The Stars of Heaven

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2004 M05 6 - 256 pages
Do a little armchair space travel, rub elbows with alien life forms, and stretch your mind to the furthest corners of our uncharted universe. With this astonishing guidebook, you don't have to be an astronomer to explore the mysteries of stars and their profound meaning for human existence. Clifford A. Pickover tackles a range of topics from stellar evolution to the fundamental reasons why the universe permits life to flourish. He alternates sections that explain the mysteries of the cosmos with sections that dramatize mind-expanding concepts through a fictional dialog between futuristic humans and their alien peers (who embark on a journey beyond the reader's wildest imagination). This highly accessible and entertaining approach turns an intimidating subject into a scientific game open to all dreamers. Told in Pickover's inimitable blend of fascinating state-of-the-art science and whimsical science fiction, and packed with numerous diagrams and illustrations, The Stars of Heaven unfolds a world of paradox and mystery, one that will intrigue anyone who has ever pondered the night sky with wonder.

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THE STARS OF HEAVEN

User Review  - Kirkus

Ambitious overview of astronomy, by the author of Strange Brains and Genius (1998), whose material here seems far more often strewn than marshaled.Popular-science journalist Pickover's central belief ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Elements of astronomy presented in a quirky (an adjective that applies to all of this author's books), science-fictiony way. Pickover is too concerned with and tolerant of religion (a fault shared by ... Read full review

Contents

Stellar Parallax and the Quest for Transcendence
1
The Joy and Paschen of Starlight
14
Spectral Classes Temperatures and Doppler Shifts
39
Luminosity and the Distance Modulus
58
HertzsprungRussell MassLuminosity Relations and Binary Stars
71
Last Tango on the Heliopause
90
Stellar Evolution and the Helium Flash
117
Stellar Graveyards Nucleosynthesis and Why We Exist
142
Some Final Thoughts
188
Notes
198
Stars in the Bible
212
Updates and Breakthroughs
217
Further Reading
224
About the Author
226
Index
229
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 215 - And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
Page 10 - Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies...
Page 213 - And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Page 58 - Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry.
Page 214 - Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name: that strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
Page 215 - The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches : and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Page 214 - Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night...
Page 212 - Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
Page 215 - We have also a more sure word of prophecy ; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.
Page 214 - When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

About the author (2004)

Clifford A. Pickover is an associate editor of several journals and a prolific inventor, and his science web site, www.pickover.com, has received over a million visits. Pickover is also the author of many best-selling books on popular science topics. He lives in Yorktown Heights, New York.

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