Tweeting the Universe

Tweeting the Universe

Two master science writers answer 140 of the biggest questions in physics, distilling the essence of each subject into tweets of 140 characters.

Marcus Chown and Govert Schilling take us on a unique tour of the universe, covering everything, from the most basic question – ‘Why is the sky dark at night?’ and ‘Why do stars twinkle?’ – to the most challenging – ‘What are quasars?’ and ‘What happened before the big bang?’.

Some of the questions in this brilliantly informative book are as surprising as the answers. ‘Is it possible that all the galaxies we see in our telescopes are nothing but an optical illusion?’. ‘Could you swim on Saturn’s moon, Titan?’. ‘Why doesn’t the Moon fall down?’ (Not a stupid question, it turns out). And ‘would Saturn float in a big enough bath of water?’.


  • Publisher: Faber
  • Publication date: March 7, 2013
  • ISBN: 9780571295708
  • One has to marvel at the innovative way in which writers Chown and Schilling have compressed big subjects – why the sky is blue, what makes rainbows, and how we know the age of the Earth – into tweets of 140 characters.

    Financial Times

  • A fine job condensing the universe into bite-sized morsels of text.

    The Space Review

  • A rich little knowledge bomb, recommended equally for consumption over  a weekend or as an occasional ‘dipper into’ before bed or between tube stops.

  • It’s ridiculous but ingenious, and wholly successful. The extreme compression forced upon the writers makes clarity imperative: the discipline seems to have liberated them. Everything you failed to understand in Stephen Hawking’s ridiculous books suddenly makes sense. You may learn more in an afternoon reading this book than you did in a whole childhood of science lessons.

    The Spectator

  • A box of luxury chocolates, all too easy to glut when you should savour. Because of the style, every sentence is an astonishment. Truly a book of the modern age.

    Astronomy Now