The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Sun

Front Cover
Penguin, 2003 - Nature - 350 pages
1 Review

David Dyer's astonishing novel The Midnight Watchis based on the true story of the SS Californian, the ship that sawtheTitanic'sdistress rockets and yet, unfathomably, did nothing. A psychological thriller.


Sometimes the smallest of human failings can lead to the greatest of disasters

On a wretchedly cold night in the North Atlantic, a steamer stopped in an icefield sees the glow of another ship on the horizon. Just after midnight the first of eight distress rockets is fired. Why did theCalifornian look on while theTitanicsank?

As soon as Boston Americanreporter John Steadman lays eyes on the man who stood the midnight watch on the Californian, he knows there's another story lurking behind the official one. Herbert Stone must have seen something, and yet his ship did nothing while the calamity took place. Now Stone, under his captain's orders, must carry his secret in silence, while Steadman is determined to find it out.

So begins a strange dance around the truth by these three men. Haunted by the fifteen hundred who went to their deaths in those icy waters, and by the loss of his own baby son years earlier, Steadman must either find redemption in the Titanic's tragedy or lose himself.

Based on true events, The Midnight Watchis at once a heart-stopping mystery and a deeply knowing novel - about the frailty of men, the strength of women, the capriciousness of fate and the price of loyalty.

     

    What people are saying - Write a review

    User Review - Flag as inappropriate

    Jay Pasachoff went to grad school at Caltech, and is on sabbatical for the 2008-2009 school year here.

    Contents

    What the Sun Looks Like
    1
    The Sun Shines on Us
    3
    Solar Safety
    4
    The Quiet Sun
    5
    The Suns Lower Atmosphere
    6
    Above the Top
    8
    The Sun as a Star
    11
    The Active Sun
    13
    Eclipses in Europe
    151
    Recent American Eclipses
    152
    Eclipses and Elephants
    154
    Outback Eclipse
    155
    To Be in the Moons Shadow
    157
    The Dregs
    161
    Eclipse Viewing and Photography
    162
    Venus Tries to Cover Immodestly
    169

    Dark Spots Are Really Bright
    14
    From Your Refrigerator to Your Sun
    15
    Sunspot Cycle
    17
    The Spinning Sun
    19
    Leading and Trailing
    20
    The Spectrum
    22
    Butterflies
    23
    Seeing the Invisible
    27
    Invisibly Radiating
    29
    Invisibly Central
    30
    Invisibly Blocked
    33
    Invisible Neutrinos
    35
    The Sun Goes Up the Sun Goes Down
    39
    Sunrise Sunset
    40
    Solstices and Equinoxes
    41
    Princess Summerfallwinterspring
    44
    Figure 8s in the Sky
    45
    In the Zone
    47
    Saving Daylight
    48
    Keeping the Calendar
    49
    Our SunLooking Good
    51
    Why Is the Sky Blue?
    53
    What Is the Green Flash?
    54
    Rainbows
    55
    Dogs and Pillars in the Sky
    56
    Static May Fade Here Comes the Sun
    57
    Planets from Afar
    59
    The Sun Through Time
    61
    The Sun as a Star
    63
    Whither the Sun
    66
    The Sun Is a Star
    69
    The Sun and Civilization
    73
    Where Comes the Sun?
    76
    Who Found Sunspots?
    77
    Cathedrals and Sunshine
    79
    South of the Border
    82
    Astronomy of The People
    83
    The Birth of the Sun
    85
    Riding Madly Off in All Directions
    87
    Flickering Starlight
    88
    The Sun at the Center
    91
    Galileo on Your Side Nicky
    93
    Kepler Controls the Universe
    95
    Imperfection
    98
    The Death of the Sun
    103
    Not a Planet After All
    106
    We Wont Blow Up
    108
    Our Ultimate Resting Place
    109
    Eclipses of the Sun
    111
    Who Stole the Sun?
    113
    High Drama in the Sky
    117
    Squashed and Flat
    119
    The End of Glory
    121
    Saros and Cycles
    123
    Over and Over but Not Quite the Same
    127
    Eclipses and World Travelers
    130
    Helium Only on the Sun
    133
    Only on the Sun
    138
    A Laboratory in the Sky
    141
    To the Ends of the Earth
    147
    As Long as Can Be
    148
    Rooting for Extreme Cold
    150
    Mercury to the Rescue
    177
    Our Time Has Come
    179
    The Sun from Mountaintops
    183
    High Above the Clouds
    185
    The Sun Isnt Up at Night
    187
    Let It All Come Through
    191
    Sunspot New Mexico and the House of the Sun
    195
    California Dreaming
    201
    Synoptic SOLIS
    202
    Canaries and the Big Dog
    205
    Indian Idyl
    208
    The Other Alps
    209
    Where Oh Where Will My Telescope Go?
    210
    Ringing Like a Bell
    215
    Whats Behind?
    220
    Round the World in Six Stops
    222
    The Sun from Space
    225
    Above the Air Is Better
    227
    Solar to the Max
    232
    Sunbeam
    237
    Solar Rockets
    239
    Yohkohs Decade
    241
    Exploring Small
    243
    Yo Ho SOHO
    247
    SOHOs Coronal Science
    249
    Blowing in the Wind
    255
    TRACEinq Out the Loops
    259
    Youll Think Youre Up Close
    260
    Ultra and Beyond
    262
    The Sun Is Loopy
    263
    Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble
    265
    No Rolling Stones
    267
    Plunging into the Sun
    269
    STEREO Views
    271
    Activity Over Time
    273
    Solar Probe
    274
    The Longer Term
    275
    Can We Do It?
    277
    The SunEarth Connection
    279
    Constancy Thy Name Isnt the Sun
    281
    The Solar Parameter?
    282
    Is the Sun Going Away?
    283
    Monitoring Our Lifeline
    286
    Chiaroscuro
    287
    Is the Sun Round?
    289
    The Sun and Weather
    290
    Greenhouses of Salt
    293
    Energy In and Out
    294
    Not Your Ordinary Greenhouse
    295
    The Forecast Today Is Flares
    305
    Glossary
    315
    Online Solar Glossaries
    321
    Solar Observatories
    323
    Eclipses
    324
    Future Solar Satellites and Programs
    325
    Past Spacecraft
    326
    Solar Web Information
    327
    Astronomy Clubs and Solar Interest Groups
    329
    A Word on Temperature
    333
    Selected Readings
    335
    Index
    339
    Copyright

    Common terms and phrases

    About the author (2003)

    David Dyergrew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him.

    David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

    David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midni

    Bibliographic information