maps now depict dozens more man-made and natural features, such as the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala and a major new container port in Brazil.
New inset maps of Hainan province in China and the United Arab Emirates colored for political boundaries offer expanded coverage of these regions. The biggest change has been the steady digitization of all the map content.
Since the first edition premiered it has been effectively recompiled and has gone from an entirely film-based atlas, manually revised, to a fully digital product. The locator maps are in black and white.
The first eight digitally produced maps of Europe are included. New maps of Alaska, Greenland, Hawaii, and the Southeast United States are added, and marks the first use of mapping from the European digital database.
The images are called stunning by Library Journal. Baghdad was added to the 67 maps of major cities around the world. New U. Whats New The 20th edition of the Atlas of the World has been completely updated and revised. According to current theory, in the first millionth of a second of its existence it expanded from a dimensionless point of infinite mass and density into a fireball about the size of our present Solar System and it has been expanding ever since.
It took about , years for the primal fireball to cool enough for atoms to form. They were mostly hydrogen which is still the most abundant material in the Universe. The radiation from this era still pervades the Universe, though its subsequent expansion means that we see it at about 3 above absolute zero instead of its original 3,C.
Observations of this faint background glow reveal slight fluctuations. It is these which appear to have become, over the next billion years or so, the large-scale structures in the present Universe. As well as the matter which we can see, there is evidence of a much greater quantity of dark matter whose nature remains unknown.
Within knots of this dark matter, the first stars and galaxies formed, probably within the first billion years of the life of the Universe. Our own Galaxy was among them. There were several generations of stars, each feeding on the wreckage of its extinct predecessors as well as the original galactic gas swirls.
With each new generation, pro- gressively larger atoms were forged in stellar furnaces, and the Galaxys range of elements, once restricted to hydrogen and helium, grew larger. About 9 billion years after the Big Bang, a star formed on the outskirts of our Galaxy with enough matter left over to create a retinue of planets.