It was not until our son was born that I realized that I had stopped learning. I have always considered myself highly educated, but recently recognized that that does not equate to well-educated. Since his birth, I have been on a mission to fill in gaps in my learning. A great introduction to the field of astrophysics is Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. He makes difficult concepts easy to grasp and his writing allowed me to picture concepts that have always been very difficult for me to comprehend. I really appreciate his detailed explanation of the first two minutes after the big bang. In addition, he highlights contributions by many of the major scientists to our current understanding of the universe. This book is by no means an astrophysics guide for dummies, but a concise and elucidating book that really helped me to better understand concepts such as dark matter and dark energy.
To help with visualizing some of the concepts that he writes about, I have discovered that Information Graphics: Space has great visuals that pairs well with the book.
As a side note, I have become so fascinated with dark matter and even had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Daniel Bowring and hear about all the amazing work he is doing at Fermilab.