The Sun's Heartbeat And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-17
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
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The beating heart of the sun is the very pulse of life on earth. And from the ancients who plotted its path at Stonehenge to the modern scientists who unraveled the nuclear fusion reaction that turns mass into energy, humankind has sought to solve its mysteries. In this lively biography of the sun, Bob Berman ranges from its stellar birth to its spectacular future death with a focus on the wondrous and enthralling, and on the heartbreaking sacrifice, laughable errors, egotistical battles, and brilliant inspirations of the people who have tried to understand its power. What, exactly, are the ghostly streaks of light astronauts see-but can't photograph-when they're in space? And why is it impossible for two people to see the exact same rainbow? Why are scientists beginning to think that the sun is safer than sunscreen? And how does the fluctuation of sunspots-and its heartbeat-affect everything from satellite communications to wheat production across the globe? Peppered with mind-blowing facts and memorable anecdotes about spectral curiosities-the recently-discovered "second sun" that lurks beneath the solar surface, the eerie majesty of a total solar eclipse-THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT offers a robust and entertaining narrative of how the Sun has shaped humanity and our understanding of the universe around us.

Author Biography

Bob Berman, one of America's top astronomy writers, contributed the popular "Night Watchman" column to Discover for seventeen years. He is currently a columnist for Astronomy, a host on NPR's Northeast Public Radio, and the science editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac. He lives in Willow, New York.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
Yon Flaming Orbp. 7
Genesisp. 15
Strange History of Seeing Spotsp. 23
The Heartbeat Stops-and Other Peculiar Eventsp. 40
The Unitp. 51
Magnetic Attractionp. 64
The Wild Science of the Bearded Menp. 77
Cautionary Talesp. 93
Why Jack Loved Carbonp. 100
Tales of the Invisiblep. 115
The Sun Brings Deathp. 127
The Sun Will Save Your Lifep. 134
I'm an Aquarius; Trust Mep. 143
Rhythms of Colorp. 157
Particle Manp. 166
Totality: The Impossible Coincidencep. 176
That's Entertainmentp. 194
Cold Windsp. 210
The Weather Outside Is Frightfulp. 231
Tomorrow's Sunp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. 255
Appendix: The Sun's Basicsp. 257
Notesp. 259
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 283
Reading Group Guidep. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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