The Sun: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198832690

Philip Judge
144 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2020
Very Short Introductions


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  • Explains how the Sun works including its physics, and structure, origins, and future evolution
  • Considers the importance of the Sun for life on Earth, and its impact on our climate
  • Shows how studying the Sun has led to remarkable discoveries in astronomy and basic physics
  • Discusses what we still have yet to discover about our nearest star

The Sun, as our nearest star, is of enormous importance for life on Earth - providing the warm radiation and light which allowed complex life to evolve. The Sun plays a key role in influencing our climate, whilst solar storms and high-energy events can threaten our communication infrastructure and satellites.
This Very Short Introduction explores what we know about the Sun, its physics, its structure, origins, and future evolution. Philip Judge explains some of the remaining puzzles about the Sun that still confound us, using elementary physics, and mathematical concepts. Why does the Sun form spots? Why does it flare? As he shows, these and other nagging difficulties relate to the Sun's continually variable magnetism, which converts an otherwise dull star into a machine for flooding interplanetary space with variable radiation, high-energy particles and magnetic ejections. Throughout, Judge highlights the many reasons that the Sun is important, and why scientists engage in solar research.


1: The Sun, our star
2: The Sun's life-cycle
3: Spots and magnetic fields
4: The dynamic corona
5: Solar impacts on Earth
Further Reading

About the author: 

Philip Judge, Senior Scientist, High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research
With over three decades of research in astronomy and solar physics, Philip Judge travels worldwide to share knowledge and mentor and train the next generation of scientists. He is based in Boulder, Colorado where he works as a staff member at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Solar Observatory.

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