Item description for The Sun from Space (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library) by Kenneth R. Lang...
The Sun from Space is a comprehensive account of solar astrophysics and how our perception and knowledge of this star have gradually evolved as mankind has elucidated ever more of its mysteries. The emphasis is on the last decade, which has seen three successful solar spacecraft missions: SOHO, Ulysses and Yohkoh. Together these have confirmed many aspects of the SUN and its output, and provided new clues to the numerous open questions that remain. The author, a leading researcher in the field, writes in a clear and concise style. Known also for his famous books "Astrophysical Formulae", "Sun, Earth and Sky", and the prize-winning "Wanderers in Space", he has succeeded once again in addressing a complex scientific topic in a very approachable way. Hence, this generously illustrated book, whilst primarily addressing students, will also be of interest to a broader readership covering all levels from the amateur to the expert.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.45" Width: 6.27" Height: 0.82" Weight: 1.92 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 2000
ISBN 3540669442 ISBN13 9783540669449
Availability 0 units.
More About Kenneth R. Lang
Kenneth R. Lang is Professor of Astronomy at Tufts University. He is the author of many popular astronomy books, including The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System, 2nd edition (2011), Sun, Earth, and Sky, 2nd edition (2006) and Wanderers in Space (1994). An expert in radio astronomy and astrophysics, his research examines how magnetic energy generates explosions on the Sun.
Kenneth R. Lang has an academic affiliation as follows - Tufts University, Massachusetts.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Sun from Space (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library)?
good info., poorly written Apr 2, 2003
Decent information for beginners to the field of solar physics. However, in a couple ways this book is a fine example of how NOT to write a science book. Lang states numbers and units in a very distracting way: for instance, "1.5 thousand meters" and on a diagram of the Sun, 15 M(degree sign) for the central temperature.
On page 73 we read, about the Sun's oscillations: "That interval is similar to the separation between the most intense contractions during child birth, at least during the birth of my children."
OK, did we really need to know that in an _astrophysics_ text?
Solar astronomy for the educated layman Sep 26, 2002
Kenneth Lang, the well-known author of Astrophysical Formulae, wrote this excellently-illustrated introductory book about the Sun's atmosphere. The level of the book is appropriate for an "educated layman" who is interested in the field of solar astrophysics. I read it as background for the incipient STEREO mission. It concentrates on the new knowledge from three recent space missions: SOHO, Ulysses, and Yohkoh; but it also includes data from many other spacecraft, ground (and underground) observatories, and historical data.
The book is organized well. It has sections on the three space missions, the space environment, helioseismology, the corona, the solar wind, solar activity, and the Sun-Earth connection. Each chapter concludes with a chronology of important scientific discoveries in the field. The book also includes side boxes containing key concepts in understanding the physics described in the text. Apparently these were included so the text might be used for a undergraduate course; but the academic level of these side boxes is so inconsistent I do not think this book alone could be used as a text. The book concludes with a set of Internet addresses (it is a pity that the movies that have been made of solar phenomena cannot be incorporated into a printed book) and an extensive list of references to original papers.
The book's strength is its illustrations, which cover almost every observable aspect of the Sun. Many of these are taken from seminal papers in the field, and the author is careful to give credit where credit is due. If the book has a weakness, it is this scrupulousness in attributing discoveries to scientists: the author sometimes presents the discoveries in piecemeal fashion. He thus sometimes fails to present an entire coherent picture of a phenomenon, while presenting parts of the picture many times. He also has an annoying idiosyncrasy of writing out powers of ten and units (e.g., "50,000 to 1.2 million meters per second") rather than using an appropriate abbreviation (50 - 1200 km/s); I often found myself converting his writing in my head to get a feel for the numbers.
In general, the book is an excellent introduction to this field and I recommend it for that purpose. It is not adequate preparation for someone wishing to enter the field of solar physics, but it is not a coffee-table paperweight either. It gives the reader the ability to understand what solar scientists are talking about, and what the target science is for the various missions in NASA's Sun-Earth Connection enterprise.