Details

Sirius


Sirius

Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky
Springer Praxis Books

von: Jay B. Holberg

29,74 €

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 05.07.2007
ISBN/EAN: 9780387489421
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 250

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Beschreibungen

This book tells two stories. The first and most obvious is why the star known as Sirius has been regarded as an important fixture of the night sky by many civilizations and cultures since the beginnings of history. A second, but related, narrative is the prominent part that Sirius has played in how we came to achieve our current scientific understanding of the nature and fate of the stars. This is the first book to integrate the cultural history of Sirius with modern astrophysics in a way which provides a realistic view of how science progresses over time.
This book describes why Sirius has been regarded as an important fixture of the night sky since the beginnings of history. It also examines the part that Sirius has played in how we came to achieve our current scientific understanding of stars.
Of all the fixed stars in the night sky, Sirius is by far the brightest – almost twice as bright as its nearest rival, the star Canopus, which lies too far south to be viewed from most of the Northern Hemisphere. Only the Sun, Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter and, at times, Mars, appear brighter. Sirius, with its flashing brilliance, is a striking feature of the northern winter sky and has understandably drawn the attention of observers of the night sky for thousands of years.

Sirius has many names.  Astronomers recognize over fifty designations for the star, but the most commonly used is Alpha Canis Majoris, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major.  This is Latin for the 'Great Dog', which has led to its popular nickname the ‘Dog Star’. Over the centuries many beliefs have come to be associated with Sirius. Some of these beliefs still echo in such phrases as ‘the dog days of summer’, which the ancient Romans understood well. Other old beliefs long ago fell from public consciousness — only to be revived and to grow into modern popular and scientific controversies. Although these beliefs may seem quite recent, many have their origins in the ancient lore surrounding Sirius; humans seem naturally drawn to its brilliance, and a surprising number of modern cults have nucleated around beliefs in which Sirius plays a prominent role.
Ancient Sirius.- The Goddess of the Eastern Horizon.- The Dog Star.- The Nature of the Stars.- From Myth to Reality.- A Dark Star Prophesied.- A Dark Star Revealed.- The Physics of the Stars.- An Odd Pair.- Giants among the Dwarfs.- A Matter of Degeneracy.- Einstein’s Well.- A Controversial and Occult Sirius.- A Red Sirius.- Modern Mysteries.- A Contemporary and Future Sirius.- A View from Space.- Past, Present, and Future.
The author, Jay Holberg, is well known, both as an historian and as an astrophysicist, and in telling the story of Sirius he is able to integrate the history of the star with modern astrophysics in a way which provides a realistic view of how science progresses over time.
The first book to integrate the cultural history of Sirius with modern astrophysics in a way which provides a realistic view of how science progresses over time
Explains how studies of the star Sirius have played a pivotal role in achieving our current understanding of the nature and fate of stars
Demonstrates the importance of Sirius to many civilisations and cultures over thousands of years
Provides an intriguing, in-depth treatment of longstanding Sirius controversies, such as Red Sirius and the story of the Dogon tribe
Contains the results of original historical studies, as well as topical and timely scientific research
This is the first book to integrate the cultural history of Sirius with modern astrophysics in a way which provides a realistic view of how science progresses over time. The book tells two stories. The first and most obvious is why the star known as Sirius has been regarded as an important fixture of the night sky by many civilizations and cultures since the beginnings of history. A second, but related, narrative is the prominent part that Sirius has played in how we came to achieve our current scientific understanding of the nature and fate of the stars. The book further provides an intriguing, in-depth treatment of longstanding Sirius controversies, such as Red Sirius and the story of the Dogon tribe, and it contains the results of original historical studies, as well as topical and timely scientific research.

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