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Meteors occur when a meteoroid, a speck of dust in space, enters the Earth's atmosphere. The heat generated when this happens causes the surrounding air to glow, resulting in 'shooting stars'. During the most spectacular meteor storms larger particles give rise to fireballs and firework-like displays! Meteors are a delightful observing field – they do not require a telescope, and they can be seen on any clear night of the year, even in bright twilight. It was the sight of a single meteor that inspired David Levy to go into astronomy, and in David Levy's Guide to Observing Meteor Showers he encourages readers to go outside and witness these wonderful events for themselves. David Levy's Guide to Observing Meteor Showers is a step-by-step guide to observing meteors and meteor showers. Any necessary science is explained simply and in clearly understandable terms. This is a perfect introduction to observing meteors, and is ideal for both seasoned and budding astronomers.
1. July 4, 1956
2. What is a meteor?
3. Some historical notes
4. Small rocks and dust in space
5. Observing meteors
6. Recording meteors
9. The Eta Aquarids
10. The Omicron Draconids
11. Delta Aquarids
13. The Gamma Pavonids
19. Meteor showers throughout the year
David H. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. Together with Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California he discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994 producing the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. He is involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, and Science Editor for Parade magazine, and contributing editor for Sky and Telescope. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, and asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor. His other recent books include David Levy's Guide to Observing and Discovering Comets and David Levy's Guide to Variable Stars (Cambridge University Press).
"Any necessary science is explained simply and in clearly understandable terms for both seasoned and budding astronomers."
"David Levy is one of the best known of all observers of comets and meteors. [...] In this book he gives his personal reminiscences of annual meteors, not only those which are well-known [...] but also those which are less familiar [...] There are good introductory pages for the newcomer, but this is not a textbook for the serious observer it is essentially personal – and every shower has its own characteristics. [...] Levy tells us how exciting meteor observing can be, and I can say, without reservation, that this is one of the most enjoyable books that I've read for a long time."
– Patrick Moore, BBC Sky at Night
"David Levy's Guide to Observing Meteor Showers clearly shows the author's enthusiasm for the subject, and will hopefully encourage new observers to get involved."
– Neil Bone, Astronomy Now