Compiled by a team of experts, An Introduction to the Sun and Stars introduces the properties and evolution of the most immediately visible objects in the Universe – stars. Designed for elementary university courses in astronomy and astrophysics, it starts with a detailed discussion of our nearest star, the Sun, and describes how solar physicists have come to understand its internal workings. It then considers how we study the basic physical properties and life-cycles of more distant stars, culminating with a discussion of more 'exotic' objects, such as neutron stars and black holes. This second edition has a greater emphasis on the physical and spectral properties of stars, introducing stellar atmospheres, spectral line formation and the role of binary stars in the formation of compact objects. Avoiding complex mathematics, and generously illustrated in colour throughout, this accessible text is ideal for self-study and will appeal to both amateur astronomers and undergraduate students.
1. Seeing the Sun
2. The working Sun
3. Measuring stars
4. Comparing stars
5. The formation of stars
6. The main sequence life of stars
7. The life of stars beyond the main sequence
8. The death of stars
9. The remnants of stars
Answers and comments
Simon F. Green is Head of Planetary and Space Sciences in the Department of Physical Sciences at The Open University, where his research is focused on physical studies of planetary surfaces and small solar system bodies through analysis of spacecraft data, laboratory simulation and computer modelling. Asteroid 9831 has been named Simongreen in recognition of his work in the observation of asteroids and transneptunian objects.
Mark H. Jones is a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor in the Department of Physical Sciences at The Open University, where his current research concentrates on the structure of the zodiacal cloud. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
"An Introduction to the Sun and Stars is a real find for those of us who had previously despaired of finding a way to introduce the magic of 'mere stars' to readers already aware of apparently more exotic phenomena in the Universe. The illustrations are the best I have seen in this level of textbook and have clearly been carefully selected to bring alive the most exciting new discoveries. The accompanying text puts these discoveries in a solid context and explains the associated physics in simple but effective terms. This book will certainly appear on my recommended reading list for introductory astronomy."
– Annelia Sargent, California Institute of Technology
Review of previous edition:
"This up-to-the-minute treatment of the universe of stars is the most enjoyable and informative book at this level that I have read. It combines clear physical arguments with excellent illustrations and diagrams, and keen readers can enhance their depth of understanding through the copious worked examples. Spread throughout, the 'biography boxes' give a refreshing human perspective to the science. Good for coffee table or lecture course!"
– Peter Brand, University of Edinburgh