12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Tragic Tale, Great Book..., 12 Aug 2007
I have to confess that despite a long interest in Astronomy, Richard Carrington was unknown to me. Stuart Clark redresses this and tells Richard Carrington's tragic tale (and it really is tragic) with consummate skill and ease. I will leave future readers to discover the tragedy, but Richard Carrington observed an enormous solar flare in 1859, one that would appear to be the largest ever recorded, and its subsequent aurora on Earth. The connection between the two was unknown at the time and now it seems surprising that so many eminent scientists were ready to dismiss the link. Interwoven with Richard Carrington's tale, the author relates the work of many other scientists that have contributed to our understanding of the Sun. Jealously, love, money and animosity all enter into this tale.
Some scientists now believe that the Sun directly affects global warming and global cooling, regardless, or in addition to, the Earth's atmosphere and greenhouse gases within it. A final interesting chapter of the book examines how past observations may support that theory. The prices of wheat have never seemed so relevant before!
So many popular science books fail to live up to my expectations, but I can assure you that this is a very well written book and a very satisfying read. Sir Patrick Moore reviewed this book and concluded that it is an essential purchase for your library. And let's face it, he can't be wrong!