Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.
Researchers believe the star happened to be too close to a black hole and in the process of being devoured, bits of stellar debris would fall towards the black hole at an incredible rate of speed, heating up and emitting a burst of X-ray radiation. This radiation, indicating temperatures up to millions of degrees in Fahrenheit, were then observed by Chandra. Peter Maksym, from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, led a study on the Chandra observations and said in a , “We can't see the star being torn apart by the black hole, but we can track what happens to the star's remains, and compare it with other, similar events. This one fits the profile of 'death by a black hole.” Maksym’s research was published in the .
Easy to understand for an astrophysics book! Neil does a great job of writing for the average person (I have a bachelor's in Chemistry, but I knew very little astrophysics). I never felt talked down to. It was a lot of fun to read! I especially enjoyed his description of a death by black hole as spaghettification. If you want to learn more about astrophysics, this is a great way to start!