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

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $16.93
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 51%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $16.93   
  • New (8) from $21.77   
  • Used (4) from $16.93   


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.

Read More Show Less

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)

Read More Show Less

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


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)