About this book
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.
- Book Title The Greatest Comets in History
- Book Subtitle Broom Stars and Celestial Scimitars
- Series Title Astronomers' Universe
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09513-4
- Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009
- Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
- eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
- Softcover ISBN 978-0-387-09512-7
- eBook ISBN 978-0-387-09513-4
- Series ISSN 1614-659X
- Edition Number 1
- Number of Pages XX, 260
- Number of Illustrations 39 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour
Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
Popular Science in Astronomy
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From the reviews:
"This book is exactly what it says on the cover … . There are detailed accounts of how the comets would have appeared and changed during their appearance … and an analysis of the comments and drawings they made at the time of observing. … anyone who has an interest in astronomy could easily read this book. I imagine it would appeal particularly to those who are interested in astronomical history and in particular comets." (David Bowdley, Astronomy Now, June, 2009)
"For those with an historical interest in comets, this is a compelling book in that it succinctly presents an overview of almost fifty truly amazing comets … . The Greatest Comets in History … is an excellent book. It is totally affordable, and belongs in the library of all those with a passion for comets and cometary history." (Wayne Orchiston, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Vol.12 (1), 2009)
"In this small book, Seargent … gives observational details about his favorite comets from ancient times through the present. … the book provides comet descriptions in chronological order. Photographs and artwork illustrate some comets. … volume includes a short glossary, suggested readings, and a tabular list of the ‘greatest’ comets. Readers with an avid interest in comets will value the completeness and detail of this work … . Summing Up: Recommended. All levels of general readers, undergraduates interested in the history of astronomy, and professionals." (M. Dickinson, Choice, Vol. 46 (11), July, 2009)“The author’s wonderful descriptions of the spectacular comets that have been given the moniker of “Great”, I wish that I could have personally witnessed all of them. … I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style and the way he has presented this material. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in observing comets or reading about this aspect of astronomical history.” (A. Robert, The Observatory, Vol. 130 (1214), February, 2010)