This work is entirely about astrophysics. The discussion is purely informative, only at times at a fairly advanced level, and partly didactic. The intention of the author is to present the most up-to-date knowledge in the sector, especially on the basis of the most recent observational research and theoretical models capable of explaining the results. A particular study is dedicated to the following aspects: physical cosmology, dimensions of astrophysical objects, stellar evolution, birth and death of stars, normal and active galaxies, eruptive phenomena in both stellar and extragalactic environments, extrasolar planets, fundamental observational strategies of astronomers. There is no shortage of excursions in topics more specific to fundamental physics, such as energy conservation, the interaction between radiation and matter, elementary particles, black holes, gravitational waves, the theory of the holographic universe, the theory of the multiverse, quantum entanglement.
The text aims to present the aforementioned issues from the point of view of those who have actually carried out research in this field, intending to show how an astrophysicist actually thinks during his research, both at the level of data interpretation and at the level of planning strategies to achieve specific objectives. The way of exhibiting is generally colloquial, but often very detailed, and aimed to enthrall the reader both for the purposes of personal scientific culture and for the purpose of directing towards more in-depth studies in these subjects.
The text is also accompanied by a rich series of footnotes, some of which are technical (especially in the part of extrasolar planets), by a very rich list of bibliographical references (both technical and popular, both in Italian and in English) , by a ponderous glossary and by two extensive appendices (synthetic transcription of the author’s popular astronomy courses and addressed to students who intend to undertake this type of study at university).
This book is addressed to a general public, but with minimal bases in physics and mathematics and predisposition to the most basic scientific reasoning. It is especially recommended for students of the last years of high school and students of the first year of scientific or engineering faculties. In this second case, I believe it can lend itself as an introductory and / or complementary reading to astrophysical themes to be done in parallel with the study of the purely technical subjects proper to the actual university courses.
The author believes that the text is decidedly original, not so much for the topics covered (found in many popular texts on astrophysics) but for the intellectually stimulating way in which they are presented. As already happened in previously published texts (some of particular success), the author literally intends to “turn on the reader’s mind” by passionate about the issues and motivating it not so much to know the issues as to understand their concepts clearly and completely.