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Join David J. Eicher in this fast-paced and entertaining journey through the history, present, and future of these important yet mysterious cosmic bodies. From ancient times, humans have been fascinated by “broom stars” and “blazing scimitars” lighting up the sky and moving against the fixed background of stars. The Great Comets of our time still receive in-depth attention – ISON, Hale-Bopp, Hyakutake, West, and others – while recent spacecraft encounters offer amazing insight into the earliest days of the solar system. In this guide you will discover the cutting-edge science of what comets are, how they behave, where they reside, how groups of comets are related, and much more. The author carefully explores the ideas relating comets and life on Earth – and the danger posed by impacts. He finishes with practical, how-to techniques, tips, and tricks of how to successfully observe comets and even to capture your own images of them.Read more
- The definitive word on comets from a well-known amateur astronomer, on the eve of Comet ISON, which may be the brightest and most spectacular comet in Earth's skies for many decades
- The author covers all aspects of comets - history, science, observation, dynamics of cometary orbits and families, the relationships of comets to asteroids, and the connections between comets to water and life on Earth
- Contains an extensive summary of outstanding comets of the past, both recent (such as Hale-Bopp, Hyakutake, West, and Ikeya-Seki) and those of historic importance (Caesar's Comet, the Great Comet of 1577, the Great Comet of 1811, Halley's Comet, and more)
Reviews & endorsements
"David J. Eicher has written a wonderful, up-to-date book on the history and science of comets. The book is written in a more conversational style, with occasional humor thrown in, and is not too technical. The result is a very enjoyable read for everyone."
Gary W. Kronk, author of the 'Cometography: A Catalog of Comets' seriesSee more reviews
"Eicher’s book brings the magical world of comets to life. It is not an arcane mathematical textbook but a celebration of these slowly wandering objects."
David H. Levy, author and discoverer of 22 comets, from the Foreword
"… this title is very much an accessible offering for new astronomy hobbyists and general readers … highly recommended …"
Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado, Denver, Library Journal, September 2013
"The author is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, capable of conveying his enthusiasm intelligently. He doesn’t overwhelm the reader with complex mathematics but explains the science quite clearly."
Rosie Cawkwell, Rosie Writes
"Eicher … has a way with words. Clarity, joy, inquisitiveness, and knowledge grace every page. It is clear that he is a great comet fan and we are very fortunate that he has taken the time to share his enthusiasm with us."
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- Date Published: September 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107622777
- length: 230 pages
- dimensions: 253 x 178 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.47kg
- contains: 68 b/w illus. 16 colour illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Foreword David H. Levy
1. Strange lights in the sky
2. Great comets of the past
3. What are comets?
4. Comets of the modern era
5. Comets in human culture
6. Where comets live
7. The expanding science of comets
8. Observing comets
9. Imaging comets
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