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Stardust: Supernovae and Life -- The Cosmic Connection

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We are made of stardust-and so is all life as we know it. All the chemical elements on earth except hydrogen-including the ones in our bodies-have been processed inside stars, scattered across the universe in great stellar explosions, and recycled to become new stars, planets, and parts of us. In...

We are made of stardust-and so is all life as we know it. All the chemical elements on earth except hydrogen-including the ones in our bodies-have been processed inside stars, scattered across the universe in great stellar explosions, and recycled to become new stars, planets, and parts of us. In this engrossing book, John and Mary Gribbin relate the developments in twentieth-century astronomy that have led to this shattering realization. They begin their account in the 1920s, when astronomers discovered that the oldest stars are chiefly composed of the primordial elements hydrogen and helium, produced in the birth of the universe in a Big Bang. They then describe the seminal work of the 1950s and 1960s, which unlocked the secret of how elements are "cooked" by nuclear fusion inside stars. The heart of the story is their discussion of supernovae, only recently understood as great stellar explosions in which the resulting ash is spread far and wide through the cosmos, forming new generations of stars, planets, and people. Focusing on the relationship between the universe and the Earth, the authors eloquently explain how the physical structure of the universe has produced conditions ideal for life.

Review Citations:
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2004 pg. 269 (EAN 9780300090970, Paperback)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 12/31/2008 pg. 368 (EAN 9780300090970, Paperback)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2013 pg. 419 (EAN 9780300090970, Paperback)
Publishers Weekly 09/11/2000 pg. 76 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Booklist 10/01/2000 pg. 308 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
New Yorker (The) 12/04/2000 pg. 101 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Choice 02/01/2001 pg. 1102 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Univ PR Books for Public Libry 01/01/2001 pg. 38 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2001 pg. 34 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2004 pg. 269 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 12/31/2008 pg. 368 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2013 pg. 419 (EAN 9780300084191, Hardcover)
Contributor Bio: Gribbin, John R
John Gribbin is visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex and a best-selling author.

Contributor Bio: Gribbin, Mary
Mary Gribbin and John Gribbin are among the best-known current popular science writers. Together, they have written many acclaimed books, including Ice Age, FitzRoy, Stardust, and Big Numbers.
Mary is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with a special interest in plants and exploration. John is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the author of books including The Universe:
A Biography, In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, and Science: A History.

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