These stars were born to rule. They create copious amounts of heavy elements and metals before leaking them back into the cosmos from their decaying bodies after they die. Their end is usually a great flash of glory called a supernova — a catastrophic explosion that acts like a thermonuclear bomb and synthesises even bigger and more complex atoms, such as gold and uranium and all the weird ones you’ve never heard of. From these incredible exploding stars, our Sun and solar system were born. From the ashes of a long-dead star came our entire world.
If you, like me, want to better understand stars, then The Secret Life of Stars by Lisa Harvey-Smith is the book for you. Covering the life of our Sun, red dwarfs, brown dwarfs, gravitational waves, giant stars, cannibalistic stars, black holes, and much more, The Secret Life of Stars is a fascinating account of how stars behave in relation to each other.
Told in a conversational style and using human relationships as metaphors for the behaviour of stars, The Secret Life of Stars gave this STEM-challenged reader a rudimentary understanding of astrophysics. I never realised how chaotic, how messy and how imperfect some stars can be. They are perfectly relatable to our own lives.
The Secret Life of Stars is a fascinating, entertaining and informative book with wide accessibility. I loved learning about the stars in our heavenly night skies and beyond. Highly recommended for everyone.
About the book:
We all know the Sun, the powerhouse of our solar system, but what about Luyten’s Flare, the Rosino-Zwicky Object or Chanal’s variable star? For those whose curiosity takes them far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, The Secret Life of Stars offers a personal and readily understood introduction to some of the Galaxy’s most remarkable stars.
Each chapter connects us to the various different and unusual stars and their amazing characteristics and attributes, from pulsars, blue stragglers and white dwarfs to cannibal stars and explosive supernovae. With chapter illustrations by Eirian Chapman, this book brings to life the remarkable personalities of these stars, reminding readers what a diverse and unpredictable universe we live in and how fortunate we are to live around a stable star, our Sun.
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About Lisa Harvey-Smith:
Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astronomer and Professor at the University of New South Wales. In 2018 she was appointed as the Australian Government’s Ambassador for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She is the author of When Galaxies Collide and best-selling children’s book Under the Stars, both published by Melbourne University Press. Lisa is also a regular on national tv/radio/media, and has appeared in several TV series and documentaries as a guest scientist and is a presenter alongside Prof. Brian Cox on ABC TV’s Stargazing Live.
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Many thanks to AusYABloggers and Thames & Hudson Australia for the opportunity to be a part of this book blog tour 🙂