Cosmic Clouds: Birth, Death, and Recycling in the Galaxy

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Scientific American Library, 1997 - 253 páginas
As it travels deep within the fiery nuclear furnaces of evolving stars, Cosmic Clouds shows how thermonuclear fusion forges the chemical elements heavier than helium. At the end of stellar life, this potent matter is expelled into space - either by the powerful explosions and winds of supernovae or as the gentler gas shells of planetary nebulae - where it mixes with existing gas and dust. Full of this newly enriched mixture, these giant clouds act as cosmic nurseries, giving birth to new stars and beginning the cycle anew. We, too, are part of this cycle. Planets, including Earth, were created from debris descended from the whirling clouds of gas and dust that formed the central star of the system.

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