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Death from the Skies These Are the Ways the World Will End

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Derstand terms and considering how life on earth and the planet itself would be affected should the event come to pass Rather than sensationalizing the information Plait analyzes the probability of these catastrophes occurring in our lifetimes and what we can do to stop them With its entertaining tone and enlightening explanation of unfathomable concepts Death from the Skies will appeal to science buffs and beginners alike Came across this book and it fit in with my current obsession of post apocalyptic stories This non fiction book looks at different ways that stars asteroids solar flares gamma rays etc can wreak havoc on our planet Luckily most of these are very unlikely to kill us Plait does a good job of explaining extremely difficult scientific subjects; however even a good writer such as Plait can have trouble keeping these explanations from being a bit dry thus the four stars instead of five And I take some of the blame physics doesn't come easily to me even with Plait's layman's explanations For the most part though the book moves along in an engaging and often humorous manner The fictional stories at the beginning of each chapter really add some zest The ideas this book discusses are absolutely fascinating and mind boggling the effects of a giant asteroid the death of the sun the death of the universeI'd recommend this book to anyone especially amateurs interested in astronomy

summary Ú eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ Philip Plait

A lively astronomy primer that uses cataclysmic scenarios to explain the universe's most fascinating eventsAccording to astronomer Philip Plait the universe is an apocalypse waiting to happen But how much do we really need to fear from things like black holes gamma ray bursts and supernovae? And if we should be scared is there anything we can do to save ourselves? With humor and wit Plait details the myriad doomsday events Death From The Skies by Philip Plait PhD“Death From The Skies is the entertaining book about how the universe is trying to kill you Astronomer Dr Philip Plait using the latest in astronomical knowledge takes us on exciting journey through our universe and enlightens us on the various cosmological hazards that are present This 336 page book is composed of the following nine chapters 1 Target Earth Asteroid and Comet Impacts 2 Sunburn 3 The Stellar Fury of Supernovae 4 Cosmic Blowtorches Gamma Ray Bursts 5 The Bottomless Pits of Black Holes 6 Alien Attack 7 The Death of the Sun 8 Bright Lights Big Galaxy and 9 The End of EverythingPositives1 A well written well researched book that is accessible to the masses2 A truly fun way to learn about astronomy and the dangers lurking in our universe3 Engaging and humorous tone used4 Great format Each chapter begins with a vignette that is chapter appropriate 5 Great use of illustrations6 Thought provoking uotes Nothing feeds engineering progress like fear 7 So many fascinating facts that will blow you away I learned so much from this book8 The danger of asteroids and an interesting discussion about the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs9 An education on the sun Magnetic fields flares solar winds and coronal mass ejections CMEs10 The fascinating supernovas The different ways stars blow up and the various features of it 11 The various dangers resulting from novas supernovas and hypernovas X rays gamma rays and last but not least cosmic rays CRs12 The topical neutrinos and other forms of light13 One of the great things about this book is the author's ability to tease the readers with how discoveries came about As an example the discovery of gamma ray bursts GRBs 14 Neutron stars the heavy enlightening facts you see what I did there oh never mind15 An enlightening chapter about black holes Absolutely mesmerizing16 What would a book about astronomy be without the great contributions from the one and only Albert Einstein?17 A comprehensive look at gravity18 For horror fansthe process of spaghettification 19 Educational brief history of our solar system20 Interesting look at the possibility of alien life Are we alone?21 The life and inevitable death of our sun Enlightening indeed The author does a wonderful job of breaking the life cycle of the sun by stages22 An education on galaxies Our milky way and our neighbors23 Supermassive black holes SMBHsoh yeah and every large galaxy has one 24 The end of everything by stages 25 The author does a wonderful job of summarizing the wisdom provided in the book A table was provided that gives the odds of potential damage and our ability to prevent them26 An appendix about our nearby stars less than 1000 light years that will go supernova and all that entails Negatives1 The book should have had the illustrations in color Astronomy is a topic that lends itself perfectly for it2 No bibliography but the author does make light of other books in particular is inspired by the Five Ages of the Universe by Adams and Laughlin In summary who knew that astronomy could be so much fun? Dr Plait has an engaging style that makes education fun Astronomy is a fascinating topic and I learned uite a bit from of it Science writing at its best don't hesitate to get this one Highly recommended

Philip Plait ✓ 7 read

That the cosmos could send our way to destroy our planet and life as we know it This authoritative yet accessible study is the ultimate astronomy lesson Combining fascinating and often alarming scenarios that seem plucked from science fiction with the latest research and opinions Plait illustrates why outer space is not as remote as most people think Each chapter explores a different phenomenon explaining it in easy to un Yesterday night I was out watching the Blood Moon a phenomenon wich comes with evil intent according to several ancient legendsWhat could be appropriate when space is coming to get us? And in space as we all know no one can hear you screamPhil Plait has written a very entertaining book about how the world will end and the science behind it And there are so many possibilities We might be hit by an asteroid We can die from an exploding or a dying star We can be devoured by a black hole And of course the classic alien invasion So many choicesEach chapter starts with a description of how the catastrophe in uestion In some cases the danger is preventable at least in theory but in most cases not so muchIn the end to paraphrase my current book boyfriend Mark Whatney in ”The Martian” We are all so fucked The universe itself will die Sorry for the spoilerTwo memorable uotes”They say that even the brightest star won’t shine forever But in fact the brightest star would live the shortest amount amount of time Feel free to extract whatever life lesson you want from that””Science asymptotically approaches reality” Aspettando i barbari it This authoritative yet accessible study Fante/Mencken: John Fante & H.L. Mencken: A Personal Correspondence, 1930-1952 is the ultimate astronomy lesson Combining fascinating and often alarming scenarios that seem plucked from science fiction with the latest research and opinions Plait Der Richter und sein Henker illustrates why outer space The Trials of Blackbriar Academy is not as remote as most people think Each chapter explores a different phenomenon explaining The Seed Beneath the Snow it Rachel Carson: A Woman Who Loved Nature in easy to un Yesterday night I was out watching the Blood Moon a phenomenon wich comes with evil Sojourner: An Insider's View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission intent according to several ancient legendsWhat could be appropriate when space Langelot e o satélite is coming to get us? And The Three Musketeers in space as we all know no one can hear you screamPhil Plait has written a very entertaining book about how the world will end and the science behind Momo it And there are so many possibilities We might be hit by an asteroid We can die from an exploding or a dying star We can be devoured by a black hole And of course the classic alien Uno, nessuno e centomila invasion So many choicesEach chapter starts with a description of how the catastrophe Life's Extras in uestion In some cases the danger Fallout is preventable at least La vie en temps de paix (Littérature étrangère) in theory but Imperialismo Cultural en América Latina: Historiografía y Praxis in most cases not so muchIn the end to paraphrase my current book boyfriend Mark Whatney A Lume Spento in ”The Martian” We are all so fucked The universe The Evil Seed itself will die Sorry for the spoilerTwo memorable uotes”They say that even the brightest star won’t shine forever But La lista dei miei desideri in fact the brightest star would live the shortest amount amount of time Feel free to extract whatever life lesson you want from that””Science asymptotically approaches reality”


10 thoughts on “Death from the Skies These Are the Ways the World Will End

  1. says:

    AAAAAAAA We're all going to dieWell that's not exactly news From the moment we're born Death turns our hourglass and sits twiddling his bony thumbs waiting as our grains of sand dribble toward the bottomButthere's a chance however remote thatWe're going to die HORRIBLY Gasping for breath as our oxygen burns up pulverized to death by a shockwave or even SPAGHETTIFIED into nothingness by a Black HoleEach chapter begins with a Worst Case Scenario made even scarier by the use of italics OOO WOO ooo Then the author gets down to business describing how and if such a thing could possibly happen and what if anything we can do to prevent it Besides asteroid and comet impacts alien attacks and roaming black holes add solar flares and gamma ray bursts to your list of worries My previous knowledge of astronomy was gleaned from a few episodes of Cosmos that I watched back in the eighties because I thought Carl Sagan was kinda cute And though I still can't claim to fully understand well any of this stuff I found this book to be ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING Some of the concepts are just so hard to wrap your head around a spoonful of neutrino star matter would weigh A BILLION TONS And how do you begin to envision a black hole moving at 500 MILES PER SECOND? Plait is obviously in love with his subject matter and that makes reading this a joy How else can someone make our imminent well give or take a few billion years demise sound like a breathtaking must see event?I thought the scenarios presented in this book would bother me a whole lot than they did but I'm left with a sort of ue Sera Sera vibe There's really nothing we can do about most of this stuff If there's a black hole barreling down on us you can't do much but put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbyeAt the end of the book there is a handy dandy Threat Down type chart listing our chances of being wiped out by a cataclysmic event Despite the dire predictions the odds seem to be ever in our favor Congratulations You only have a 1 in 700000 chance of dying by asteroid impact Our universe is aging Stars will explode and blink out Eventually there will be no matter left to create new stars and thenthere will be nothing left but dark and empty space We humans will be long gone by then but DAMN We had a great run didn't we?I'll end with one of my favorite paragraphs from the book What does this mean for us for humans? To a good approximation it means we have about 100 trillion years to get our affairs in order After that we won't have enough light to read our books by Things'll get boring


  2. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It's a collection of esoteric topics in astronomy all tied together by one thing they could possibly destroy the Earth or at least most of the life on itEach chapter covers a particular threat asteroids and comets solar events death of the sun stuff in our galaxy etc It ends with a mind bending chapter on the death of the Universe after the galaxies have dissolved and protons have started decayingI learned a lot from this book If you were into astronomy as a kid you'll be surprised to know how much about the Universe has been discovered even over the past 10 yearsIf you are a fan of Dr Plait's Bad Astronomy Blog then you are already aware that he's an excellent writer and adept at explaining complex topics simply I didn't find his first book very engaging and the strident skeptical tone that he sometimes adopts in that book and his blog is completely absent here Highly recommended


  3. says:

    Death From The Skies by Philip Plait PhD“Death From The Skies is the entertaining book about how the universe is trying to kill you Astronomer Dr Philip Plait using the latest in astronomical knowledge takes us on exciting journey through our universe and enlightens us on the various cosmological hazards that are present This 336 page book is composed of the following nine chapters 1 Target Earth Asteroid and Comet Impacts 2 Sunburn 3 The Stellar Fury of Supernovae 4 Cosmic Blowtorches Gamma Ray Bursts 5 The Bottomless Pits of Black Holes 6 Alien Attack 7 The Death of the Sun 8 Bright Lights Big Galaxy and 9 The End of EverythingPositives1 A well written well researched book that is accessible to the masses2 A truly fun way to learn about astronomy and the dangers lurking in our universe3 Engaging and humorous tone used4 Great format Each chapter begins with a vignette that is chapter appropriate 5 Great use of illustrations6 Thought provoking uotes Nothing feeds engineering progress like fear 7 So many fascinating facts that will blow you away I learned so much from this book8 The danger of asteroids and an interesting discussion about the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs9 An education on the sun Magnetic fields flares solar winds and coronal mass ejections CMEs10 The fascinating supernovas The different ways stars blow up and the various features of it 11 The various dangers resulting from novas supernovas and hypernovas X rays gamma rays and last but not least cosmic rays CRs12 The topical neutrinos and other forms of light13 One of the great things about this book is the author's ability to tease the readers with how discoveries came about As an example the discovery of gamma ray bursts GRBs 14 Neutron stars the heavy enlightening facts you see what I did there oh never mind15 An enlightening chapter about black holes Absolutely mesmerizing16 What would a book about astronomy be without the great contributions from the one and only Albert Einstein?17 A comprehensive look at gravity18 For horror fansthe process of spaghettification 19 Educational brief history of our solar system20 Interesting look at the possibility of alien life Are we alone?21 The life and inevitable death of our sun Enlightening indeed The author does a wonderful job of breaking the life cycle of the sun by stages22 An education on galaxies Our milky way and our neighbors23 Supermassive black holes SMBHsoh yeah and every large galaxy has one 24 The end of everything by stages 25 The author does a wonderful job of summarizing the wisdom provided in the book A table was provided that gives the odds of potential damage and our ability to prevent them26 An appendix about our nearby stars less than 1000 light years that will go supernova and all that entails Negatives1 The book should have had the illustrations in color Astronomy is a topic that lends itself perfectly for it2 No bibliography but the author does make light of other books in particular is inspired by the Five Ages of the Universe by Adams and Laughlin In summary who knew that astronomy could be so much fun? Dr Plait has an engaging style that makes education fun Astronomy is a fascinating topic and I learned uite a bit from of it Science writing at its best don't hesitate to get this one Highly recommended


  4. says:

    This is a fascinating fun book to read The author has kept the book light hearted with an easy going sense of humor I majored in astronomy and physics in undergraduate school yet I still learned some interesting things from this book I learned that an asteroid collision is perhaps the most threatening form of astronomical catastrophe for us And interestingly an asteroid collision is the most avoidable catastrophe though not by nuking the errant asteroid A much better approach is suggested one that doesn't have all the potential drawbacks of sending nuclear bombs to push the asteroid away No spoilers hereBlack hole collisions supernovas alien attacks are all described in this book but none of these forms of catastrophes are likely But they are described in detail by the author because as he says they are funI found his explanation for the 64 million year cycle of biodiversity to be very interesting The author explains this cycle in terms of the solar system's oscillations perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy These oscillations occur with a similar period although their amplitude is not very big But the amplitude may be sufficient to subject ourselves cyclically to a source of cosmic rays in the direction of galactic motion We are alternately hidden and exposed to these cosmic rays which might have an effect on biodiversityI also found it interesting to contemplate the fate of the solar system as our sun becomes a red giant several billion years from now and then collapses into a dwarf star and finally fizzles out At a certain point a gazillion years in the future perhaps 10^36 years to be precise protons themselves will decay and mass itself will just disappear I highly recommend this book to anybody remotely interested in astronomy It's a fun read


  5. says:

    I absolutely loved this book As one who has often been utterly confused by physics especially the physics of space and time but still completely fascinated this book has answered my physics prayers Plait has managed to take an extremely complex subject and make it comprehensible to those outside the physics bubble or maybe I should say universe Obviously this book does deal with huge scales of both time and distance but Plait uses everyday comparisons well where he can anyway to give the reader a chance of getting their heads around the scales involved His passion for physics and for astronomy comes through throughout the book and fills the reader with a joy and awe despite the devastating conseuences of the events Plait describes I was strangely uplifted by his descriptions of the death of the Sun and of near galaxy supernovae that could ultimately wipe us out Overall a fantastic read and I can't wait to read from Plait and about astronomy in general although in doing so I'm sure I'll be referring back to this book to clarify some of the complicated points


  6. says:

    Yesterday night I was out watching the Blood Moon a phenomenon wich comes with evil intent according to several ancient legendsWhat could be appropriate when space is coming to get us? And in space as we all know no one can hear you screamPhil Plait has written a very entertaining book about how the world will end and the science behind it And there are so many possibilities We might be hit by an asteroid We can die from an exploding or a dying star We can be devoured by a black hole And of course the classic alien invasion So many choicesEach chapter starts with a description of how the catastrophe in uestion In some cases the danger is preventable at least in theory but in most cases not so muchIn the end to paraphrase my current book boyfriend Mark Whatney in ”The Martian” We are all so fucked The universe itself will die Sorry for the spoilerTwo memorable uotes”They say that even the brightest star won’t shine forever But in fact the brightest star would live the shortest amount amount of time Feel free to extract whatever life lesson you want from that””Science asymptotically approaches reality”


  7. says:

    Came across this book and it fit in with my current obsession of post apocalyptic stories This non fiction book looks at different ways that stars asteroids solar flares gamma rays etc can wreak havoc on our planet Luckily most of these are very unlikely to kill us Plait does a good job of explaining extremely difficult scientific subjects; however even a good writer such as Plait can have trouble keeping these explanations from being a bit dry thus the four stars instead of five And I take some of the blame physics doesn't come easily to me even with Plait's layman's explanations For the most part though the book moves along in an engaging and often humorous manner The fictional stories at the beginning of each chapter really add some zest The ideas this book discusses are absolutely fascinating and mind boggling the effects of a giant asteroid the death of the sun the death of the universeI'd recommend this book to anyone especially amateurs interested in astronomy


  8. says:

    I really enjoyed this book From the title you can probably guess that this book appealed to my slightly fatalistic fascination with end of the world apocalyptic scenarios I love pondering the unavoidable and the inevitable And this book presents of all the environmental weather and disease related possibilities for humans to kill themselves absolutely the most unavoidable events with absolutely the most fatalistic perspective Which is why I loved itEach chapter in this book is devoted to a different way that the planet could be destroyed from outer space And the title of the book isn’t overreaching at all note that it isn’t called “These are the Ways the World Could End” or “the Ways the World Might End” it’s definitely how the world will end The only uestion is whenThe first chapter is definitely the most gripping since it’s the most likely to happen during the tenure of humans on Earth asteroid and comet impacts Not only is it extremely likely it’s happened before the asteroid that landed on Earth that killed the dinosaurs created a crater so large that you can really only see it from space The really alarming part of asteroidcomet impact is that we could see it coming The author points out that the comet Hale Bopp which passed us a few years ago was twenty five miles across and had it hit the Earth “would have made the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs look like a wet firecracker”The rest of the chapters cover such fun and comforting subjects as annihilation by sun malfunction supernovae gamma ray bursts black holes hostile aliens and the eventual death of the entire universe I really enjoyed the way each chapter begins with a little scenario that describes what an observer on Earth would see as the event unfolded And if the human observer wouldn’t have lasted very long the scenario carries on without the benefit of that human perspectiveThe author Philip Plait is a witty and engaging writer who manages to make potentially dull astronomical details come to life Some of my favorite moments in his way with language“For those of you clinging to hope there is some life that might survive this stage of the Earth’s distant future the death of our Sun Footnote My suggestion let it go”“The Sun is a mighty vast furiously seething cauldron of mass and energy Invisible forces writhe and wrestle for control on its surface and when it loses its temper the conseuences can be dire and even lethal That is what it means to be an ‘ordinary’ star”“Sure black holes can kill us and in a variety of interesting and gruesome ways Remember when you stare into the abyss sometimes it stares back at you”However even his wit and facility with language couldn’t save me from getting bogged down in the black holes chapter To be fair black holes and uantum physics aren’t the easiest subjects for a lay reader to absorb in 75 pages or so I know that he tried to keep things moving but I ended up skimming a bit The last chapter is the most staggering in terms of its scale and its topic and besides the chapter on alien invasion is the one that left the greatest impression on me It’s the end of everything in the universe Plait explains how over the almost unimaginable eons of time to come he tries to explain just how long this will take but it really boggles the mind slowly everything will end After all the stars have burned themselves out after the galaxy itself has evaporated through interstellar collisions after even neutron stars have burned out after matter itself has reached the end of its existence remember the “half life” of atomic particles? even black holes will disintegrate At that point the Universe will be “an ethereally thin slurry” of particles “dark randomized silent”Am I just crazy or is it totally fascinating to consider this stuff? I guess I’m captivated by things that are completely out of my control And with cosmological events there’s not much to do but sit back and see what happens Of course by the time black holes manage to disintegrate humans will be long gone but stillRecommended if you love apocalyptic scenarios astronomy or a wittily written combination of the two


  9. says:

    Where do I start?The book is uneven I loved it at the beginning was annoyed and a little bored in the middle only to turn fascinated at the end It is uite well written accessible piece of popular science I admit But there are serious drawbacks that don't allow me to give this book than three stars1 Repetitiveness reading about the effect of gamma ray burst once is really enough The seccond time is slightly annoying the third and the fourth simply spoil the pleasure2 Pointless information given only with the purpose to impress what is the point of telling me that as many as 300 billion muons per suare inch can hit the Earth from a nearby gamma ray burst? What does that nearby mean? How on earth does this information contribute to my knowledge?3 Mistakes as much as I believe that the author is a professional and offers a lot of interesting and reliable information sometimes he can be really feckless in his metaphors to the point of committing serious mistakes He writes for example The Moon doesn't heat the Earth noticeably so a supernova as bright as the Moon wouldn't either Mr Plait really? Since when does the Moon produce any heatlight on its own? My impression is that the author simply believes that his readers are too stupid to notice anything and as long as the metaphor is nice and shiny the rest doesn't matter These are only a couple of examples My Kindle file is marked up all the way through the book OK there are not so many mistakes as to make the book unbearable but there they are where they shouldn't be in the book written by a scientistLuckily the last few chapters were such a feast for imagination that the book won my heart overall and I can recommend it with my conscience at ease


  10. says:

    The book opens up with an average man named Mark and proceeds to tell about his morning when an asteroid that ends all life on earth comes crashing down Philip Plait presents some of the scariest end of the world disasters from supernovas alien encounters black holes and even the expansion of the universe itself Plait illustrates why outer space is not as remote as most think Each chapter is a new scenario that looks into a different phenomenon and explains how the planet would be affected if the event actually occurred I came across this book at a new book store in the outlets in April I was searching for a science book because I love science I actually want to major in science when I go to college My mom didn't want to buy it for me at first because she thought I'd just read a page and throw the book in my closet or something so even when the book started to get a bit boring and over factual I kept reading just to prove her wrong Overall I loved the book Each scenario was informative but entertaining at the same time Plait kept a good balance between the two making this book a uick readI would rate this book a 4 out of 5 I liked it very much because rather than sensationalizing the information Plait examines the probability of these events happening in our lifetime and whether or not there’s anything we can do to stop them This book has a very entertaining tone and would appeal to just about everyone interested in science The concept of the world ending a different way throughout each chapter seems a little dreary but Plait keeps it upbeat while still focusing on the science behind the disasters


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