Angus & Robertson:
Australian RRP: $34.99
Published in Australia on the 29th September 2020 by Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Limited.
Genre: Non Fiction, Natural History and Science
Page Count: 192
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Thames & Hudson AU –
‘Astrophysics made fun!’
Pam Melroy, former astronaut and space shuttle commander
‘The most enjoyable stroll through the cosmos’
Gerry Griffin, former flight director, Apollo Mission Control
We all know the Sun, the powerhouse of our solar system, but what about Luyten’s Flare, the Rosino-Zwicky Object or Chanal’s variable star? For those whose curiosity takes them far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, The Secret Life of Stars offers a personal and readily understood introduction to some of the Galaxy’s most remarkable stars.
Each chapter connects us to the various different and unusual stars and their amazing characteristics and attributes, from pulsars, blue stragglers and white dwarfs to cannibal stars and explosive supernovae. With chapter illustrations by Eirian Chapman, this book brings to life the remarkable personalities of these stars, reminding readers what a diverse and unpredictable universe we live in and how fortunate we are to live around a stable star, our Sun.
I’ve always been utterly captivated by stars, it’s just so fascinating to me that the night sky is so endlessly expansive with an infinite vastness of stars, some that the human eye can’t even ever set their eyes on for they’re so far away! Yet, there are a lot that any one human can gaze and admire, something which I think should be appreciated in itself.
This book is just such a pleasure to read, it’s equally educational, I’m so excited to have read it and learnt about the infinite plethora of stars that occupy the night sky, learning about the genesis within them and how some have thrived all by themselves for millions upon millions of years, while some live within family like clusters together and some paired, fated to dance around one another in such close proximity for a long, long time.
Whilst I might be utterly fascinated by everything starry, unfortunately my general science knowledge is almost completely non-existent. Was I initially weary that this book might be packed to the brim with Science lingo and jargon, but I really needn’t have worried!
That’s one of the many things I appreciate about this book, it’s written in such a descriptive (yet not overly so) manner, the stars that are being written about given such bright personalities (if you’ll pardon the inevitable space pun), honestly, this book was just written so vibrantly and passionately, Lisa Harvey-Smith’s enthusiasm and love and dedication for her chosen field of work is so apparent and really carries through her writing, making it shine and making me smile! Lisa Harvey-Smith’s writing has definitely made me want to explore the stars more, as it were!
I’m really excited that this book was written, I feel like it’s everything an educational book on such a vast subject should encompass, there’s nothing forced about Lisa Harvey-Smith’s writing, it’s brimming with excitement and expansive knowledge about these bright personalities that occupy the night sky, and I’m so glad to know more about some of them having read this book! I completely recommend to all ages, it’s just a (one more space pun!) stellar resource to have!
Happy Reading (and stargazing!),
About the Author:
Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astronomer and Professor at the University of New South Wales. In 2018 she was appointed as the Australian Government’s Ambassador for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She is the author of When Galaxies Collide and best-selling children’s book Under the Stars, both published by Melbourne University Press. Lisa is also a regular on national tv/radio/media, and has appeared in several TV series and documentaries as a guest scientist and is a presenter alongside Prof. Brian Cox on ABC TV’s Stargazing Live.
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