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The Lives of Stars Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is wonderfully well organized, from its table of contents, through its index, and much of what the book covers is stated on the first page which begins: "On a dark night, you can see thousands of stars. All these stars belong to our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Without stars, you could not live. Before the Earth was born, stars made the oxygen you breathe, the calcium in your bones and the iron in your blood." Wow! Who knew?
Each chapter discusses, in great detail, but in simple, comprehensible terms, topics such as how stars are born, what they are made of, the types of stars, the life cycle of stars, and the relationship between how hot a star is and how brightly it will shine. The author explains light years, radio waves, types of hydrogen atoms, the density of matter in space, and more. You will meet brown dwarfs, red giants, white dwarfs and black holes. You will hear all about nebulae and supernovas. You will learn all about the origin of the elements, and extrasolar planets, and the possibility of life in space.Read more ›
Probably the most interesting part of the text is how Croswell uses analogies for comparison to explain about stars in a way understandable to the reader. He uses these analogies liberally throughout the text. For example, in the very first section he describes the method of determining the distance the star is located from earth. This concept of parallax uses the red shift of the star or the movement away from earth as comparison. This is a difficult concept for the reader to grasp but Croswell simply describes this concept as likened to looking out your window and then moving to the right and noting the movement of the object of reference (like a tree) outside the house. He says that this is like observing that the movement of the object closer to the house will appear to move more than a distant object. This is exactly the same technique of parallax used to determine star distance from earth.
I especially appreciate Croswell's added glossary and index at the end of the text. This allows the book to be used as an excellent reference for reports or classroom use. I would most certainly add this little text to my classroom library if I taught about space science. I believe students of all ages can benefit from reading or referencing this little book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very well produced with many good quality photos. will stimulate a youngsters interest. also intersting for adults to read.
The book, however, is on the scanty side. Read more