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Stars : A Very Short Introduction - Andrew King


A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Published: 26th July 2012
ISBN: 9780199602926
Number Of Pages: 136

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Every atom of our bodies has been part of a star. In this lively and compact introduction, astrophysicist Andrew King reveals how the laws of physics force stars to evolve, driving them through successive stages of maturity before their inevitable and sometimes spectacular deaths, to end as remnants such as black holes. The book shows how we know what stars are made of, how gravity forces stars like the Sun to shine by transmuting hydrogen into helium in their centers, and why this stage is so long-lived and stable. Eventually the star ends its life in one of just three ways, and much of its enriched chemical content is blasted into space in its death throes. Every dead star is far smaller and denser than when it began, and we see how astronomers can detect these stellar corpses as pulsars and black holes and other exotic objects. King also shows how astronomers now use stars to measure properties of the Universe, such as its expansion. Finally, the book asks how it is that stars form in the first place, and how they re-form out of the debris left by stars already dead. These birth events must also be what made planets, not only in our solar system, but around a large fraction of all stars.

Industry Reviews

Part of the extensive Very Short Introduction series, this volume by Andrew King provides an engaging overview of the science of stars. This pocket-sized book is an enjoyable read. * Dawn E. Leslie, Contemporary Physics *

Preface 1: Science and the stars 2: How the Sun survives 3: Life on main street 4: Cooking the elements 5: Stellar corpses 6: Finding the bodies 7: Measuring the universe 8: The beginning Further reading

ISBN: 9780199602926
ISBN-10: 0199602921
Series: Very Short Introductions
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 136
Published: 26th July 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.3 x 11.6  x 0.9
Weight (kg): 0.11

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