Astrophysical Wonders - A Conversation with Scott Tremaine

by Howard Burton (Author)
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This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Scott Tremaine, Professor Emeritus of Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study and an internationally renowned expert in both galactic-scale and planetary-scale astronomy. Topics that are part of this extensive conversation include the process of scientific discovery, in particular related to comets, Pluto, planetary rings, shepherding satellites, exoplanets, chaos theory and the formation, stability and uniqueness of our solar system.
Further topics include galactic-scale astronomy, galaxy formation, dark matter, quasars, black holes, the large-scale structure of the universe and many outstanding open questions of contemporary astrophysics.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, On Butterflies and Fish, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Personal Reflections - Astrophysical origins and research-administration balance
II. Exoplanetary Insights - Looking beyond to assess our uniqueness
III. Puzzles and Solutions - Solar system formation and shepherding moons
IV. Rings, Comets and Pluto - Mysteries, discoveries and evolving definitions
V. Investigating Stability - Considering past and future
VI. Large-scale Issues - Colliding galaxies and dark matter
VII. Black Holes - Different types, different evidence and open questions
VIII. Fundamental Questions - The need to stay in contact with experiment
IX. Concluding Thoughts - Public policy and capitalizing on the moment

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (

Book details

Publication date
September 30, 2020
File size
1 MB