By Isaac Asimov
В этой книге рассказано о развитии знаний о космосе с древнейших времен до наших дней, об эволюции Вселенной, о рождении Солнечной системы, возникновении жизни на Земле. Все это рассматривается в тесной связи со сверхновыми.
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Extra info for The Exploding Suns
He was an amateur astronomer, making one among many interesting astronomical discoveries that have been made by amateurs. Anderson spotted Nova Aurigae de spite its weak fifth magnitude star shine. To recognize a new star that low in radiance, Anderson must have mem orized the exact configuration of almost every visible star in the sky. With the dawn of the twentieth century, it had been almost three hundred years since any nova had been seen that was as bright as the first magnitude, if we except the dubious case of Eta Carinae.
Algol is not a true variable, therefore, for each of the pair of stars shines with perfect constancy and would not seem to vary at all if one star did not periodically get in the way of the other. In 1784, Goodricke discovered that a star in the con stellation Cepheus, one known as "Delta Cephei," is also variable. It is even less variable than Algol, being only twice as bright at its brightest as at its dimmest. Delta Cephei has also a very regular period, brightening and dimming every 51h days.
This is a great relief. There might be a feeling among those of us of the Western tradition that if there had been no accounts from Europe then the star could not really have existed. It might be easier to believe that some far-distant foreigners were fantasizing than that Europeans could not see what was before their eyes. However, as I shall explain later, even if there had been no reports at all from the West, we still have firm evi dence that the Chinese and Japanese astronomers were absolutely correct.