The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet

The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet

Bob Berman

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0316090999

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.

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Appearance when approaching the Sun’s edge. But Galileo went too far in his criticisms. He wrongly ridiculed Scheiner’s later claims that the Sun was not uniformly bright. He also erred in dismissing the German’s discovery that the spots moved faster near the solar equator—which made Scheiner the first to realize that, unlike the moon and Earth, the gaseous Sun has a differential rotation: its equator spins completely in twenty-five days, but its polar regions require more than an extra week.

Alphabet starting from the red end of the spectrum. For example, a closely spaced pair of dark lines dominated the yellow region of the Sun’s rainbow spectrum, and he called these D1 and D2. Today, if you speak with a physicist or high school science teacher, she’ll know exactly what you mean if you allude to the Sun’s “double-D Fraunhofer lines.” For the next half century, science books hungry for anything to say about the Sun mentioned that its light is crossed by dozens of dark lines of.

Only one to three years. Its partner effect, La Niña, has a smaller effect, but in reverse: it creates a bit of global cooling. Finally, there is carbon dioxide. Its influence does not come and go. Rather, its levels before around 1975 were small enough that its effects were usually dwarfed and masked by the other factors. That’s why temperatures during the first seventy-nine years of the twentieth century marched up and down with the Sun’s changing irradiance while also displaying a quiet.

Bewilderingly became church doctrine. Later on, questioning Aristotle meant getting burned at the stake. A few of his other writings were correct. For example, he believed Earth is spherical, not flat. Hipparchus of Nicaea (ca. 190–120 BC) discovered the twenty-six-century wobble of Earth’s axis called precession, and he created the first accurate star catalog, dividing stars into six magnitudes of brightness, a system that is still used today. He also determined the length of a year to within.

Deficiency Is a Cause of Autism?,” Scientific American, April 24, 2009, and the 2008 study by Swedish researchers in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. John Cannell’s primary vitamin D focus is on its putative link with autism. He is convinced that a serious D deficiency is a major trigger for that heartbreaking affliction, and he has helped initiate new studies to see whether mothers of autistic children, who have a 10 percent chance of having another autistic child, can drastically.

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