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Great Comets

By: Robert Burnham

240 pages, 7 line diagrams, 80 colour plates, 1 table

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | May 2000 | #108554 | ISBN: 0521646006
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $60/€52 approx

About this book

Well illustrated account, focusing on Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp.

'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


1. Great comets and astronomy; 2. What makes a comet 'Great'?; 3. Great Comet Hyakutake (1996); 4. Great Comet Hale-Bopp (1997); 5. Space missions to comets; 6. Comets and cultures; 7. Danger from the sky; 8. Staying current with comets.

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