Death from the Skies!: The Science Behind the End of the World (Google eBook)

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Penguin, Oct 16, 2008 - Science - 336 pages
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A lively astronomy primer that uses cataclysmic scenarios to explain the universe?s most fascinating events.

According to astronomer Philip Plait, the universe is an apocalypse waiting to happen But how much do we really need to fear from things like black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and supernovae? And if we should be scared, is there anything we can do to save ourselves? With humor and wit, Plait details the myriad doomsday events that the cosmos could send our way to destroy our planet and life as we know it. This authoritative yet accessible study is the ultimate astronomy lesson.

Combining fascinating?and often alarming?scenarios that seem plucked from science fiction with the latest research and opinions, Plait illustrates why outer space is not as remote as most people think. Each chapter explores a different phenomenon, explaining it in easy-to-understand terms, and considering how life on earth and the planet itself would be affected should the event come to pass. Rather than sensationalizing the information, Plait analyzes the probability of these catastrophes occurring in our lifetimes and what we can do to stop them. With its entertaining tone and enlightening explanation of unfathomable concepts, Death from the Skies! will appeal to science buffs and beginners alike.
  

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Contents

VIRAL ADVERTISING
BUG IN THE SYSTEM
WHERE ARE THEY?
ARE WE ALONE?
TALK IS CHEAP
TO BOLDLY GO
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM
SUNRISE SUNSET

ODDS AND ENDS
MY SUN THE STAR
CURRENT EVENTS
MAGNETIC BUBBLE COIL AND TROUBLE
A FLARE FOR DANGER
HALO HOW YOU DOING?
RINGING THE DOORBELL
CLIMATE OF CHANGE
HOT PLANETS AND HOT AIR
A STAR IS BORN
THE LIFE OF A STAR
RAGE RAGE INTO THE NIGHT
ROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD
SIRIUS DANGER?
COSMICRAY GUN
BLAST FROM THE PAST
THE CYCLE OF LIFE
GOLD WAR HOT NEWS
THE VIEW FROM AFAR
KABOOM
THE GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION
BEAM ME OUT
THIS IS NOW THAT WAS THEN
BEAMING WITH CONFIDENCE
SHORT BUT NOT SWEET
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
THE HOLE TRUTH
IVE FALLEN AND I CANT GET UP
TIME OUT
PASTATA
FRIED BY THE LIGHT
JUST PASSING THROUGH
BLACK HOLETTES
MAN HOLE
THATS LIFE
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
MARTIAN CHRONICLES
THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE LIFEHEREBEGANOUT THERE
THE SUN AS A NORMAL STAR
THE BRIGHTENING OF THE SUN
THE SUN AS A SUBGIANT
THE SUN AS A RED GIANT
DAVID AND GOLIATH
THE HELIUM FLASH AND CORE HELIUM FUSION
HELIUM EXHAUSTION
THE SUN AS A WHITE DWARF
THE LONG DESCENT INTO NIGHT
THERES NO PLACE LIKE HOME
THE SUBURBS
A CLOUDY FUTURE
PLANE FLIGHT
MONSTER IN THE MIDDLE
ANDROMEDA STRAIN
A NOTE ON EXPONENTIAL NOTATION
DEEP TIME
AVERYBRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE
T + 1043SECOND TO TODAY
HOW WE KNOW WHATS SO
THE AGES OF THE UNIVERSE
T + 1081015YEARS
LOST HORIZON
THE FAULT LIES IN THE STARS
T + 10151040YEARS
GALACTIC PERCOLATION
PROTON DECAY
T + 10401092YEARS
T + 1092 YEARS
REBIRTH?
DOWN THE LONG STAIRCASE
ASTEROID AND COMET IMPACTS
SUPERNOVAE AND GAMMARAY BURSTS
ALIEN ATTACK
DEATH OF THE SUN
DEATH OF THE COSMOS
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