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Where the Sky Touched the Earth The Cosmological Landscapes of the Southwest by Don Lago

Where the Sky Touched the Earth The Cosmological Landscapes of the Southwest


Where the Sky Touched the Earth The Cosmological Landscapes of the Southwest by Don Lago

The landscapes of the American Southwest-the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Sedona red rocks-have long filled humans with wonder about nature. This is the home of Lowell Observatory, where astronomers first discovered evidence that the universe is expanding; Meteor Crater, where Apollo astronauts trained for the moon; and Native American tribes with their own ancient, rich ways of relating to the cosmos. With the personal, poetic style of the very best literary nature writing, Don Lago explores how these landscapes have offered humans a deeper sense of connection with the universe. While most nature writing never leaves the ground, Lago is one of the few writers who has applied it to the universe, seeking ties between humans and the astronomical forces that gave us birth. Nowhere else in the world is the link between earth and sky so powerful. Lago witnesses a solar eclipse over the Grand Canyon, climbs primeval volcanos, and sees the universe in tree rings. Through ageless Native American ceremonies, modern telescopes, and even dreams of flying saucers, Lago, who is not only a poet but a true philosopher of science, strives to find order and meaning in the world and brings out the Southwest's beauty and mystery.


A lovely and necessary exploration of the night sky, the universe, and what it means to encounter the cosmos from the sublime American West. Weaving the personal with the cultural?spanning Native American culture to the latest in astronomy and physics Where the Sky Touched the Earth is a lyrical and informative book for anyone interested in these subjects. It's a book to set beside the work of other night sky naturalists, from Loren Eiseley to Chet Raymo. - Christopher Cokinos, author of The Fallen Sky: Intimate History of Shooting Stars

About the Author

Don Lago is an award-winning writer who has published more than 50 nature and astronomy essays in national magazines and literary journals. He is the author of ten books, including most recently Grand Canyon: A History of a Natural Wonder and National Park. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th February 2017


Don Lago

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University of Nevada Press


216 pages


Cosmology & the universe
History of the Americas



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