EXPLODING STARS…AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH
What is the story of the supernova? When the universe was born some 15 billion years ago, the “big bang” produced vast clouds of hydrogen and helium. Where did everything else come from—all the heavier elements, the planets, the star-strewn galaxies? Very recent astronomical research and new meteorite studies indicate that the answer lies in the heart of supernovas, the huge unstable suns whose immense convulsions and titanic explosions are the largest and most shattering events in the universe. Isaac Asimov, the most widely read science writer of our time, explains that out of the heart of supernovas have come our sun, planets, and ultimately, life and man.
“Asimov’s flair for popularizing the most arcane scientific concepts is once again right on the mark in this highly readable book.”—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Asimov brings to his coverage…a zeal to explain complexities to lay audiences.…A skillful job.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Asimov, indefatigable explainer, takes up those incomprehensible, star-based explosions…his style…works.”—THE NEW YORK TIMES
This is a “big” astronomy book in the tradition of The Universe and The Collapsing Universe. As with the other two, it’s well written and covers the ground involved thoroughly and well, here the subject being (no surprise) novae and supernovae, and it’s recent enough to include comparatively current thinking on the origin of novae. If the book has any weakness, it’s that the illustrators are sparse and aimed more at looking artistic than really supplementing the text—but then, one rarely reads an Asimov book for the illustrations. Overall, this is an excellent book and more than worth having.