Review of From the Realm of the Nebulae to Populations of Galaxies: Dialogues of a Century of Research edited by M. D'Onofrio, Roberto Rompazzo & Simone Zaggia,

Phillip Helbig

The Observatory, 137, 1259, 185–186 (August 2017)


This is a book review of From the Realm of the Nebulae to Populations of Galaxies: Dialogues of a Century of Research, edited by M. D'Onofrio, R. Rampazzo & S. Zaggia. It covers the history of extragalactic astronomy, the Milky Way, the Local Group, galaxy anatomy and classification, surveys, high-redshift galaxies, new developments in galaxy formation and evolution, and cutting-edge instrumentation. While it can be read cover to cover---despite the range of authors, there is little overlap between the various sections---many readers might be interested in a short review of an unfamiliar topic, or a list of references as a basis for more detailed studies. I particularly enjoyed the more historical chapters and current thinking on old ideas, such as variations on Hubble's tuning-fork classification scheme. The book provides a good overview for those with some knowledge of the field. My recommendation cannot be completely enthusiastic, however, because I have never read a book with such bad editing---or perhaps complete lack thereof. While one cannot expect all non-native speakers to write high-quality prose, one should be able to expect a major academic publisher to provide the necessary support.


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