WHAT ARE THESE GRACEFUL VISITORS TO OUR SKIES? WE NOW KNOW THAT THEY BRING BOTH LIFE AND DEATH AND TEACH US ABOUT OUR ORIGINS. Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark. Were the fates of the dinosaurs and the origins of humans tied to the wanderings of a comet? Are comets the building blocks from which worlds are formed? Lavishly illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned full-color paintings, Comet is an enthralling adventure, indispensable for anyone who has ever gazed up at the heavens and wondered why. "SIMPLY THE BEST." *The Times of London "FASCINATING, EVOCATIVE, INSPIRING." *The Washington Post "COMET HUMANIZES SCIENCE. A BEAUTIFUL, INTERESTING BOOK." *United Press International "MASTERFUL . . . SCIENCE, POETRY, AND IMAGINATION." *The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
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Aeronautics and Space apparition asteroids astronomers Astronomical Units atoms bright called century Chapter close collision coma Comet Halley cometary nucleus cometary orbits constellation cosmic Courtesy National Aeronautics Courtesy Ruth craters Cretaceous dark debris Diagram by Jon dinosaurs disk distance dust Earth Earth's atmosphere eccentric orbits Edmond Halley ejected Flamsteed formed fragments Galaxy grains gravitational Halley's Comet heavens human hundred hydrogen imagine impact inner solar system International Halley Watch interplanetary interstellar ion tail jets Jon Lomberg Jon Lomberg/BPS Jupiter Kant Laplace layer light long-period comets Mars mass extinctions matter meteor shower meteorites methane Milky Moon motion moving Newton Observatory observed ocean Oort Cloud origin particles passing perhaps perihelion perihelion passage period photograph planetary planets rotation Royal Saturn scientists seen short-period comets solar nebula solar wind Soviet Space Administration spacecraft stars Sun's sunlight surface swastika tails of comets telescope thousand tion vapor Venus zodiacal