A fascinating and comprehensive guide to the sun - our home star - which remains the greatest mystery in the solar system, and why understanding it is pivotal to our future existence here on Earth.
In 1869, a great mystery was born. As astronomers observed a total solar eclipse, for the first time they saw the faint glow of the solar corona, the sun's outer atmosphere. Measurements of a previously unknown wavelength that made up this solar light sparked hot debate among scientists, but it was another sixty years before they discovered that this wavelength was in fact iron being burned at a staggering 3 million degrees Celsius. With the sun's surface only 6,000 degrees, this shouldn't be possible. What we now knew about the sun appeared to defy the laws of physics - and nature.
But as well as being shrouded in intriguing mystery, the unpredictable nature of the sun's corona poses a serious threat to our life here on earth - the destructive potential of solar storms, caused by solar material travelling out into space at around 1 million miles an hour, is huge. Remaining beyond our reach until now, a new generation of ambitious solar missions are currently travelling closer to the sun than any previous spacecraft in history. As we enter this unprecedented era of heliophysics, there has never been a better time to get to grips with the workings of our home star. "Surprisingly, considering its fundamental importance to life on Earth, the sun has been the Cinderella of astronomical popular science. In this fascinating and in-depth exploration of our friendly neighbourhood star, Colin Stuart makes sure that Cinderella gets to the ball." --Brian Clegg, author, 30-Second Quantum Theory "An exceptionally clear and comprehensive account of how science has unpicked the manifold secrets of the sun." --Dr Paul Parsons, author, 30-Second Theories "Rebel Star
provides a deep-dive into what we currently know about the workings of our sun, and some of the big questions that remain unanswered. A thorough, fact-filled look at the science, history and current studies of the sun. Indispensable for solar enthusiasts, this book is all you ever wanted to know about the sun and the work of scientists to unravel its deepest mysteries." --Dr. Melanie Windridge, author, Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights "Rebel Star
is a highly readable and highly topical account of the life and times of our neighbourhood nuclear furnace, on which all life on Earth depends--the sun. Colin Stuart pulls together an amazing amount of physics in an enjoya