Thursday, 14 February 2013
Western Carolina University astronomy professor Paul A. Heckert combines ancient constellation mythology and modern astrophysics in his recently released book, “The Hunter and the Scorpion.”
A WCU faculty member for 24 years, Heckert has written a series of five tutorials – short publications that require 30 to 45 minutes of reading time – in recent years that address specific aspects of astronomy and physics and that are aimed at a student audience. “The Hunter and the Scorpion,” a fulllength book available on Amazon Kindle, was written with a popular audience in mind.
In mythological lore, Scorpius, the Scorpion, pursues Orion, the Hunter, as they roam across the night sky. Heckert said his book begins with the tale of those constellations and then transitions to the science behind the life cycle of the stars. “Eventually, I build up to the idea that the atoms in our bodies were manufactured by stars,” he said. “Everything around us that’s not hydrogen or helium had to be manufactured in the stars.”