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Extreme Stars : At the Edge of Creation - James B. Kaler

Extreme Stars

At the Edge of Creation


Published: 25th November 2010
RRP $39.95
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Over the past 200 years, our knowledge of stars has expanded enormously. From seeing myriad dots of different brightnesses, we haved moved on to measure their distances, temperatures, sizes, chemical compositions, and even ages, finding both young and ancient stars that dwarf our Sun and are dwarfed by it. Unique in its approach, Extreme Stars describes the lives of stars from a new perspective by examining their amazing features. The result is a refreshing, up-to-date, and engaging overview of stellar evolution, suitable for everyone interested in viewing or studying the stars. Ten chapters, generously illustrated throughout, explain the natures of the brightest, the largest, the hottest, and the youngest, among other kinds of stars, ending with a selection of the strangest stars the Universe has to offer. Extreme Stars shows how stars develop and die and how each extreme turns into another under the inexorable twin forces of time and gravity. James B. Kaler is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He has held Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, has been awarded medals for his work from the University of Liege in Belgium and the University of Mexico, and most recently was selected to give the Armand Spitz lecture by the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. His research area, in which he has published over 100 papers, involves dying stars. Kaler has also written for a variety of popular magazines, including Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and Scientific American. His previous books include The Ever-Changing Sky (Cambridge, 1996), Stars and their Spectra (Cambridge, 1997), Cosmic Clouds (Scientific American Library Paperback, 1998), and The Little Book of Stars (Copernicus, 2000). He is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows.

Review of the hardback: 'Extreme Stars is an excellent, well-illustrated introduction to the vagaries of stellar life. ... Kaler's outstanding ability to clarify complex processes has made this book the best introduction to stellar evolution that I have read.' David Hughes, New Scientist
Review of the hardback: '... the journey that Kaler takes us on is not a conventional one. Rather than simply relating how stars with particular masses are born, live and die, he examines, in turn, stars which would win some accolade in the Guinness Book of Records, as, for example, the coolest, the brightest or the oldest. A strength of this approach is that Kaler is able to delight in bringing out just how awesome some apparently ordinary looking stars are. He provides plenty of named examples that you could see for yourself in the night sky. Along the way he covers a great deal of stellar astrophysics.' Alan Longstaff, Popular Astronomy
Review of the hardback: 'This book takes the reader on a trip through a whole zoo of different stars ...exhilarating ... There are excellent explanations of the physics of what is going on and a good collection of photographs ... this is a very good book which shows that there are things in astronomy that are at least as interesting and complex as those in cosmology.' John Dyson, Astronomy Now
Review of the hardback: '...very readable, very clearly written and contains a lot of factual information. It gives the reader a good perspective on the wide range of phenomena coming under the subject of stellar astronomy.' American Association of Variable Star Observers Bookstore

Sun and stars
The faintest (and coolest) stars
The coolest stars ...; continued
The hottest stars
The brightest stars
The largest stars
The smallest stars
The youngest stars
The oldest stars
The strangest stars
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521158022
ISBN-10: 0521158028
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 258
Published: 25th November 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 17.0  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.43