Supernova!

Supernova! : The Violent Death of a Star

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Description

Nearly 160,000 years ago a star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy close to our own Milky Way, erupted in violent death. Travelling at the speed of light, the radiation from this explosion reached Earth in February 1987. This was the brightest supernova in four centuries and one of the most significant discoveries of 20th century astronomy. The saga of Supernova "1987A" began with a once-in-a-lifetime observation by a lone astronomer in the Andes mountains. Astronomers soon found that the death throes of a far-off sun yielded a treasure trove of information. The results they obtained, and the basic principles behind them, are detailed in this account from one of the leading writers on astronomy today. Dr Goldsmith's story spans the globe. As he depicts dramatic advances, Goldsmith penetrates the scientific headlines. He recalls our historical fascination with supernovae; explains how stars form and then live through nuclear fusion; reveals a star's different kinds of electromagnetic radiation; and shows how exploding stars transform primordial material into the complex elements essential to life on Earth. Donald Goldsmith is the author of eight books on astronomy, including "Nemesis", named the best book of 1986 by the American Institute of Physics. He contributed to the "Cosmos" series on American television, and is currently the lead writer for a forthcoming series, "The Astronomers".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 17.78mm | 226.8g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • half-tones, glossary, index
  • 0192861166
  • 9780192861160

Table of contents

Discovery; the hidden messages of starlight; the observers - the early days of Sn 1987A; the growth of neutrino astronomy; Supernovae in history; the lives of the stars; the theorists; stars at the ends of their lives; what makes a Supernova shine?; neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes; Supernova 1987A - x rays and gamma rays; Supernovae as probes of the universe.show more

About Donald W. Goldsmith

About the Author Donald Goldsmith is the author of eight books on astronomy, including Nemesis, named the best book of 1986 by the American Institute of Physics. He contributed to the Cosmos series on PBS, and is currently the lead writer for a forthcoming PBS series, The Astronomers.show more

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