Centuries before this, early globetrotters had crossed the oceans in search of terra firma―solid land, new continents―previously unknown to them and ready for exploration. With his relativistic vision of space-time as a pliable fabric that can bend and stretch, Einstein allowed astronomers to recast the ancient terrestrial search into a far larger quest for cosmos firma. Glued together by the genius physicist, space and time have become cosmic real estate to be appraised, mapped, and scrutinized.
I now embark on my arm-chair explorations of this always-thrilling celestial landscape and hope to provide insights on astronomical discoveries, past and present, based on my thirty years covering the fields of astronomy and astrophysics both in books and for a variety of national publications, such as Discover, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Astronomy, and Sky & Telescope.
Above photo: Einstein, with inveterate pipe-smoker Edwin Hubble, on 29 January 1931 at the eyepiece of the 100-inch telescope on Mount Wilson in southern California. (Caltech Archives)