Cover Image: To Infinity and Beyond

To Infinity and Beyond

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Member Reviews

In partnership with StarTalk’s producer, Lindsey Nix Walker, Neil DeGrasse Tyson takes the reader on an exploration of space, history of exploration and related technologies, and how we got up there. He includes lesser known and more commonly known facts, primary sources, photographs, and intermingling sidebars to further explain scientific concepts and the history of space exploration.  

The information provided is fascinating, engaging, and easy to understand. The photographs and provided information is stunning and awe-inspiring. The authors do a great job deconstructing science fiction form tv shows and movies, technology in them, and problems related to the fictional technologies. The presentation of all the information, however, mostly lacks cohesion and an end goal purpose. Overall, a good book for those who like Michio Kaku’s books, science fiction, space, history of space exploration, and science. Recommended for most library collections. 

Please Note: A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. No other compensation was received.
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As always, I learned a lot from the author. Always eye opening, informative and I come away knowing more than I could have expected.
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Quick Synopsis: This book takes the reader on a trip through space and time, starting on earth and moving to our planetary neighbors and then to the depths of space. It even sprinkles in time travel, black holes, and worm holes.

Strong Points: If you’re a space lover, this book is for you. It breaks down complex problems into everyday language that is easy to understand in the clever and witty way Neil deGrasse Tyson is famous for. I loved the pop culture references that were peppered in to connect scientific points to everyday life. It’s also a bonus that so many beautiful pictures of space were included.

Weak Points: There were a few planets that I wish they would have expanded upon. Just as I was getting into the gas giants (Jupitar and Saturn), they moved onto the next chapter. 

Writing Style: 4.5/5 
Plot: 4/5 
Flow/Pacing: 4/5 
Overall Rating: 4/5
Highly Recommend
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To Infinity and Beyond brings us the story of our solar system - it's history and its current state of being as well as the history of how objects ,such as planets, were discovered, to the story of the thoughts and studies of the possibilities of other planets, and what would make them habitable for life - astrobiology.

Personally, I found this book interesting yet difficult to totally understand and digest.  For me, I believe, my issue was due to a lack of knowledge of enough astronomy and astrophysics for complete comprehension.  Even with that said, this lack of knowledge does give me impetus to learn and re-read To Infinity and Beyond with the hope of getting more out of the booj.
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Thank you Netgalley and National Geographic for access to this arc. 

Who knows when a human first looked upwards and realized there was an out-there to wonder about. We have cave paintings and rock carvings dating to 40,000 years ago that depict not only animals but also comets, meteors, and constellations. Now, we’ve got really cool methods to learn about what is “up and out there.” But before we head off into space, we need to know all about our planet. From those early examples of humans thinking about what’s up in the sky, through discussions about the different levels of Earth’s atmosphere, air pressure, the Coriolis Effect, where’s the best location on Earth to place your launch facility, Felix Baumgartner’s “jump from the edge of space,” to all the junk now circling the planet we learn some pretty amazing stuff.

Then it’s time to look at our solar system starting with our sun (it emits all colors so actually it’s white rather than yellow/amber) that depends on “thermonuclear fusion—the contained nuclear bombs that continuously detonate within the Sun’s hot, dense core—[as] the only defense against its own gravity, the only thing preventing its collapse.” You’d think Mercury would be blazing hot but its shadowed canyon temperatures actually stay far below freezing. Venus is a hellscape of greenhouse warming gone insane but no, the Earth probably will never equal that.

Our Moon not only affects Earth’s tides but has also slowed, and continues to slow, our planet down as our days once zipped by in about five hours. It was his study of the orbit of Mars that led Kepler to develop his laws of planetary motion. At one point in history, four planets – Vesta, Ceres, Juno, and Pallas – were thought to be in the space between Mars and Jupiter. The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter is 1300 times the size of Earth which is not as big as the longest lasting storm in the solar system – the Great Red Spot. The ring system of Saturn extends millions of miles from the planet but in most places is only a few hundred feet thick. The British discoverer of Uranus, which has vertical rings and orbits on its side, tried to name it after George III while Neptune has the fastest winds in the solar system. As for Pluto and Planet X — Pluto is now counted as a dwarf planet and Planet X never existed. Sadly we still don’t know much about the outer edges of our solar system.

Now when we head into outer space, my mind begins to stutter. What is “space” and what is “gravity?” Is space empty and is there zero gravity? No, the cosmic “vacuum” isn’t empty and all objects exert a force of gravity that extends to infinity. Hello spacetime continuum. LeGrand points, Mach speeds, supernova shockwaves, and the theory that in our past, nearby (50 light years) supernovae contributed to extinction events on Earth intrigued me. Ask yourself, if we are surrounded by billions of stars all constantly emitting light (which travels through the “vacuum” of space) why is the night dark. Then let the authors explain why.

The last section – whoa. It takes us “where space and time warp beyond recognition. We travel into the past and into the future; we move at speeds faster than light; and we recognize, as far as our human awareness can carry us, what it means to travel to infinity and beyond.” Special relativity, dark energy, and time dilation are beautifully described but still make my head hurt thinking about them. Quantum foam … let’s not even go there. Time travel, alas, doesn’t appear to be possible or at least if it is, then why did no one from the future travel back to Steven Hawking’s Reception for Time Travelers?

The book is strewn with breathtaking photographs. Little nuggets of interesting history and science facts are tucked in amongst the discussions. The Incredible Hulk? Not so credible. Maverick surviving an ejection from a fighter traveling at Mach 10? He’d end up like a bug on a windshield. Most space travel and time travel in movies – all wrong. Remember – the Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you. Let this book help you when the Universe thumbs its nose at you. B
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I just finished reading "To Infinity and Beyond," and let me tell you, it's like taking a mind-blowing trip through the universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson as your guide. This book is a special mini season of the acclaimed StarTalk podcast, and it's a must-read for anyone who's curious about the universe and wants to have a blast while learning.

Tyson, the world-famous astrophysicist, teams up with StarTalk's senior producer, Lindsey Nyx Walker, to make complex topics like planetary science and astrophysics totally accessible. They bring a refreshing mix of authority and humor to explain everything from our solar system to the farthest corners of space. This isn't your typical dry science stuff – it's infused with Tyson's wit, charm, and everyday examples that make you go, "Aha, I get it now!"

The book is packed with colorful illustrations, vivid photos, and art that transport you through time and space. You start from the Big Bang and journey through the universe, encountering mind-bending concepts along the way. What's even cooler is how Tyson connects science with pop culture, giving us a peek behind the scenes of Hollywood's space triumphs and blunders.

Starting with our home planet, Tyson unravels the mysteries of Earth's atmosphere, sunlight, and the missions that have unveiled the secrets of our cosmic neighbors. But hold on tight, because things get weirder as you venture out. Ever wondered about the difference between a void and a vacuum? How about the dual nature of light as both a wave and a particle? Tyson's got your back.

As you venture deeper into outer space, you'll dive into parallel worlds, black holes, time travel, and other mind-blowing phenomena. And, let's not forget, Tyson's signature takedown of sci-fi inaccuracies (and nods to the things they got right) is a treat for any science lover.

One thing that really stood out to me is how Tyson breaks down complex concepts into understandable bits. Whether you're a die-hard science enthusiast or just someone curious about the universe, you'll find something to enjoy. Plus, the book is loaded with photos that complement the explanations, making it easy to grasp even the trickier stuff.

I can totally see this book being used as an introduction to astronomy course material. It's a prime example of clear and engaging pop science writing. Tyson's passion for the subject shines through every page, and his ability to make intricate ideas relatable is truly commendable.

In conclusion, "To Infinity and Beyond" is a delightful journey that blends knowledge and entertainment seamlessly. It's a simple yet remarkable book that demystifies astronomy and cosmology for everyone, regardless of their background. Neil deGrasse Tyson's approachable style, combined with the captivating illustrations, makes this book a gem for those eager to explore the wonders of the cosmos.
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To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery is a typical book by the one and only Neil deGrasse Tyson (here in duo with Lyndsey Nyx Walker), done in his trademark manner: simple but not too simplistic, explained in a way that makes complicated concepts easily accessible, and peppered with gentle humor. We get some basic astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology starting with the tour through our cosmic backyard upwards from the atmosphere and through the Solar System, interstellar travel, quantum physics, origins of spacetime, wormholes and possibility of time travel and parallel universes. 

(Oh yeah, and a reminder that poor little Pluto indeed isn’t a planet - of course.)

It’s a book for beginners, I’d say — or those of us who may be a bit better versed in the science described than the intended audience but are fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson, like yours truly. It’s a great introduction to the subject and can get even non-science-inclined readers genuinely interested in astronomy.

Along the way Tyson points out the scientific errors in popular movies, and I loved each takedown dearly, even of the movies I’ve enjoyed.

“Early in Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Tom Cruise’s character ejects as a test pilot from a jet flying at Mach 10.5—approximately 7,000 miles per hour. In the next scene, he’s calmly walking back to base. The hypersonic shock waves at that speed would have flattened him like a bug on a windshield. Just saying.”
“Without added mass, the fearsome Hulk might be as squishy as a marshmallow, but less cuddly. A single punch to his fluffy core would send him bopping down the street like a beach ball. A scientifically credible Hulk would make a lousy superhero. Perhaps the most compelling unanswered question in Hulk’s superhero story is, How do his pants stay on? They must be the stretchiest, strongest cargo pants in the universe. Now that’s a material NASA would love to replicate.”

Very enjoyable, very clear and a few hours well-spent.

4.5 stars, rounding up.

Thanks to NetGalley and National Geographic for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The foremost science educator of our generation, Neil deGrasse Tyson answers our questions about space.  What is out there and how does it look, act and even smell.  Take a journey through space and time with Tyson and Walker as they explain things in an easy to understand manner.
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A simple but notable book on the basics of astronomy and cosmology. I love how the author writes it how most anyone can understand. I loved how it started us back in history and built up to modern things going on in the solar system today. I enjoy reading and watching sci-fi so I love how he added in a section on the flaws and truths involved in sci-fi that currently exist. I was thinking I wanted physical copies of his books as I was reading it. I am not a science enthusiast but I was loving the knowledge and wanting to have it in physical to refer back too. I also loved the added photos to refer to. This added to the knowledge for me because I might not have known some of the things he was referring to otherwise and this put it at my fingers. I will be checking out more by him. I gave it a 4.5 but that was mainly because the formatting on my copy was a little messed up but I will be rounding up to a 5 because I am sure the physical copy will not have that.
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To Infinity And Beyond was a fascinating overview of basic astronomy and cosmology. 
The book works from the earliest historical ideas of modern astronomy and the surface of the earth outward to encompass the entire universe and the possibility of universe beyond our knowing. One of the most interesting sections was the tour of the solar system where many of the major probes and missions were described along with how they moved forward our understanding of the solar system we call home. 
As always, it was amusing to read Tyson's take down of inaccuracies in sci-fi and well as where they got it right. And, of course, no book by Tyson would be complete without its explanation of why Pluto is most accurately described as a dwarf planet rather than a planet. 
I could picture this book being used to teach (or at least introduce concepts in) a  course in intro to astronomy. It is an example of clear and enjoyable pop science writing. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. #Netgalley #neildegrassetyson #toinfinityandbeyond #astronomy
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#ToInfinityandBeyond #NetGalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an E-Arc copy of this novel.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson is always a yes for me. I love his writing. He makes super complicated subjects in to easily digestible for those who are not astrophysicists. He's so funny and this book follows time and space from the Big Bang to the farthest reaches of our universe. It's filled with incredible art and photographs, too.
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