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Great Comets (Paperback)
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Great Comets (Paperback)

(author), (foreword)
£45.99
Paperback 238 Pages / Published: 04/05/2000
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Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar System, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety - and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title 'Great'. It focuses on Great Comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention world-wide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up-to-date with comet discoveries in the future.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521646000
Number of pages: 238
Weight: 820 g
Dimensions: 254 x 203 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'We in the Northern Hemisphere have been lucky to experience two great comet displays within the last few years. Comet Hyakutake graced our skies in March-April 1996 and one year later, comet Hale-Bopp provided a fine celestial performance. This book has a focus upon these two great comets and the color images, most of which were taken by very sophisticated amateurs, are very handsome indeed. I was struck by the impressive color images on nearly every page and by the lively and accurate text that not only presents these images but also relates a brief history of comets and their physical nature ... I can recommend this volume as an easy, quick, and thoroughly enjoyable read.' Donald K. Yeomans, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
'Great Comets is lavishly illustrated, with images of great comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, taken by both amateur and professional astrophotographers during the comets' 1996 and 1997 flybys.' Booklist
'Another readable and very colourful book on some of the Great comets, including of course, Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp. The author is an acknowledged writer with a special talent for making astronomy exciting and easy to understand. He links past cultures, comet stories and space missions in an extraordinary extravaganza of fun.' Irish Astronomical Journal
'I found the book to be very reader-friendly in terms of readability, its size, attractive layout and in value for money. Essentially, this is an attractively produced, highly readable and inexpensive guide to comets ... It will appeal to astronomers of all ages.' Martin Mobberley, Journal of the British Astronomical Association
'The book is lavishly illustrated, with many of the pictures in colour. Many excellent Web sites are listed to enable the reader to stay up to date. Very good value for money.' Peter Mata, Spaceflight
'This beautifully illustrated book tells us the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets.' Europe & Astronomy
'Great Comets are spectacular by any standards. with their brilliant heads and long, gleaming tails, it is no surprise that they caused widespread alarm in ancient times - and to a certain extent still do today. Two bright comets appeared during the closing years of the twentieth century: Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997. Burnham deals with these in detail and gives briefer accounts of earlier great comets and a great deal of accounts of earlier great comets and a great deal of miscellaneous information. the main strength of this book is in the photographs, which are well chosen and beautifully produced. I had earmarked this book for my own 'Christmas reading'. Now that I have digested it, I am well satisfied.' Patrick Moore, New Scientist
'The main strength of this book is in the photographs which are well chosen and beautifully produced.' New Scientist
'... it is very good at giving the photographic information for many of the photographs.' Alan Hamilton, OUGS Journal
"...lavishly illustrated, with images of great comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, taken by both amateur and professional astrophotographers during the comets' 1996 and 1997 flybys." Booklist
"...the color images, most of which were taken by very sophisticated amateurs, are very handsome indeed...lively and accurate text... you'll benefit from this brief introduction to the history, nature and beauty of comets. I can recommend this volume as an easy, quick, and thoroughly enjoyable read." Meteoritics and Planetary Science
"Science writer Robert Burnham takes us on a broad-ranging safari across the entire landscape of comets in Great Comets... [Burnham's] well-illustrated and -researched book... [is] an enjoyable read, accessible to the general reader." s/ Sky & Telescope
"From Burnham's distinguished amateur-astronomy career, and his stint as editor-in-chief of the popular glossy magazine 'Astronomy,' one can predict a book that is interestingly and clearly written, well illustrated, and with some non-technical but wide-ranging descriptions of scientific results. These predictions are well met in the published book...Burnham's book provides an overview of comet observation accessible to every reader, with enough indications of the science involved to show the vitality of the research. I can therefore recommend it to a wide range of readers." Nature
"This book is an accessible, up-to-date summary of what we know about comets and how we have come to know it, with particular emphasis on the few most spectacular such apparitions in history...a very fine book." Science Books and Films
"Great Comets is richly illustrated with color photographs taken by professional and amateur astronomers, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope. The reader does not need an astronomical background to appreciate the book. The prose is easy to follow and the beautiful photographs inspire a greater appreciation of these interplanetary wanderers." Astronomy
"...an enjoyable read, acessible to the general reader. Sky & Telescope

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