In The Sun, David Whitehouse takes us on a journey to the heart of our local star and beyond, relating how it was born, the many ways it influences life on Earth and how it will die. He recounts the many myths surrounding the Sun and the fascinating stories of scientists throughout history who have attempted to discover its secrets – occasionally at the price of their lives. The Sun explores the role of the sun for those on Earth, from the earliest civilizations that worshipped it, through its emulation in art and literature to the present day. He describes the inferno at its core, the magnetic chaos of its surface and the furthest reaches of its atmosphere that stretches beyond the planets out into the galaxy. Within our lifetimes he considers that changes in the sun will become noticeable, an issue that we ignore at our peril.
Finally, David Whitehouse speculates on the future of life on Earth with a sun that must ultimately turn into a red giant. From its birth in a cloud of gas and dust, its long lifetime nurturing life on our own planet, to its death as a cosmic cinder, this is our Sun’s story.