Journey from the Center of the Sun

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Jack Zirker takes us on an imaginary voyage from the center of the sun to its surface, showing us how sunlight is made and following the sun's energy to the far reaches of the solar system. Along the way, he introduces the basic processes at work in our nearest star and the exciting answers solar scientists are finding to problems that have long perplexed astronomers. For the armchair observer or the student of astrophysics, this book provides an unusually complete picture of ...
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Overview

Jack Zirker takes us on an imaginary voyage from the center of the sun to its surface, showing us how sunlight is made and following the sun's energy to the far reaches of the solar system. Along the way, he introduces the basic processes at work in our nearest star and the exciting answers solar scientists are finding to problems that have long perplexed astronomers. For the armchair observer or the student of astrophysics, this book provides an unusually complete picture of solar physics today.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Zirker's] informal style keeps things moving along swiftly, while balancing the latest findings with background on the pioneers of the field. He shows how solar research has grown from inspired speculation into a flourishing science. A thorough introduction."—Ben Longstaff, New Scientist

"Journey from the Center of the Sun is written with the experience, perspective, and insight of one who has spent decades in solar physics. . . . Zirker sets out to deal with it all, and does an admirable job. He fits the many pieces together in an eminently satisfying manner. . . . At such a reasonable price, Journey from the Center of the Sun should be purchased and read by anyone with an interest in solar astrophysics."—Loren W. Acton, Physics Today

"The book's title amounts to an outline. But before jumping in, Zirker gives readers a basic overview of the Sun's structure to frame the rest. This is followed by a summary of major unsolved solar problems, many of them longstanding. . . . Then it's down to the solar engine room: the core, where thermonuclear reactions make everything go. Zirker provides a detailed description of hoe the Sun works. At times he will tell about unfamiliar processes, such as quantum tunneling as protons collide, but his explanations are clear."—Robert Burnham, Sky & Telescope

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691057811
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2001
  • Series: Princeton Science Library
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack B. Zirker is Astronomer Emeritus and the former Director of the National Solar Observatory. He is the author of "Total Eclipses of the Sun" (Princeton) and "Sunquakes".
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Getting started 3
Ch. 2 The secret heart of the sun 15
Ch. 3 The deep interior 35
Ch. 4 Order and chaos : the convection zone 57
Ch. 5 Looking inside from the outside 75
Ch. 6 The hot atmosphere 99
Ch. 7 The magnetic atmosphere 119
Ch. 8 The middle kingdom : the chromosphere and transition zone 141
Ch. 9 Active regions 155
Ch. 10 Explosions on the sun 173
Ch. 11 The corona and the wind 199
Ch. 12 "Like a tea tray in the sky" 219
Ch. 13 Solar and stellar cycles 237
Ch. 14 The sun and climate 253
Ch. 15 A few last words : where do we go from here? 269
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2002

    For the non professional astronomer

    'Journey from the Center of the Sun' hits the right level for me in describing the science of the sun; it uses words, pictures, and word-pictures (no math) to describe how the complex physics of nuclear reactions, plasmas, and enormous magnetic explosions all work to make the sun provide us with energy - and also blast the earth with solar wind storms. I am a reader of Scientific American and love to read layman books on science because there is no way that I could understand the technical, mathematical papers of the experts, and yet am fascinated by the rapidly unfolding developments in physics, astronomy, and cosmology. I would highly recommend this book for those readers who want a well-written explanation of the sun, the on-going work on solar cycles, sunspots, the 'missing neutrino' problem, the 'coronal heating' conundrum, and the new studies in helioseismology. I will also add that I enjoyed Jack Zirker's first book 'Total Eclipses of the Sun' which inspired me to travel to an eclipse - an experience I would like to repeat.

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