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Preface 1. Gravity on Earth: the inescapable force 2. And then came Newton: gravity takes center stage 3. Satellites: what goes up doesn't always come down 4. The Solar System: a triumph for Newtonian gravity 5. Tides and tidal forces: the real signature of gravity 6. Interplanetary travel: the cosmic roller-coaster 7. Atmospheres: keeping planets covered 8. Gravity in the Sun: keeping the heat on 9. Reaching for the stars: the emptiness of outer space 10. The colors of stars: why they are black (bodies) 11. Stars at work: factories for the Universe 12. Birth to death: the life cycle of the stars 13. Binary stars: tidal forces on a huge scale 14. Galaxies: atoms in the Universe 15. Physics near the speed of light: Einstein stands on Galileo's shoulders 16. Relating to Einstein: logic and experiment in relativity 17. Spacetime geometry: finding out what is not relative 18. Einstein's gravity: the curvature of spacetime in the Solar System 19. Einstein's recipe: fashioning the geometry of gravity 20. Neutron stars: laboratories of strong gravity 21. Black holes: gravity's one-way street 22. Gravitational waves: gravity speaks 23. Gravitational lenses: bringing the Universe into focus 24. Cosmology: the study of everything 25. Big Bang: the seed from which we grew 26. Einstein's Universe: the geometry of cosmology 27. Ask the Universe: cosmic questions at the frontiers of gravity Appendix A. Useful constants: values used in this book Appendix B. Background: what you need to know before you start.