Download A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on by Ian Morison PDF

By Ian Morison

Delivering an in-depth knowing either for normal readers and astronomy fans, this hugely accomplished ebook offers an up to date survey of our wisdom of the Universe past Earth. The booklet explores our sun method, its planets and different our bodies; examines the solar and the way it and different stars evolve via their lifetimes; discusses the hunt for planets past our sun process and the way we would observe lifestyles on them; and highlights fascinating items chanced on inside of our galaxy, the Milky method. It additionally seems to be at our present knowing of the beginning and evolution of the Universe, in addition to many different exciting subject matters, equivalent to time, black holes and Einstein's theories, darkish subject, darkish strength and the Cosmic Microwave history. The e-book is uniquely supported via video lectures given by means of the writer, to be had on-line. it's also the very most recent astronomical observations, comparable to these made via the Planck and Kepler spacecraft.

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Extra resources for A Journey through the Universe: Gresham Lectures on Astronomy

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From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System by John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton (Princeton University Press). 37 4 The rocky planets Our knowledge of the Solar System has increased dramatically in the last 50 years by the use of spacecraft that have flown by, orbited and even landed on the planets, giving us high resolution images and detailed planetary data. This chapter will cover our Earth and its Moon and the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars, with the following two chapters covering the outer planets, highlighting aspects related to their properties, discovery and satellites.

The transition region leads into the outer region of the Sun called the ‘solar corona’, where temperatures reach in excess of 2 million K. Its form and extent depends strongly on the solar activity, which varies through what is called the ‘sunspot cycle’, but typically extends for several solar radii. At the time of solar minima when activity is low, it usually extends further from the Sun at its equator and the pattern of the Sun’s magnetic field is often well delineated near its poles. At solar maxima, the overall shape is more uniform and has a complex structure.

7 × 1011 kg of hydrogen has to be converted to helium per second. We know that the Sun has a mass of 2 × 1030 kg so, dividing by the mass loss per second, one gets a solar lifetime of ~100 billion years. However, not all of the Sun’s mass can be converted; partly because only ~75% is composed of hydrogen, but also because temperatures are only high enough (~15 million K) in the central core for nuclear fusion to take place. The models predict that only ~10% of the Sun’s mass can be converted. We thus believe that our Sun will shine burning hydrogen to helium for ~10 billion years.

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