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Astronomers' Universe

Alpha Centauri

Unveiling the Secrets of Our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

Authors: Beech, Martin

  • Examines the latest research on the entire Alpha Centauri system, from its three stars to possible exoplanets
  • Sheds light on development of the Sun and Earth's solar system
  • Explains stellar evolution by looking at the Solar System's neighborhood
  • Uses some basic math to give a good grounding in the science of stellar evolution
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eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-09372-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-09371-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

As our closest stellar companion and composed of two Sun-like stars and a third small dwarf star, Alpha Centauri is an ideal testing ground of astrophysical models and has played a central role in the history and development of modern astronomy—from the first guesses at stellar distances to understanding how our own star, the Sun, might have evolved. It is also the host of the nearest known exoplanet, an ultra-hot, Earth-like planet recently discovered.

Just 4.4 light years away Alpha Centauri is also the most obvious target for humanity’s first directed interstellar space probe. Such a mission could reveal the small-scale structure of a new planetary system and also represent the first step in what must surely be humanity’s greatest future adventure—exploration of the Milky Way Galaxy itself.

For all of its closeness, α Centauri continues to tantalize astronomers with many unresolved mysteries, such as how did it form, how many planets does it contain and where are they, and how might we view its extensive panorama directly?

In this book we move from the study of individual stars to the study of our Solar System and our nearby galactic neighborhood. On the way we will review the rapidly developing fields of exoplanet formation and detection.

About the authors

Martin Beech is a Professor of Astronomy at Campion College, The University of Regina, Canada. He has an MSc from Sussex, UK, and earned his PhD at Western Ontario. He has written several books for Springer.

Reviews

“I found this to be a thoroughly fascinating, thought-provoking, and engaging volume and can recommend it. The text is well-written and draws the reader in, and, speaking personally, the slightly larger font makes it easier on the eyes.” (Robert Argyle, The Observatory, Vol. 136, April, 2016)

“In general this book was wonderful in making the reader think more deeply about stars, their distances and their similarities and differences to our Sun. Also the question whether Proxima Centauri is actually a part of the Alpha Centauri system is very interesting. The book is well written and researched and it makes you long for other similar books about some other remarkable stars as well.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, August, 2015)

“Beech spins a remarkable tale of research on the three-star Alpha Centauri (Alpha Cen) system, including Proxima Centauri, the nearest known star to the sun. … There is no other book quite like this. Suitable for students with some physics and mathematics preparation and researcher-writers for future films in the spirit of Interstellar. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.” (S. P. Maran, Choice, Vol. 52 (10), June, 2015)


Table of contents (3 chapters)

  • Discovery, Dynamics, Distance and Place

    Beech, Martin

    Pages 1-67

  • Stellar Properties and the Making of Planets: Theories and Observations

    Beech, Martin

    Pages 69-166

  • What the Future Holds

    Beech, Martin

    Pages 167-267

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-09372-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-09371-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Alpha Centauri
Book Subtitle
Unveiling the Secrets of Our Nearest Stellar Neighbor
Authors
Series Title
Astronomers' Universe
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-09372-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-09372-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-09371-0
Series ISSN
1614-659X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIII, 297
Number of Illustrations and Tables
31 b/w illustrations, 38 illustrations in colour
Topics