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Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) Paperback – June 6, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1848001565 ISBN-10: 1848001568 Edition: 2008th

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Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) + Meteorites + Rocks from Space: Meteorites and Meteorite Hunters (Astronomy)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2008 edition (June 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848001568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848001565
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

"The average age of most meteorites is 4.6 billion years. … This groundbreaking book … is the most concise guide to date on every aspect of this fascinating field. The authors combine the collecting, study and hunting of meteorites with good advice on equipment and identification techniques. … it is equally suited to beginner and expert with well-illustrated page-by-page descriptions of each meteorite sub-type. … This is an impressive book containing everything you need to know about these remarkable cosmic treasures." (Mark Ford, BBC Sky at Night, September, 2008)

"This practical reference source … goes beyond the well-illustrated guide to help meteorite hunters identify their prize (with detailed color photos), and includes the astronomical context needed to understand meteorites and their Earth-bound predecessors, meteoroids. … A mineral glossary and references (print and online) supplement the text. … Summing Up: Recommended. General audiences and all undergraduate students." (L.R. Johnston, Choice, Vol. 46 (5), January, 2009)

"This is a magnificent book and a must for anyone who is interested in our solar system and its formation. … A wonderful segment is included on what meteorites look like in thin section and it is a glorious world indeed. … If you do, or if you wish to find you own, or if you just wish to learn more about the environment our Earth inhabits, you will want a copy of this outstanding book." (Amazon, November, 2008)

2009 Best Reference Work-

"Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites" by O. Richard Norton and Lawrence A. Chitwood received the Mary B. Ansari Best Reference Work Award.  The book is both a guide to observing meteors and a practical handbook for meteorite hunters.  Abundant information on locating, preparing, and analyzing meteorites is presented.  The work’s comprehensive treatment, fine color illustrations, and accessibility to a wide audience were winning points in the selection committee’s decision.  "Meteorite information has been scattered, hard to find and difficult to interpret – sort of like meteorites themselves," commented committee member Dennis Trombatore.  "The Field Guide is a powerful reference tool. It will inspire, enlighten and inform everyone who uses it.""

From the Back Cover

Imagine the unique experience of being the very first person to hold a newly-found meteorite in your hand – a rock from space, older than Earth!

"Weekend meteorite hunting" with magnets and metal detectors is becoming ever more popular as a pastime, but of course you can’t just walk around and pick up meteorites in the same way that you can pick up seashells on the beach. Those fragments that survived the intense heat of re-entry tend to disguise themselves as natural rocks over time, and it takes a trained eye – along with the information in this book – to recognize them.

Just as amateur astronomers are familiar with the telescopes and accessories needed to study a celestial object, amateur meteoriticists have to use equipment ranging from simple hand lenses to microscopes to study a specimen, to identify its type and origins.

Equipment and techniques are covered in detail here of course, along with a complete and fully illustrated guide to what you might find and where you might find it. In fact, the Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites contains pretty much everything an amateur astronomer – or geologist – needs to know about meteors and meteorites.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
The photos are detailed and of excellent quality.
Amateur Scientist
Great book, Rchard Norton was a great friend of mine, and this book is crucial reference guide to anyone interested in meteorites.
Michael Farmer
An excellent book for someone getting deeper into meteorites.
California Doug

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Taylor J. Barton on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think Norton and Chitwood have done a great piece of work with this guide. It is very readable, but also up-to-date and comprehensive. As a collector, I find it covers the bases thoroughly. The parts describing hunting for meteorites, the tools and techniques used for determining meteorite authenticity, and the anecdotal information on hunters and various finds are a pleasant bonus I was not expecting.

But, for me personally, the biggest surprise was the information in the chapter on thin sections: From Hand Lens to Microscope. This is excellent information for anyone who wants to learn about actually analyzing meteorites. If you want to go beyond basic hunting or collecting, this is the section for you. Furthermore, the authors have representative thin section photographs of the major meteorite classes throughout the other chapters.

I like Springer as a publisher, and I think the Patrick Moore series on Practical Astronomy has been a good thing for amateur astronomy. I have about a dozen of the series titles, but this one -- in my opinion -- is a more thorough treatment of its subject than any of the others.

I also have about a dozen other books on meteorites -- some of them highly specialized (like the Color Atlas of Meteorites in Thin Section). As I'm learning more about meteoritics, I would find it hard to part with any of my books. But if I were forced to keep just one of them, this would be the one.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joel Schiff on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a magnificent book and a must for anyone who is interested in our solar system and its formation. How do you study something that took place 4.6 billion years ago? You look at the unaltered debris that is left over from that period and fortunately for science that debris can be found on Earth in the form of meteorites. Once they are cut open, their extraterrestrial origins are betrayed and they become a history lesson to the scientists who study them. That's why this book is so important - it tells you what to look for, as most meteorites are found by amateurs - and it may as well be you. This is one of the very few areas where a non-scientist can make a real contribution to the scientific understanding of our planet's origins.

The book itself is divided into three parts. The first part is devoted to all the debris floating around the solar system, from interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), to asteroids, to meteoroids which become meteorites once they land on Earth. Meteors are the luminous phenomenon we have all witnessed in the night sky. Next comes the second and main part of the book with its description of the different classes and subclasses of meteorites, replete with color photos of whole specimens, slices, and thin sections. Every category of meteorites tells a different story that relates to the particulars of its formation. While most meteorites are of asteroidal origin, some have come from the Moon and Mars. These latter can send the heart racing if you are lucky enough to stumble upon one.

The final part of the book is about how to find meteorites and `what next?' if you think you have indeed stumbled upon one. Firstly, don't worry as they are neither hot to the touch nor are they radioactive.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amateur Scientist on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) This book should be on every meteorite lovers bookshelf. The photos are detailed and of excellent quality.The text is understandable by professionals and amateurs alike. I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone interested in these visitors from outer space.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David J. Iacono on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a comprehensve guide of the origin and classification of meterorites. As a collector, it's an invaluable resource to assess finds and purchased meterorites. Outstanding resource.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Coy Burnett on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best technical guide I've seen up until now. The photos are sharp and clear. Only drawback is it may be a little too advanced for a novice meteorite hunter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William C Gucfa on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book a five star rating because it answered all the technical questions I
had concerning meteorite identification and MORE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Thiele on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
Great book! Integral to the book are the color photos. As of 2/2013 the Kindle edition has B&W photos even on your color devices, so if you want the full benefit, you'll need to order the hard copy. Ask me how I know!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By adam on January 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i bought this as a gift to go along with a meteorite and the person has really enjoyed it. it is written well with some good humor among the plethora of information about meteorites...it really covers all the bases and if you are going to only buy one book on this subject, this is probably it
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