We live on a small planet that revolves round an unexceptional star - the Sun - which is one of the hundred billion stars that populate our galaxy.
Of the many billions of galaxies that lie within range of our most powerful telescopes, some are so remote that their light has taken more than 13 billion years to reach us.
Iain Nicolson takes the reader on a journey from planet Earth to the boundaries of the observable Universe.
He explains the nature of stars, planets and galaxies, what makes them shine and how they are born, evolve and eventually die.
He explores the origin of the Universe as a whole and considers whether life may exist on other worlds.
Copiously illustrated, this book is intended for anyone who is looking for straightforward explanations of what astronomy is all about.
It is also an invaluable primer for those who are considering studying the subject more formally.