Astroquizzical: a curious journey through our cosmic family tree


How did the Earth get to be the way it is? Just like all of us, it's a product of its ancestors.

In this enthralling cosmic journey through space and time, astrophysicist Jillian Scudder locates our home planet within its own 'family tree'. Our parent the Earth and its sibling planets in our solar system formed within the same gas cloud. Without our grandparent the Sun, we would not exist, and the Sun in turn relies on the Milky Way as its home. The Milky Way rests in a larger web of galaxies that traces its origins right back to tiny fluctuations in the very early Universe.

Following these cosmic connections, we discover the many ties that bind us to our Universe. Based around readers’ questions from the author's popular blog 'Astroquizzical', the book provides a quirky layperson's guide to how things work in the Universe and why things are the way they are, from shooting stars on Earth, to black holes, to entire galaxies.

For anyone interested in the 'big picture' of how the cosmos functions and how it is all connected, Jillian Scudder is the perfect guide.

Praise for Astroquizzical: A curious Journey Through our cosmic family tree

A wonderful jaunt through the universe at every scale, and a great way to fill in every gap in knowledge you have about astronomy.
— Zach Weinersmith, creator of SMBC, and co-author of the NYT Bestselling book, Soonish.
Astroquizzical from Dr. Jillian Scudder is a superb astronomy book, written with a distinctive tone which is both pragmatic and poetic at the same time.

It’s perfectly attuned to the kind of awestruck curiosity we feel whilst taking in the majesty of a clear, starlit night sky. This book intelligently decodes those profound astronomical topics without swamping us in confusion. It also explains the intriguing importance of many astro and space exploration matters we might have underestimated or never even considered before.

Dr Scudder’s book brings the perfect blend of fact and fascination to help us feel a greater sense of our place within the clockwork of the universe.

Astroquizzical is a most informative and highly engaging astronomy book.
— Jon Culshaw, impressionist & comedian
The real triumph of Scudder’s ‘Astroquizzical’ is that it brings high-altitude, notionally abstract ideas to the general reader, presented in an entertaining and accessible way. For those more familiar with the universe it will also help to fill some of the knowledge gaps created by advancements in current thinking.

In short, it should be required reading for every engineer and technologist.
Nick Smith for Engineering & Technology Magazine
The writing is fluid and direct with the subject material brought vibrantly to life.
— Dr. Alastair Gunn, for BBC Sky at Night Magazine
The narrative form that Scudder employs is an imaginary cosmic journey that begins on our home planet and takes us in seven steps to the furthest galaxies. This simple format has been tried countless times before by big-name astronomers. What’s different here is an intense level of engagement between writer and reader. Vivid storytelling explains the physics without equations. [...] The clarity of Scudder’s writing is impressive.
Simon Mitton for Times Higher Education