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Aurora: Observing and Recording Nature's Spectacular Light Show

Handbook / Manual

Series: The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series

By: Neil Bone

180 pages, 50 col illus, 30 b/w illus


Paperback | May 2007 | #164912 | ISBN-13: 9780387360522
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

About this book

This new book addresses a gap in the literature, offering an explanation of the aurora's causes, how the occurrence of major events may now be predicted, and how amateur observers can go about recording displays. This is the first serious book about aurora written for practical but non-professional observers. It provides a concise accessible description of the various auroral forms and how to record them, illustrated with color images of recent displays. It contains details of 'Space Weather' forecasting websites, how to interpret and use the information given on these, and how to anticipate auroral activity.

From the reviews: "It's a common misconception that the aurora can only be seen from very high latitudes. ! In all, this is a highly readable account that's profusely illustrated throughout and boasts a selective bibliography, a list of web sources and a glossary of technical terms. It's a must for everyone eager to watch for aurora when the next solar peak comes around." (David Gavine, BBC Sky at Night, November, 2007) "The solar wind and its interaction with the Earth's magnetic field is a key to understanding how auroral activity arises. This is well illustrated by clear diagrams, tables and excellent photographs of the auroral oval. ! This book can be thoroughly recommended to anyone who observes the aurora or has ever been intrigued and curious about the northern lights." (Ken Kennedy, Astronomy Now, December, 2007) "While it might seem odd to us who live in northern climes and often experience the aurora borealis on a nighty basis, some people travel thousand of miles with the hope of seeing these beautiful and colorful celestial lights. ! for those keen to discover the science behind the aurora, Bone's book is a must." (Paul Deans, Sky & Telescope, February, 2008) "The aurora borealis and the aurora australis are striking if mystifying spectacles in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. ! They are complex phenomena but their intricacies and causes are well described in this new book. Author Bone avoids mathematics but has filled his book with lovely color photographs of aurorae, north and south. ! Suitable for undergraduate and graduate students and an occasional high school student as well. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (A. R. Upgren, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (5), January, 2008) "This small book presents in greater depth a very readable account of the origins of the aurora with a concise explanation of the solar physics that drives sunspot activity and the related geomagnetic activity at the Earth. ! I recommend anyone who is curious about the origins of the aurora to dip into this monograph ! . In addition, amateur astronomers should enjoy the chapter about aurora on other planets ! ." (John I. B. Wilson, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 50 (4), July-August, 2009)


Introduction.- Atmospheric Phenomena.- Causes of the Aurora.- Auroral Forecasting.-Observing the Aurora.- Historical Aurorae and more Recent Events.- Aurora Elsewhere.- Scientific Investigations.- Noctilucent Clouds.- Bibliography.- Glossary.- Index.

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Neil Bone is the author of Deep Sky Observer's Guide, Philip's/Firefly (2004); Mars Observer's Guide, Philip's/Firefly (2003); Guide to the Constellations, Astronomy Now/Polestar (2002); Observing Meteors, Comets, Supernovae and other Transient Phenomena, Springer (1998); Observer's Handbook: Meteors Philip's/Sky (1993); The Aurora: Sun-Earth Interactions, Ellis Horwood (1991), Second Edition Wiley/Praxis (1996), as well as numerous articles and papers.

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