The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars
Weaving natural history, memoir, and the stories of maverick scientists, daring adventurers, and stargazing dreamers, this epic work takes us from Antarctica to outer space to tell the tale of how the study of meteorites became a scientific passion.
A famed polar explorer who risked personal ruin-and the lives of his crew-in a quest for massive iron meteorites hidden in an Arctic wasteland. A nervy, obscure professor who staked his life against the scientific indifference of his day to become the world's most prominent meteorite collector and researcher. An Australian scientist confronted with a geological mystery in the Outback-the key to which might yet unlock a secret of evolution on planet Earth.
These characters and many other collectors, researchers, dreamers, schemers, and ordinary people populate Christopher Cokinos's The Fallen Sky. Through their foibles and successes, their adventures and tragedies, Cokinos unfolds the panoramic history of how science came to understand meteorites-the rocks that fall from space to the Earth-and how these stones reveal truths not only of the solar system, but of the human heart as well.
Cokinos, Christopher. The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars. New York: Penguin, 2009.