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About this book
About this book
In this simple guide, David Levy inspires readers to experience the wonder of eclipses and other transient astronomical events for themselves. Covering both solar and lunar eclipses, he gives step-by-step instructions on how to observe and photograph eclipses. As well as explaining the science behind eclipses, the book also gives their historical background, discussing how they were observed in the past and what we have learned from them. This personal account contains examples from the 77 eclipses the author has witnessed himself. The guide also includes chapters on occultations of stars and planets by the Moon and of asteroids by stars, and the transits of Mercury and Venus. Tables of future eclipses make this invaluable for anyone, from beginners to practised observers, wanting to learn more about these fascinating events.
Introduction; Part I. The Magic and History of Eclipses: 1. Shakespeare, King Lear, and the Great Eclipse of 1605; 2. Three centuries later: Einstein, relativity, and the solar eclipse of 1919; 3. What causes solar and lunar eclipses; Part II. Observing Solar Eclipses: 4. Safety considerations; 5. What to expect during a partial eclipse; 6. Annular eclipses and what to see in them; 7. Total eclipse of the Sun: introduction to the magic; 8. The onset: temperature drop, Baily's Beads, Diamond Ring; 9. Totality: Corona, Prominences, Chromosphere, and surrounding area; 10. Photographing and imaging a solar eclipse; Part III. Observing Lunar Eclipses: 11. Don't forget the penumbral eclipses!; 12. Partial lunar eclipses; 13. Total lunar eclipses; 14. Photographing and imaging lunar eclipses; Part IV. Occultations: 15. When the Moon occults a star; Part V. Transits: 16. When planets cross the Sun; Part VI. My Favorite Eclipses: 17. A personal canon of eclipses, occultations, and transits I have seen; Appendices; Index.
David H. Levy is President of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, and is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 22 comets (8 of them using his own backyard telescopes) and was co-discoverer of Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994 producing the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the Solar System. Asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor. He has written several books, is a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Astronomy, and was the former Science Editor for Parade magazine. In 1998 he won an Emmy as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary 'Three Minutes to Impact'.