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The Hundred Greatest Stars / Edition 1

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Overview

While there are guides to the visible sky, this is the first book to encompass the most important stars known in the universe at a level accessible to the layperson. The noted astronomer James Kaler takes us on a tour of the 100 most interesting stars, describing their characteristics and importance in words and vivid pictures. James B. Kaler is an internationally recognized expert on stars and their formation. A professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois, he is the author of "Stars and Their Spectra" (Cambridge), "Stars" (Freeman/Scientific American Library), "Cosmic Clouds" (Freeman/Scientific American Library), and numerous articles for popular and professional astronomy magazines.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"Most people know about Sirius, Canopus and Antares, but not everyone will be familiar with EG 129, HZ 21 and Polaris Australis, the dim star close to the south pole of the sky. Enter The Hundred Greatest Stars by James Kaler...Following a very clear general introduction to stellar astronomy, Kaler embarks on an informative tour through his hundred favourite stars, each given a page of text with an appropriate illustration on the facing page...The really clever aspect of the book is that as well as describing the hundred stars, often bringing out aspects which are unfamiliar, Kaler succeeds in giving an excellent broad survey of recent developments in stellar astronomy. As is to be expected, the text is immensely authoritative...The illustrations are beautiful..."
-New Scientist

"...truly an outstanding book about the sheer beauty and diversity of the stars. It's a personal treasure to me and I'm sure you'll love it to."
— Planetarian, March 2005

"In this book Kaler … selects 100 of his favorite stars to illustrate the amazing varieties … in which stars exist. … Truly each turn of a page offers a quick view, a fabulous color photograph or illustration … . each story is self-contained, the description of one star not dependent on another, allowing the reader to enjoy a page at random. … The Hundred Greatest Stars is truly an outstanding book about the sheer beauty and diversity of the stars." (Paul J. Krupinski, Planetarian, March, 2005)

"The life and times of stars can be written in the language of a myriad examples. In this book, the author has chosen 100, each of which reveals an intriguing property of stellar evolution or behaviour. … the well rounded narrative of each star is told with affection and enthusiasm. … One of three appendices provides the ability to find objects of a particular class easily, making this enjoyable book a good reference tool too. … The Hundred Greatest Stars is useful, readable and recommended." (Steve Ringwood, Astronomy Now, May, 2004)

"Accessibly written by James B. Kaler … The Hundred Greatest Stars is an incredible, informative, superbly illustrated, astronomical reference describing one hundred different stars ranging from Acrux to ZZ Ceti. Each individual star has a full color photograph and an accompanying page of scientific description with close attention to detail. The Hundred Greatest Stars is a strongly recommended, beautifully illustrated study for astronomy buffs." (Wisconsin Bookwatch, September, 2002)

"Top 10 Reasons to Like The Hundred Greatest Stars. … It starts with a fine synopsis of the properties of stars. … It’s a great introduction to stellar astronomy. … The appendixes are useful … . The text, aimed at a general audience, is well written and engaging. … The science is accurate and simply explained – one of the great strengths of this book. … The Hundred Greatest Stars will inspire some to pause and ‘star’-gaze for a while … ." (Paul Deans, Sky & Telescope, February, 2003)

"Although stars might seem like a strange sort of thing to appear in a ‘hundred greatest’ list, Kaler … writes with great enthusiasm about his favorites. … Kaler’s clear and simple explanations of distance, magnitude, color, and luminosity provide the background needed to understand each star’s entry. … The imaginative and varied images, many in color, include photographs, charts, graphs, and scientific research results that enhance the text and attractive layout. Recommended." (Choice, December, 2002)

"This stellar grandeur is perfectly captured in James Kaler’s lavishly illustrated and expertly written volume, The Hundred Greatest Stars. … Kaler’s deep love and enthusiasm for the stars shines through on every page. Even though the book is dedicated to the amateur astronomy community, it will surely appeal to anyone who has ever looked at the sky with a sense of curiosity and wonder." (Andrew S. Fazekas, Astronomy.com, February, 2003)

"A lovely literary companion piece to backyard stargazing is ‘The Hundred Greatest Stars’ by James B. Kaler … . It’s an illustrated ‘greatest hits’ compendium of stars, and has been praised for its clear and eloquent writing on the likes of Alpha Centauri, Betelgeuse, The Black Widow (!) and our own beloved sun. Speaking as one for whom introductory physics was one continuous anxiety attack, I can attest to its readability. " (Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattletimes.com, August, 2002)

"Kaler … profiles an intriguing collection of some of his favorite stars … . Both beginning and practiced astronomers will find much to be admired, including an excellent introduction to stellar evolution; a wide variety of lush images … from the Anglo-Australian Observatory; and entries which deftly blend very technical (and current) data with descriptions that are not just accessible but also reflect a healthy amount of awe." (SciTech Book News, September, 2002)

"In this lavishly illustrated book, noted University of Illinois astronomer, author, and ASP Board member James B. Kaler expounds on his 100 favorite stars, from Acrux to ZZ Ceti. … The book captures the complexity and dynamism of stars, and it describes how they exemplify the extraordinary physical forces at work in the universe." (Mercury, September/October, 2002)

"For this book, Professor James B. Kaler selected 100 of the most interesting stars … . If you are interested in the wonderful array of stars to be found in our galaxy … then you will find this book absolutely fascinating. It is also beautifully illustrated with 100 colour images … . it is the wonderfully lucid Introduction that sets the scene for your journey through the cosmos. This is a book not to be missed!" (Gordon Nason, Astronomy & Space, July, 2003)

"James B. Kaler presents 100 remarkable and interesting stars, all put in reference to our Sun. … The text is very comprehensive and contains a wealth of interesting information. … A glossary of the most important scientific terms completes the book. The Hundred Greatest Stars is a nice read; it presents a wealth of interesting data that in this combination is otherwise hard to find." (Sterne und Weltraum, April, 2003)

"This is a beautiful little book about stars, replete with wonderful color photographs and concise language. Those just getting started won’t get lost, and those with a stronger background will find plenty to enjoy." (Library Journal, May, 2003)

"Kaler has used both the extreme and the apparently normal in selecting his 100 greatest stars, and much to the pleasure of this antipodean, there is no overwhelming northern hemisphere bias as is common in many astronomy publications. … What sets this book apart is that Kaler finds interest in … apparently normal naked-eye ‘creatures’ … . the book provides an excellent resource for those … having the joy of explaining why these pinpoints of light and fuzzy blobs are so fascinating!" (Roger Feasey, Auckland Astronomical Society Journal, May, 2003)

"This is a gem of a book with guts. It is the author’s celebration for the new millennium of 100 of his favourite stars. … This book is written in a breezy, friendly style that is compulsive reading but will also serve as a valuable reference. It is certainly an ‘A to Z’ of stars; Acrux to ZZ Ceti in fact. I thoroughly recommend it. I may never look at the night sky the same way again." (Bob Evans, Southern Stars, March, 2003)

"The idea behind this book … is an attractive one when written in Kaler’s style. A much-experienced astronomical writer, he has the facility of describing the more exotic of the objects in this volume in terms that many can understand. … a well-written and presented volume. This sort of writing got me into astronomy – it could well do the same for your favourite nephew or niece." (Robert Argyle, The Observatory, Vol. 123 (1173), 2003)

"This is a truly beautiful book, the vast knowledge and passion for the author’s subject transferring to the written page so well. … The text is accompanied by a photograph or illustration … and these illustrations certainly bring the subject to life, especially for younger readers. Experienced astronomers will find a wealth of technical information at their fingertips … but the opening ‘Introduction and Allegro’ provides the astronomical novice with a concise and complete background … . I really, enjoyed this book." (Philip Bridle, BBC Radio, June, 2003)

"James Kaler … is a well-known advocate for the stars. In The Hundred Greatest Stars he expresses his enthusiasm for them in everyday language … . So is this eclectic collection interesting to … the community of amateur astronomers? I believe that it is … . a much wider audience would learn a good deal … . I’m very pleased to have this book in my library as an excellent collection of useful facts about 101 very interesting stars." (David Malin, Physics World, Vol. 15 (10), 2002)

"Kaler embarks on an informative tour through his hundred favourite stars … . The really clever aspect of the book is that … Kaler succeeds in giving an excellent broad survey of recent developments in stellar astronomy. … the text is immensely authoritative … . so well written that it will appeal as much to the beginner as to the more serious student. All in all, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read for a long time." (Patrick Moore, New Scientist, July, 2002)

From The Critics
To the community of amateur astronomers' is the dedication at the beginning of the book, but the text is so well written that it will appeal as much to the beginner as to the more serious student. All in all, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read for a long time.
Patrick Moore
To the community of amateur astronomers' is the dedication at the beginning of the book, but the text is so well written that it will appeal as much to the beginner as to the more serious student. All in all, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read for a long time.
astronomer and broadcaster
From The Critics
Kaler (astronomy, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) profiles an intriguing collection of some of his favorite stars—from Acrux, the brightest star in the Southern Cross, to ZZ Ceti, for which an entire class of white dwarf stars is named. Both beginning and practiced astronomers will find much to be admired, including an excellent introduction to stellar evolution; a wide variety of lush images (including some of David Malin's glamour shots from the Anglo-Australian Observatory); and entries which deftly blend very technical (and current) data with descriptions that are not just accessible but also reflect a healthy amount of awe. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387954363
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Edition description: 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Sales rank: 1,441,146
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

The Sun.- Acrux.- Adhara.- AG Draconis.- Albireo.- Algol.- Alpha Centauri.- Aphard.- Antares.- Arcturus.- Barnard’s Star.- Beta Canis Majoris.- Beta Cassiopeiae.- Beta Lyrae.- Beta Pictoris.- Betelgeuse.- The Black Widow.- Canopus.- Capella.- CD-38°245.- CH Cygni.- Chi Cygni.- Chi Lupi.- Cor Caroli.- Crab Nebula.- Cygnus X-1.- Delta Cephei.- Delta Orionis.- Deneb.- Deneb Kaitos.- DQ Herculis.- EG 129.- Egg Nebula.- Epsilon Aurigae.- Epsilon Eridani.- Epsilon Lyrae.- ESO 439-26.- Eta Carinae.- FG Sagittae.- 51 Pegasi.- FK Comae Berenices.- 40 Eridani.- FU Orionis.- Gamma Cassiopeiae.- Gamma Draconis.- Gamma-2 Velorum.- GD 165B.- Geminga.- Gliese 229B.- GRS 1915+105.- HD 93129A.- HZ 21.- IRC+10 216.- Kaptey’s Star.- Keple’s Star.- L 1551 IRS 5.- Lambda Boötis.- LB 11146.- Merope.- Mira.- Mizar (and Alcor).- Mu Cephei.- Mu Columbae.- MXB 1730-335.- NGC 6543.- NGC 7027.- Nova Cygni 1975.- OH 231.8 +4.2.- P Cygni.- PG 1159-035.- Polaris.- PSR B1257+12.- PSR B1913+16.- R Aquarii.- R Coronae Borealis.- R Leporis.- R Monocerotis.- Rasalgethi.- Rho Cassiopeiae.- Rho Ophiuchi.- RR Lyrae.- RS Canum Venaticorum.- RS Ophiuchi.- SGR 1900+14.- Sigma Octantis.- Sirius.- 16 Cygni.- 61 Cygni.- Spica.- SS cygni.- SS 433.- Supernova 1987A.- T Tauri.- Theta-1 Orionis.- Thuban.- Tycho’s Star.- Vega.- VV Cephei.- W Ursae Majoris.- Zubenelgenubi.- ZZ Ceti.

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