Long ago, the magnificence of the star-filled sky and its clock-like motions inspired people to invent myths to explain this impressive feature of nature. Now we understand the stars at a much deeper level, not as legendary figures connected with constellations, but as engines of matter, energy, and the raw material of life itself. And thanks to powerful telescopes, our view of the stars is more stunning than ever.
The Life and Death of Stars introduces you to this spectacular story in 24 half-hour lectures that lead you through the essential ideas of astrophysics - the science of stars. Your guide is Professor Stassun, an award-winning teacher and noted astrophysicist. He provides lively, eloquent, and authoritative explanations at a level suitable for science novices as well as for those who already know their way around the starry sky.
The Life and Death of Stars takes you to some otherworldly destinations, including stellar nurseries, planetary nebulae, the core of the sun, and protoplanetary systems. You also become familiar with the periodic table of elements, discovering how fusion reactions inside stars forge successively heavier atoms, producing some in abundance, temporarily skipping others, and creating everything heavier than iron.