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This book investigates the idea that the distant future evolution of our Sun might be `controlled' (literally, asteroengineered) so that it maintains its present-day energy output rather than becoming a highly luminous and bloated red giant star - a process that, if allowed to develop, will destroy all life on Earth. The text outlines how asteroengineering might work in principle and it describes what the future solar system could look like. It also addresses the idea of asteroengineering as a galaxy-wide imperative, explaining why the Earth has never been visited by extraterrestrial travellers in the past.
Introduction.- A Universal Problem.- It's a Matter of Time.- The Sun, Inside and Out.- The Price of Doing Nothing.- Rejuvenating the Sun.- Stars Transformed.- Between Now and Then.- Epilogue.- Glossary of Terms.- Appendix A.- Appendix B.- Index.
Associate professor of astronomy, and Head of the Astronomy Department at Campion College, The University of Regina. My main research interests during the past decade have focused on the smaller objects within the solar system (comets, asteroids and meteoroids), but concomitant to this I have continued to perform research related to the structure and evolution of stars (the area of my doctoral studies). The book being proposed here is partly based upon a series of research papers that I have published over the years and on material used in a solar system studies class. The topic of asteroengineering was recently the focus of an 'opinion article' I wrote for the May 2006 issue of Astronomy Now magazine, and an editorial piece in the May 2006 issue of Smithsonian Air and Space magazine. Home web page: http://hyperion.cc.uregina.ca/#astro/mbeech.html
From the reviews: "In this book based on several of his previously published scientific articles, Beech ! investigates the idea that the evolution of the sun can be controlled. ! the book offers much fascinating material on extraterrestrial life and provides an interesting discussion of why extraterrestrials have never visited Earth. ! Each chapter ends with extensive notes and references. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through researchers." (B. R. Parker, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (10), June, 2008) "Beech takes great care and time to fully describe the workings of the Sun. As a grounding in solar astrophysics this is an excellent read and even if we do not know exactly how we could engineer our Sun at the present time, it is a useful thought experiment to better understand how our Sun operates. ! Add to this some interesting insights into SETI, Solar System colonisation and humanity's near future, and you have a very thought-provoking book." (Keith Cooper, Astronomy Now, July, 2008) "If you have ever mused over what will become of Mother Earth when the Sun evolves away from the main sequence, here is a book to carry you further into the realms of futuristic science than you have probably hitherto visited. ! The book discusses the probabilities and devastation levels of known celestial-based disasters from supernovae to large meteorites. ! Beech writes well, with a slight whimsical humour ! he offers a comfortable read." (Elizabeth Griffin, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1206), October, 2008)