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Astronomy | Sun, Earth and Sky

Sun, Earth and Sky

Lang, Kenneth

Originally published by Springer Heidelberg, 1995

2nd ed. 2006, XV, 284 p.

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This Second Edition of Sun, Earth and Sky updates the popular text by providing comprehensive accounts of the most recent discoveries made by five modern solar spacecraft during the past decade. Their instruments have used sound waves to peer deep into the Sun’s inner regions and measure the temperature of its central nuclear reactor, and extended our gaze far from the visible Sun to record energetic outbursts that threaten Earth. Breakthrough observations with the underground Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are also included, which explain the new physics of ghostly neutrinos and solve the problematic mismatch between the predicted and observed amounts of solar neutrinos. This new edition of Sun, Earth and Sky also describes our recent understanding of how the Sun’s outer atmosphere is heated to a million degrees, and just where the Sun’s continuous winds come from. As humans we are more intimately linked with our life-sustaining Sun than with any other astronomical object, and the new edition therefore provides modern interpretations of ozone depletion and global warming that are related to both the Sun and to human activities. Written in a light and friendly style, this lavishly illustrated book introduces the Sun and its physics, and describes all aspects of the Sun’s interaction with us on Earth.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Corona - Planet - Solar - Solar flare - Solar wind - Star - Sun - Sunspot - satellite

Related subjects » Astronomy - Geophysics & Geodesy - Popular Astronomy

Table of contents 

Good Day, Sunshine: The Rising Sun.- Fire of Life.- Sunlight.- Daytime Star.- Cosmic Laboratory.- Children of the Stars.- Describing the Radiation.- Invisible Fires.- Energizing the Sun: Awesome Power, Enormous Times.- The Sun’s Central Pressure Cooker.- Nuclear Fusion, Anti-Matter and Hydrogen Burning.- Diluting the Radiation.- The Sun’s Remote Past and Distant Future.- Ghostlike Neutrinos: The Elusive Neutrino.- Neutrinos from the Sun.- Detecting Almost Nothing.- Solving the Solar Neutrino Problem.- Taking the Pulse of the Sun: Trapped Sounds.- Ode to the Sun.- Looking Inside the Sun.- Breaking the Symmetry.- Internal Flows.- Seeing Through the Sun.- A Magnetic Star: Islands of Intense Magnetism.- Bipolar Sunspots, Magnetic Loops and Active Regions.- Cycles of Magnetic Activity.- Internal Dynamo.- An Unseen World of Perpetual Change: The Sun’s Visible Edge Is an Illusion.- The Million-Degree Corona.- Closed Coronal Loops and Open Coronal Holes.- The Dynamic Ever-Changing Corona.- The Eternal Solar Wind.- Ulysses, SOHO and the Origin of the Sun’s Winds.- The Distant Frontier.- The Violent Sun: Energetic Solar Activity.- Solar Flares.- Flare Radiation from Energetic Electrons.- Energizing Solar Flares.- Erupting Prominences.- Coronal Mass Ejections.- Triggering Explosions on the Sun.- Energizing Space: The Ingredients of Space.- Probing the Solar Wind.- Earth’s Magnetic Cocoon.- Penetrating Earth’s Magnetic Defense.- Storing Invisible Particle Within Earth’s Magnetosphere.- Active Experiments in Space.- Northern and Southern Lights.- Geomagnetic Storms.- Astronauts and Satellites in Danger.- Space Weather.- Transforming the Earth’s Life-Sustaining Atmosphere: Fragile Planet Earth – The View From Space.- The Life-Saving Greenhouse Effect.- The Earth’s Changing Atmosphere.- Our Sun-LayeredAtmosphere.- The Inconstant Sun.- Solar Ultraviolet and Terrestrial Ozone.- The Vanishing Ozone.- Healing the Planet.- Fire and Ice: Clear Skies and Stormy Weather.- Turning on the Heat.- Solar Radiation and Global Warming.- Consequences of Overheating the Earth.- Life in the Fast Line.- Over the Long Haul.- Glossary.- Directory of Web Sites.- Further Reading.- Quotation References.- Author Index.- Subject Index

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