The Sun's Heartbeat

And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet
By Bob Berman (Trade Paperback, 2012)
The beating heart of the sun is the very pulse of life on earth. And from the ancients who plotted its path at Stonehenge to the modern scientists who unraveled the nuclear fusion reaction that turns mass into energy, humankind has sought to solve its mysteries. In this lively biography of the sun, Bob Berman ranges from its stellar birth to its spectacular future death with a focus on the wondrous and enthralling, and on the heartbreaking sacrifice, laughable errors, egotistical battles, and brilliant inspirations of the people who have tried to understand its power.

What, exactly, are the ghostly streaks of light astronauts see-but can't photograph-when they're in space? And why is it impossible for two people to see the exact same rainbow? Why are scientists beginning to think that the sun is safer than sunscreen? And how does the fluctuation of sunspots-and its heartbeat-affect everything from satellite communications to wheat production across the globe?

Peppered with mind-blowing facts and memorable anecdotes about spectral curiosities-the recently-discovered "second sun" that lurks beneath the solar surface, the eerie majesty of a total solar eclipse-THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT offers a robust and entertaining narrative of how the Sun has shaped humanity and our understanding of the universe around us.

  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $15.99 US/$17.50 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316090995

    • On Sale Date: 07/17/2012

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Back Bay Books

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

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The beating heart of the sun is the very pulse of life on earth. And from the ancients who plotted its path at Stonehenge to the modern scientists who unraveled the nuclear fusion reaction that turns mass into energy, humankind has sought to solve its mysteries. In this lively biography of the sun, Bob Berman ranges from its stellar birth to its spectacular future death with a focus on the wondrous and enthralling, and on the heartbreaking sacrifice, laughable errors, egotistical battles, and brilliant inspirations of the people who have tried to understand its power.

What, exactly, are the ghostly streaks of light astronauts see-but can't photograph-when they're in space? And why is it impossible for two people to see the exact same rainbow? Why are scientists beginning to think that the sun is safer than sunscreen? And how does the fluctuation of sunspots-and its heartbeat-affect everything from satellite communications to wheat production across the globe?

Peppered with mind-blowing facts and memorable anecdotes about spectral curiosities-the recently-discovered "second sun" that lurks beneath the solar surface, the eerie majesty of a total solar eclipse-THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT offers a robust and entertaining narrative of how the Sun has shaped humanity and our understanding of the universe around us.

Bob Berman, one of America's top astronomy writers, wrote the popular "Night Watchman" column for Discover for seventeen years. He is currently a columnist for Astronomy, a host on NPR's Northeast Public Radio, and the science editor of Old Farmer's Almanac. He lives in Willow, New York.

  • THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT (Vitamin D) by Bob Berman


  • THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT by Bob Berman

  • "Berman directs your attention to our neighborhood ball of nuclear fire, telling its story with charm and wit....He makes a compelling case for putting on a wide-brimmed hat, stepping outside, and giving a second thought to the star that illuminates and powers our planet." (Discover).

  • "A compelling and surprisingly playful history of our solar system's most famous star." (Salon).

  • "Berman's pitch-perfect book...does much more than simply provide facts....Berman is a master storyteller, whose passion and enthusiasm for astronomy has served the public well for decades....Read this and you will never look at the sun in the same way again." (The New Scientist).

  • "Berman extols the sun's aesthetic effects-most spectacular of them, the total solar eclipse, rivaled, perhaps, by the northern lights, with rainbows as second bananas. An engaging consciousness-raiser that  ntertains as it informs about our neighborhood nuclear furnace."

    (Booklist).

  • "This might be the last book you ever read-afterward, you can't help but stare, in wonder, directly into that fiery ball in the sky. From ancient sun worship to the latest in Sol science, Bob Berman makes THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT shine." (author of The Disappearing Spoon).

  • "Glitters and skips with the joy and excitement of science at its best. He explains things I always wondered about without diminishing the star-gazer's sense of awe." (Author of Salt and Cod).

  • "Bob Berman's look at our sky's most important star is as dazzling as the Sun itself. The man can write! He is one of those rare authors whose prose is as delightful to read as it is pleasing to learn from. Having read this book, I will never be able to regard the Sun--nor the future beneath it--in quite the same way."

  • "Bob Berman writes of all things solar with inescapably contagious delight. The Sun's Heartbeat reminds us that the star we take for granted, the star that we accept with little thought, is both central to our lives and wonderfully complex. Berman's book, fun and informative, shows us how to see our flaming orb in a new light."

  • (Library Journal).

Formats

Product Details

The Sun's Heartbeat
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $15.99 US/$17.50 CAN
  • Pages: 320
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316090995
  • On Sale Date: 07/17/2012
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