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Science Astronomy

The Pillars of Creation

Giant Molecular Clouds, Star Formation, and Cosmic Recycling

by (author) Martin Beech

Initial publish date
Jan 2017
Astronomy, Clinical Medicine, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2017
    List Price

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This book explores the mechanics of star formation, the process by which matter pulls together and creates new structures. Written for science enthusiasts, the author presents an accessible explanation of how stars are born from the interstellar medium and giant molecular clouds. Stars produce the chemicals that lead to life, and it is they that have enabled the conditions for planets to form and life to emerge.

Although the Big Bang provided the spark of initiation, the primordial universe that it sired was born hopelessly sterile. It is only through the continued recycling of the interstellar medium, star formation, and stellar evolution that the universe has been animated beyond a chaotic mess of elementary atomic particles, radiation, dark matter, dark energy, and expanding spacetime. Using the Milky Way and the Eagle Nebula in particular as case studies, Beech follows every step of this amazing process.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Martin Beech is a Professor and Department Head of Astronomy at Campion College, The University of Regina, Canada. He has an MSc from Sussex, UK, and earned his PhD at Western Ontario. He has written several books for Springer, most recently "Alpha Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of Our Nearest Stellar Neighbor" (2015).

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