How did the Sun evolve, and what will it become? What is the origin of its light and heat? How does solar activity affect the atmospheric conditions that make life on Earth possible? These are the questions at the heart of solar physics, and at the core of this book. The Sun is the only star near eugh to study in sufficient detail to provide rigorous tests of our theories and help us understand the more distant and exotic objects throughout the cosmos. Having observed the Sun using both ground-based and spaceborne instruments, the authors bring their extensive personal experience to this story revealing what we have discovered about phemena from eclipses to neutris, space weather, and global warming. This second edition is updated throughout, and features results from the current spacecraft that are aloft, especially NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, for which one of the authors designed some of the telescopes.
Leon Golub is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and has been studying the Sun and solar-type stars since the Skylab missions in 1973-4 and the Einstein Observatory in 1978. He is the head of the Solar-Stellar X-ray Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and has been involved in building and flying cutting-edge space instrumentation for the past thirty years. He is Chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society and has written many popular articles on subjects ranging from astronomy and philosophy to music criticism. Jay Pasachoff is a Professor of Astronomy at Williams College. He is a veteran of 56 solar eclipse expeditions, which have taken him all over the world to study the sun over the sunspot cycle. He received the Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society. His undergraduate textbooks in astronomy have been widely used. He is already involved in planning for education and public outreach for the 2017 total solar eclipse for which totality will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina and for which the whole of the continental United States and Canada will see at least a partial eclipse.