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Death from the skies! : these are the ways the world will end
Philip Plait
Adult Nonfiction QB638.8 .P53 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Plait, an astronomer and author of the popular Web site badastronomy.com, presents in loving detail the many, many ways the human race could die, from temperature extremes and poisonous atmosphere to asteroid impacts and supernovae explosions. Such a state of destruction existed some 65 million years ago, when a giant meteoroid struck Earth, sending up so much flaming debris that the whole planet caught fire and the dinosaurs were wiped out. Solar flare activity could bring on another Ice Age. Worse yet would be a gamma ray burster, a collapsed star whose radiation would be comparable to detonating a one-megaton nuclear bomb over every square mile of the planet. Plait discusses insatiable black holes, the death of the Sun and cannibal galaxies--including our own. Balancing his doomsday scenarios with enthusiastic and clear explanations of the science behind each, Plait offers a surprisingly educational and enjoyable astronomical horror show, including a table listing the extremely low odds of each event occurring. He gives readers a good scare, and then puts it in context. Illus. (Oct. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Plait (Bad Astronomy) runs the popular blog BadAstronomy.com and is a former astronomy professor. Here, he describes the myriad ways that astronomical events could end life on Earth. These include comet and asteroid impacts, massive solar flares, supernova explosions, gamma-ray bursts, black holes, diseases of extraterrestrial origin, the eventual death of the sun, and the wobbly orbit of the sun around our galaxy that could expose us to cosmic rays. Plait does not sensationalize our planet's demise and admits that only the death of the sun--and eventually the universe--is certain. His keen ability to select the best analogies makes difficult cosmological concepts clear, and his witty prose makes for a good read. Plait even outlines a scheme to save Earth when the sun eventually becomes a red giant--by using gravity assists to move the planet farther out in the solar system. Untold eons from now, the universe will be empty and dark and even matter will decay, leaving nothing. Highly recommended for all popular science collections in public and academic libraries.--Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado Denver Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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