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Comets: Nomads of the Solar System Srikumar M. Menon

Comets: Nomads of the Solar System

Srikumar M. Menon

Published October 2013
ISBN :
Hardcover
128 pages
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 About the Book 

This booklet introduces the general reader to comets, which are visitors from the outer solar system that occasionally put up spectacular shows in the night sky. Written when the world was gearing up for the possibility that Comet ISON – which, ifMoreThis booklet introduces the general reader to comets, which are visitors from the outer solar system that occasionally put up spectacular shows in the night sky. Written when the world was gearing up for the possibility that Comet ISON – which, if the “guesstimates” of astronomers were proved right, was all set to become the “Comet of the Century” in late 2013. According to some astronomers, ISON was expected to outshine the full moon in December 2013, after its closest approach to the Sun, with a tail that stretches out in the sky rivalling that of the Great Comet of 1680! The comet, however, was torn apart by the tidal forces of the Sun as it completed perihelion - the closest approach to the Sun. To address the interest in comets bound to be sparked by this celestial spectacle, this booklet aims to informing those interested about what comets are, historical anecdotes about comet discoveries and myths about comets, their origin etc. and is replete with titbits about famous comets in the history of mankind, special cometary events like Comet Shoemaker-Levy crashing into Jupiter etc. It provides tips on how to observe the “Great Comet of 2013” – even if it fizzles out and does not live up to its billing! Divided into bite-sized sections rather than chapters, this book also deals with the relevance and importance of amateur observations of comets even in this age of large professional telescopes and sophisticated instrumentation. This up-to-date book will be a handy resource on Comets long after the sad demise of ISON..