The definitive guide to understanding the key breakthroughs and discoveries mankind has made to unravel the mysteries of the Cosmos. This engaging and fast-paced narrative debunks the urban myths of astronomy, revealing the true stories beyind our biggest breakthroughs. Starting with the discovering that Stonehenge was actually built to celebrate the winter solstice rather than the summer, the book leads us through history to reveal that the telescope was not invented by Galileo, Einstein did not predict the presence of black holes or the Big Bang and Copernicus’s theory that the Sun was at the centre of the Universe might have actually disappeared without a trace had it not been for the efforts of one of his fanatical disciples.
Couper and Henbest also uncover the unsung heroes and heroines who have been overlooked in the history of scientific endeavour. These stories include the computer engineer who has discovered more exploding stars in his back garden than anyone else in history, the teacher who developed the basis for radio astronomy and the sanitary engineer who found evidence of Life on Mars. Finally, they investigate today’s space missions to the most enigmatic worlds of the Solar System, and ask the perennial question, is there life out there?