Book 99: Nearest Star by Leon Golub & Jay M. Pasachoff


Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun by Leon Golub and J. M. Pasachoff

Finished reading on January 7th, 2014

Rating: 9/10

“Nearest Star” is as the title suggests (surprise – surprise!) about the Sun. In the past few months I’ve read two other books about the sun Christopher Cooper’s “Our Sun” and Pal Brekke’s “Our Explosive Sun”, which are both visually very good books and the content matches the visual sign and is good.

Some how with each next book I find that there’s something else that I did yet not know about (hmm… maybe that’s why you can’t be an expert on something that you’ve read just one book about? There’s something there…).

One of the important parts in this book is observing the sun – how to go about doing it, what methods there are, etc. Although it’s a standard part to have in a book about the Sun, I didn’t know before that several solar telescopes have interiors that are basically vacuum chambers because otherwise the air in the telescope would heat up and cause the air to move about hence ruining the image. Somehow I’ve never come across that before.

But what else can one find out in this book?

Well naturally there’s an introduction to the physical aspects of the Sun and you can read about different ideas that astronomers had about how the Sun produces energy.

Then there’s the observational part – what can be observed and from where and why it should be observed?

Then you can find out a bit about the structure of the Sun, about eclipses and finally different space missions like Hinode, IMAGE, SDO and others that are observing the Sun, but also about space weather, how it’s important and whether or not changes in the Sun are causing Earth’s climate to change or not.

So all in all it’s a comprehensive guide to the Sun, and what is known about it and what is left to be found out.

I enjoyed this book in it’s e-galley format, so it didn’t have many of the figures and schematics, which will probably give a lot more to the book.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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