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Starlight: An Introduction to Stellar Physics for Amateurs / Edition 1

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Overview

This is a book about the physics of stars and starlight. The story of starlight is truly fascinating. Astronomers analyze and interpret the light from stars using photometry and spectroscopy, then inspirational detective work combines with the laws of physics to reveal the temperatures, masses, luminosities and outer structure of these far away points of light. The laws of physics themselves enable us to journey to the very center of a star and to understand its inner structure and source of energy!

Starlight provides an in-depth study of stellar astrophysics that requires only basic high school mathematics and physics, making it accessible to all amateur astronomers. Starlight teaches amateur astronomers about the physics of stars and starlight in a friendly, easy-to-read way. The reader will take away a profoundly deeper understanding of this truly fascinating subject – and find his practical observations more rewarding and fulfilling as a result.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

“Understanding stars without understanding maths (well, almost) is Robinson’s aim and he succeeds brilliantly in Starlight. There is a bit of maths but, on the whole, concepts such as radiative transfer, hydrostatic equilibrium and stellar evolution are thoroughly explained by diagrams and analogies … . If you would love to know why Cepheids pulsate or why hot stars don’t always radiate in the ultraviolet … this is the book for you.” (Chris Kitchin, Sky at Night Magazine, June, 2010)

“Astronomer Robinson … undertook the daunting task of exploring the concepts underlying the physical conditions in stars with words rather than in equations so that amateur astronomers might gain a deeper appreciation of these familiar and fascinating objects. … The author does a particularly good job describing the magnitude (brightness) and colors of stars. … Starlight is a lucid presentation of complex physical principles which will be richly rewarding to serious readers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division under graduates and general readers.” (D. E. Hogg, Choice, Vol. 47 (9), May, 2010)

“Keith Robinson’s recent publication presents a good, easily accessible account of basic stellar physics. … It would be a good resource for, say, a GCSE-level or amateur astronomer, and I would recommend it to that readership. … However, the book’s aim of communicating the basics of stellar astrophysics at a beginner’s level is achieved. All in all, Robinson’s book is a well-put-together resource for the amateur astronomer, explaining the basic concepts and equations pertinent to the study of the stars.” (N. J. Dickinson, The Observatory, Vol. 130, October, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441907073
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Series: Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction – The River of Starlight

Chapter 2: Starlight by Numbers

Chapter 3: From Light to Starlight

Chapter 4: Space – The Great Radiation Field

Chapter 5: A Multitude of Magnitudes for the Colors of Starlight

Chapter 6: The Photons Must Get Through – Radiative Transfer

Chapter 7: First Look Inside a Star – The Atmosphere

Chapter 8: Deep Inside a Star

Chapter 9: In the Space Between Stars

Chapter 10: A Star Story – 10 Billion Years in the Making

Appendix 1: The Greek Alphabet

Appendix 2: Astronomical and Physical Units and Constants

Appendix 3: The Doppler Effect

Index

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