A guide to the 99% of the Universe our eyes can’t see from a dazzling new voice in popular science
From the discovery of entirely new kinds of galaxies to a window into cosmic ‘prehistory’, Bothwell shows us the Universe as we’ve never seen it before – literally.
Since the dawn of our species, people all over the world have gazed in awe at the night sky. But for all the beauty and wonder of the stars, when we look with just our eyes we are seeing and appreciating only a tiny fraction of the Universe. What does the cosmos have in store for us beyond the phenomena we can see, from black holes to supernovas? How different does the invisible Universe look from the home we thought we knew? Dr Matt Bothwell takes us on a journey through the full spectrum of light and beyond, revealing what we have learned about the mysteries of the Universe.
This book is a guide to the ninety-nine per cent of cosmic reality we can’t see – the Universe that is hidden, right in front of our eyes. It is also the endpoint of a scientific detective story thousands of years in the telling. It is a tour through our Invisible Universe.
Dr Matt Bothwell is Public Astronomer at the University of Cambridge and a science communicator who gives astronomy talks and lectures on almost any area of astronomy, and makes regular media appearances (including local and national TV and radio). When he is not doing outreach, Matt is an observational astronomer, who uses a range of state-of-the-art observing facilities to study the evolution of galaxies across cosmic time.
‘Engaging…this book will be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about how we’ve learned what we know about the Universe.’
— Chris North, BBC Sky at Night
‘Matthew Bothwell’s excellent book is a compelling read. He sets the latest fascinating discoveries in their historical context, and highlights the mysteries that challenge future astronomers. The coverage is comprehensive and clear. The book stands out in a crowded field and deserves very wide readership.’
— Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
‘Matthew Bothwell has opened a new window onto the night sky for his readers… A unique and compelling read that will open your eyes to the beautiful and multifaceted universe that scientists are exploring today.’
— Emily Levesque, author of The Last Stargazers
‘Matt’s book is an excellent introduction to how astronomers have learnt "what’s out there", particularly using radiation invisible to the human eye. He deftly conveys ideas with a cheerful and infectious enthusiasm, using humour, vivid analogies and personal anecdotes to bring our understanding of the Universe to life, without losing any scientific rigour. Highly readable, it offers an increased sense of wonder at the workings of the cosmos.’
— Carolin Crawford, Emeritus Gresham Professor of Astronomy
‘The Invisible Universe shows everything in a new light. In clear language this book takes you from the familiar to the deeply strange, from blue skies to black holes and beyond, showing how much we’ve learned and the immensity of what we have yet to understand.’
— Ken MacLeod, author of the award-winning Fall Revolution series
‘Matt Bothwell guides us through the world of astronomy and astrophysics with an engagingly written, up-to-date view of some of the key current frontiers. He opens our eyes to wavelengths beyond the light we can see. His journey includes galaxies, black holes, star formation, dust, gravitational waves, dark matter and dark energy – all with interesting historical context, accessible explanations and richly peppered with accurate analogies. A compelling read.’
— Andrew Coates, Professor of Physics at UCL and Deputy Director (Solar System) at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory
‘This book bursts with information without once becoming dull or over-complicated. Ideas are introduced at an accessible level, and unique analogies put abstract concepts and almost inconceivable quantities into a context that we can understand intuitively… Some of the core scientific content of this book may have been covered in other popular astronomy books, but rarely in such an engaging, warm, and readable way. Readers of all ages who want to gain a better understanding of the unseen Universe will find something here to enjoy.’
— Astronomy Now
‘Intriguing… In Dr Bothwell’s fascinating new book, we are taken on a cosmic journey… beautifully presented in a way that makes for compelling reading and opens up your mind to the unseen. A book that fully deserves to be on any curiously minded person’s book shelf.’
— Astronomy Ireland
‘A fascinating account that particularly stands out in the crowded field of scientific literature… Explaining difficult concepts in a digestible way, The Invisible Universe is a must-read for those seeking a straightforward route into the world of astronomy. One can’t help being attracted to Bothwell’s infectious passion for science, prompting us to stare out at the night sky and wonder what other discoveries lie hidden amongst the stars.’
‘A highly recommended and enjoyable read, especially if this is your first guidebook for this armchair trip… Dr. Bothwell examines each topic with the right mix of history, anecdote, analogy, science and implications… captivating.’
‘Matthew Bothwell has opened a new window onto the night sky for his readers, taking us on a sweeping tour of some of the most cutting-edge phenomena in the cosmos and using his knack for clear, precise, and inventive explanations to help us all see the unseen. A unique and compelling read that will open your eyes to the beautiful and multifaceted universe that scientists are exploring today.’
— Emily Levesque, author of The Last Stargazers
‘Excellent… a great read… Matthew Bothwell has a sense of wonder and joy about the concepts and ideas he is explaining. His enthusiasm and marvel are contagious… definitely the best book we have read and reviewed in 2022.’
— Simon Cocking, Irish Tech News
‘This is a beautifully articulated and informative book all about the wonders of our universe and the history behind it all. I was drawn to this book because the concept of space and all that’s in it interested me, and reading this has made me even more fascinated. It is truly a page-turner and was really hard to put down once I started reading.’
— SMS Non-fiction Book Reviews