The quest for the farthest objects in the Universe remains one of the most challenging to modern astronomy. Peering deeper and deeper into space reveals the most distant and powerful objects known and so probes back to the embryonic epochs of the Universe not long after its birth in the Big Bang. Four world experts - chosen for their ability to communicate research astronomy to popular audiences - each contribute a chapter to this lucid survey. In clear terms they bring to the general audience the excitement and challenge of studying the Universe on the largest scales. They address the fundamental issues of scale in the Universe; the ghostly etchings seen on the cosmic background radiation; quasars and their evolution; and galaxy birth. This survey offers an exceptional chance for the general audience to share in the excitement of today's forefront research of the early Universe in an accessible and stimulating way.
'This is a thoroughly well-written account of current ideas of cosmology and a lucid presentation of the evidence used in its research.' Peter Moks, Journal of the British Astronomical Association