The Sun's Heartbeat

And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet
By Bob Berman (Hardcover Book, 2011)
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: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $25.99 US/$28.99 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316091015

    • On Sale Date: 07/13/2011

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

    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 is one of America's top astronomy writers. For many years, he wrote the popular "Night Watchman" column for Discover magazine. He is currently a columnist for Astronomy magazine and a host on NPR's Northeast Public Radio, and he is the science editor of the Old Farmer's Almanac.

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


  • THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT by Bob Berman

  • PRAISE FOR SECRETS OF THE NIGHT SKY:

    "Berman's book is like opening a skylight to the world above.  It can restore a sense of connection to our place in the universe.  Berman...is a perfect guide...[He] has made an imposing subject inviting to the nonscientific reader...His writing...is elegently profound." (Associated Press).

  • "Berman's enthusiasms and comical asides are as boundless as the nocturnal realm he writes about...[his] book asks for little--knowledge of a few constellations like Orion and the Big Dipper--and delivers much: the sun, moon, colorful stars, moving planets, and smears of light that are galaxies." (Booklist).

  • "Truly exceptional." (Christian Science Monitor).

  • PRAISE FOR COSMIC ADVENTURE:

    "Personal and playful style...Readers...are in for a treat. The essays are thought-provoking, filled with fascinating facts, and always delivered with a sense of fun." (Library Journal).

  • PRAISE FOR THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT:

    "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).

  • "Bob Berman's The Sun's Heartbeat 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).

  • "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 Magazine).

  • "Berman shakes readers out of a complacent understanding of his subject with startling facts conveyed in companionably witty prose....He finds much that is surprising in the relatively commonplace....making this common sight mysterious again, remind[ing] us of questions we had forgotten to ask." (Columbus Dispatch).

  • "Berman's pitch-perfect book goes a long way to answering the questions you thought were too dumb to ask, but it 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."

  • "A good read....light-hearted....[and] fun...Above all, the author's enthusiasm for science shines through." (Wall Street Journal).

  • "A deeply enjoyable book...[Berman] comes across as the world's most enthusiastic science teacher....[who] writes 'everything about the sun is either amazing or useful.' It's hard not to enjoy a book when someone says that and does their cheerful best to back it up." (Washington Post).

  • "We won't take the Sun for granted any longer if astronomy popularizer Berman...has anything to say about it....'Everything about the Sun is either amazing or useful,' Berman writes, and then proves it, without a doubt." (Publisher's Weekly).

  • "A quick, smart and colorful biography of 'yon flaming orb.'" (Kirkus Reviews).

  • "An engaging consciousness-raiser that entertains as it informs about our neighborhood nuclear furnace." (Booklist).

  • (Library Journal).

Formats

Product Details

The Sun's Heartbeat
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $25.99 US/$28.99 CAN
  • Pages: 304
  • Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316091015
  • On Sale Date: 07/13/2011
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