Comets have fascinated and awed humankind since ancient times. Of the thousands of comets recorded throughout history, those deemed to have been the most spectacular have been described in the accounts of eyewitnesses and often recorded in official documents.
This book introduces you to the greatest of the greats, starting with the comet in 372 B. C. called "Aristotle’s Comet" and ending with the spectacular appearance of McNaught’s Comet in 2007. There is an introductory chapter explaining what comets are and how they are classified, and correcting a few popular misconceptions. Later in the book you will read about the different returns of Halley’s Comet and the Kreutz sungrazing group, often called the kamikaze comets. There is even a chapter on comets that were visible in broad daylight.
This book is unique. There are a few books on comets that make passing reference to some of the more famous or spectacular objects of the past, and a few catalogs with long lists of comets. But little detailed and descriptive information is contained in either of these sources.
This is a fascinating account, not only for astronomers at every level but also for readers of popular science. In an engaging way it pulls together a vast amount of information and offers rich anecdotal material that will entertain as well as inform you.
Amateur astronomers and 'armchair' astronomers
David Seargent is a former lecturer in Philosophy with the Department of Community Programs at the University of Newcastle in Australia and is now a full-time writer. He is the author of the very popular Comets: Vagabonds of Space (Doubleday), formerly a contributing editor on comets to Sky & Space magazine, and currently author of the regular comet column for Australian Sky & Telescope (the southern hemisphere edition). He was co-author with Joseph Marcus, of a paper published in 1986 entitled "Dust forward scatter brightness enhancement in previous apparitions of Halley’s comet" (Proceedings, 20th. ESLAB Symposium on the Exploration of Halley’s Comet, Vol. 3, B. Battrick, E. J. Rolfe and R. Reinhard, eds. ESA SP-250. European Space Agency Publications). He was also the Australian co-ordinator for visual observations during the International Halley Watch, 1985-6.
Springer Berlin, 2008, 212 S.
Broschiert, w. figs. (some col.)
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