Starborn: How the Stars Made Us (and Who We Would Be Without Them)
An astronomer "who writes like a poet" (Wall Street Journal) gives a sweeping, "beautifully written" (Nature) inquiry into how the night sky has shaped human history
For as long as humans have lived, we have lived beneath the stars. But under the glow of today’s artificial lighting, we have lost the intimacy our ancestors once shared with the cosmos.
In Starborn, cosmologist Roberto Trotta reveals how stargazing has shaped the course of human civilization. The stars have served as our timekeepers, our navigators, our muses—they were once even our gods. How radically different would we be, Trotta also asks, if our ancestors had looked up to the night sky and seen… nothing? He pairs the history of our starstruck species with a dramatic alternate version, a world without stars where our understanding of science, art, and ourselves would have been radically altered.
Revealing the hidden connections between astronomy and civilization, Starborn summons us to the marvelous sight that awaits us on a dark, clear night—to lose ourselves in the immeasurable vastness above.
Roberto Trotta is professor of theoretical physics at the International School for Advanced Study in Trieste, Italy, and visiting professor of astrostatistics at Imperial College London. The award-winning author of The Edge of the Sky, he lives under dark skies near Trieste.
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 11/07/2023 - 12:00am
On Sale: 11/07/2023 - 12:00am