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The Solar Corona


By: Leon Golub and Jay M Pasachoff

404 pages, 135 b/w illus

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Oct 2009 | Edition: 2 | #182751 | ISBN-13: 9780521882019
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NHBS Price: £66.99 $88/€76 approx

About this book

Intended for graduate students and astronomers seeking an introduction to coronal physics, this textbook strikes a balance between the observational and theoretical aspects of the subject. This second edition takes into account the major observational and theoretical developments of recent years to provide an up-to-date treatment of our understanding of the solar corona.

After reviewing the latest observations of the solar corona, the authors explain how the studies have advanced and shaped our understanding of coronal physics. The textbook introduces a wide variety of exciting physics, including dynamo theory and radiative transfer, and shows how the transient effects of the solar cycle affect space weather. Each subject area is introduced using basic physics, and refers readers to fundamental papers on the topic, key new studies in each area and extensive discussions in recent review articles.

Reviews of the first edition: 'This book covers the subject of the solar corona with enough depth for the professional and enough clarity and completeness for the grad student. Well-written and up-to-date, this work sets a standard in the field.' Jack Zirker, National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, New Mexico 'This book describes the current understanding of the solar corona very well. I enjoyed reading it and feel that it is essential reading for new graduate students.' Alan Hood, The Observatory 'It provides a welcome update on the immense progress that has occurred over the last 20 years ... The Solar Corona is a pleasure to read.' Eugene N. Parker, Physics Today '... the authors expertly explain the basic theories of solar corona generation and the dynamics of flux-tubes, sunspots, flares, the solar magnetic field, and solar wind, with well-written, easy-to-read prose, organized presentation of material, and reviews of the latest ideas. Physically the book is a well-bound, well-written publication on quality, semi-gloss paper, with numerous well-labelled graphs, tables, and figures. Many recent and relevant photos (all black and white) from Earth-based and space-based instruments are used to illustrate concepts.' Denis Legacey, Journal of RASC


1. Introduction; 2. Brief history of coronal studies; 3. The coronal spectrum; 4. The solar cycle; 5. Ground-based observations; 6. Observations from space: I. The first 4 decades; 7. Activity of the inner corona; 8. Observations from space: II. Recent missions; 9. The solar wind; 10. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections; Notes; References; Index.

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Leon Golub is Senior Astrophysicist in the High Energy Division at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He specializes in studies of solar and stellar magnetic activity, and has built numerous rocket and satellite instruments to study the Sun and its dynamic behavior. Jay M. Pasachoff is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, and Chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Eclipses. He has observed 48 solar eclipses and has studied the Sun in many parts of the spectrum.

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