First Light

First Light

By Richard Preston

  • Release Date: 1996-10-29
  • Genre: Physics
Score: 4.5
From 6 Ratings
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Seven years before Richard Preston wrote about horrifying viruses in The Hot Zone, he turned his attention to the cosmos. In First Light, he demonstrates his gift for creating an exciting and absorbing narrative around a complex scientific subject--in this case the efforts by astronomers at the Palomar Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains of California to peer to the farthest edges of space through the Hale Telescope, attempting to solve the riddle of the creation of the universe.

Richard Preston's name became a household word with The Hot Zone, which sold nearly 800,000 copies in hardcover, was on The New York Times's bestseller list for 42 weeks, and was the subject of countless magazine and newspaper articles. Preston has become a sought-after commentator on popular science subjects.

For this hardcover reprint of what has been called "the best popular account of astronomy in action," (Kirkus Reviews) he has revised the text and written a new introduction.


  • Fantastic read for any curious about the science

    By Nebraskan Boy
    I bought this book merely because I like Richard Preston. However it turned out to be the best books I've read by him. He nails the human element of scientific exploration while at the same time allowing a relative laymen to understand the importance and awe of what was being discovered. What I found most interesting, unexpectedly, was the history and making of these large mirrors which allow us to peer out deep, deep in the space. All in all a quick and fascinating read.