As he did in An Intimate Look at the Night Sky and The Path, astronomer and physicist Chet Raymo makes this exploration of the prime meridian—the line of zero longitude and the standard for all the world's maps and clocks—a personal one, walking it from Brighton through Greenwich to the North Sea.
"The story of the prime meridian is in itself fascinating: in 1884 an international agreement fixed a meridian of zero longitude and standard time through southeast England. But Raymo, a physicist and science writer who wrote a popular weekly column for the Boston Globe, goes beyond this tale. He uses an actual walk along the meridian as a 'thread on which to hang' a history of astronomy, geology and paleontology. Stops at sites near the meridian include Newton's rooms at Cambridge, Darwin's house at Downe, the infamous town of Piltdown, and the place where the first dinosaur fossils were discovered. A walk with this delightful writer is the best exercise a reader could have."—Scientific American