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Children of the Stars: Our Origin, Evolution and Destiny

By: Daniel R Altschuler

276 pages, 4 line diagrams 114 half-tones

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2002 | #172597 | ISBN: 0521812127
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $60/€52 approx

About this book

Are we alone in the Universe? What is our place in it? How did we get here? We have long searched for the answers to questions such as these, and scientists are beginning to find some of the answers. In this beautifully illustrated book, Daniel Altschuler provides the reader with the elements to understand the questions and their answers as far as we know them. He explores subjects from physics and astronomy, to geology and palaeontology. Along the way he touches on topics such as the search for life on other worlds and the hazards of asteroid impacts. Daniel Altschuler is director of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. He writes in an engaging and readable style with wit, warmth and erudition at a level that any interested reader can understand.

'With its combination of straightforward clear explanations and excellent and well-produced illustrations, all in colour, this is a concise exposition of the Earth story [and] its likely endings. Altschuler uses a wealth of quotations, bringing to life the histories he relates and keeping the text alive ! He has a strong bias towards the issues that affect life today: the climate debate, the ozone problem, impacts and viruses. Because of this, the book will benefit from a wider circulation that among those interested in astronomy, geology and planetary science alone.' Sue Bowler, Astronomy and Geophysics 'Altschuler brings a passion and attitude to his writing that makes Children of the Stars lively and personal ! [this book] would be a good gift to excite anyone - nieces, nephews, parents and professionals in other fields - about the wondrous connections between humans and the cosmos.' Charles A. Wood, Nature 'This is not just a text book. Altschuler is passionate that it is not enough to understand our home in the cosmos; we must ensure that we do not abuse it and wreck it.' Astronomy Now 'Daniel R. Altschuler ! has written a slim, elegant and richly illustrated book for the general reader that somehow manages to convey the most important concepts if virtually all the scientific disciplines ' Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review 'Altschuler writes with such clarity in Children of the Stars that even younger readers can gain an understanding of the complexities of the universe from reading it ! Accompanying Altschuler's texts is a mosaic of photographs so brilliant that they are a close runner-up to actually staring up at the sky on a clear summer night.' Briana Collins, Cornell Chronicle '! a dramatic and engaging overview of humanity's place in the Universe, the evolution of life and the hazards to its continuation.' New Scientist


Preface; 1. Cooking the elements; 2. The fertilization of space; 3. The birth of planets; 4. Mother Earth; 5. Life; 6. Close encounters of many kinds; 7. Other worlds; 8. The dark crystal ball; 9. Epilogue; Appendix A. Some numbers; Appendix B. World scientists' warning to humanity.

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Daniel R Altschuler, an experienced researcher, educator, and science administrator, is director of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center's Arecibo Observatory and a member of the faculty of the Physics Department of the University of Puerto Rico, at Rio Piedras.

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