Cosmic Phenomena

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Firefly Books, 1999 - Nature - 167 pages
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Cosmic Phenomena is a compelling introduction to the nature and observation of the greatest celestial phenomena visible to the unaided eye. Singular in their majesty, sense of mystery and grandeur, the Great Comets, spectacular meteor showers and total solar eclipses described in this book are among the rarest and most fascinating visual experiences in nature.

The first section of Cosmic Phenomena introduces us to the Great Comets, with special reference to the two most recent examples - Comet Hyakutake (1996) and Comet Hale-Bopp (1997) - and discusses the possibility of another Great Comet visiting the Earth's vicinity within the next few years. The second section looks at meteors, or "falling stars" as they are sometimes called, as well as some of the biggest meteor showers in history. The third section, dedicated to eclipses, provides striking images and descriptions of past eclipses as well as detailed charts and predictions on upcoming eclipses of both the sun and the moon.

Cosmic Phenomena offers a gallery of more than 300 photographs, selected from the world's most famous observers and from private collections and institutions. The fact-filled text covers all the recent revolutionary developments in electronic imaging and is an up-to-date and comprehensive presentation of what we know about these unique celestial phenomena.

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The Origin and Nature of Meteors
A Date With Falling Stars

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About the author (1999)

Gabriele Vanin is president of the Italian Astrophiles' Union and has conducted original research in the field of comets and solar observing. He is also an expert on eclipses, meteors and the history, popularization and teaching of astronomy. Vanin has contributed to the most important Italian and international astronomy journals and is the author of more than 200 articles and eight books in the field of astronomy, among them A Photographic Tour of the Universe (Firefly; 1999).

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