"Blurb & Contents" "The reader is treated to constantly refreshing and engaging commentary and opinion that always informs...As she depicts them, the problems of the universe are always fascinating and, most of all, they are alive and compelling." David DeVorkin, Sky & Telescope Virginia Trimble offers readers a fascinating and accessible tour of the stars. An astronomer with shared appointments in California and Maryland, the author ranges over a large portion of the universe as she discusses the search for life on other planets, how galaxies form, why stars explode and die, and the nature of the elusive dark matter in the universe. She also explains the astronomical significance of Cheeps' pyramid and leads the reader through scientific speculation about what and when the Star of Bethlehem might have been. Throughout, Trimble points to the exciting unanswered questions that still perplex the field and considers the formidable tasks to be faced by the next generation of young astronomers.