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Meteors and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) 1st Edition
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From the reviews:
"This guide … contains much useful information for a new comer to meteor observing, especially with regards to practical advice relating to meteor watches. One third of the book covers the major showers … with useful charts included to show the radiant locations and their daily motion. … It is all up to date … . In summary, this is a potentially useful book … ." (Tony Markham, Astronomy Now, July, 2009)
"The book is split into two sections. The first concentrates on nine major and 17 minor meteor showers along with variable, daytime and possible new showers. … The second section is a guide that is … well written. It covers everything from how to accurately record your observations for scientific use to tips on making photographic, video and radio observations. If you’re keen on observing meteors or taking your interest further, this book is well worth getting hold of." (Vincent Whiteman, Sky at Night Magazine, August, 2009)
"The book is aimed at the beginner in meteor studies, so it quite reasonably has few surprises in its coverage … . Overall, my desire to recommend this book, as one of few commercially-available, introductory, meteor-astronomy texts, is tempered by the flaws which detract from it fully informing its target readership … . newcomers would find much of it useful, and its shower coverage is sufficient to make it a handy work to dip into for more-knowledgeable amateur meteor enthusiasts." (Alastair McBeath, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1212), October, 2009)
From the Back Cover
ASTRONOMERS’ OBSERVING GUIDES provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observing techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments.
Have you ever been on the beach at night, watching the sky overhead, and seen streaks of light against the background of stars? Though many people still refer to these as shooting stars, they are, of course, not stars. They are meteors―small chunks of rock and ice debris from disintegrating comets that are careening through our Solar System and sometimes enter Earth’s atmosphere. Most are so small that they burn up as they enter the atmosphere. These are called meteors. In a meteor shower, many meteors can be seen streaking across the sky in a short time. A few meteors make it through intact and descend to Earth as meteorites. Watching these beautiful streaks of light in the sky can be an exciting pastime, and it can result in some important science.
Robert Lunsford explains what meteors are, where they come from, and what happens to them as they whiz through space and enter our atmosphere. He tells how to observe meteors and meteor showers, what equipment to use, what you should look for, where you should look, and much more. Armed with the information in this book and with very little effort and equipment, you can begin your regular search of the heavens right now and join the ranks of those who have made this rewarding pastime a lifetime hobby.
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, the book starts with a very short introduction - from what meteors are to the definitions of Sporadic Meteors (e.g., random, antihellion, hellion, apex, etc.).
The next several sections cover Major Annual Showers (9), Minor Annual Showers (17), Variable Showers (11) and Daytime/Radio Showers (12).
If that wasn't enough, the latest information & research is presented on potentially new showers - a whopping 19 - that need more study and confirmation.
There is also a chapter on monthly meteor activity (sporadic/random meteors do typically vary month-by-month).
If I were to make one small complaint - and it's very, very minor - it would be that Chapter 8 (of 10 chapters) covers "how to observe" meteors. In my humble opinion, this chapter should have been in the beginning of the book - maybe after the definitions & types of meteors and before the detailed descriptions of individual meteor showers. For inexperienced observers, it seems to me they would want to know "how" to observe before learning "what" to observe. But the bottom-line: all of the information you could ever want or need is here, albeit in a slightly different order than I would have organized it.
Last but not least, the author is quite possibly the most respected American expert on meteors. He is the Coordinator of THE ASSOCIATION OF LUNAR AND PLANETARY OBSERVERS (A.L.P.O.) - METEORS SECTION (check the web site for the latest news & information).Read more ›
A must buy for meteor lovers!
They were wrong. I wouldn't have time to go into all that I learned from this book, but this book elevated my meteor study to one of my favorite astronomical studies. There is enough material in this easy to read to last for a long time. In fact, after reading the book, and spending considerable time logging meteors over the past several months, I still find myself going back to the book and using it as a resource text.
Just last week, while watching the Orionids with some friends, we saw a long, slow, green meteor streak across the sky. We tried to remember, "What does green mean again? That's right, green shows the meteor contains a lot of nickel. Hmmm, was it an Orionid or sporadic meteor? Do the shower meteors contain nickel?" Did you know it is possible to set up a radio system and hear the meteors ping while you are watching the shower, or that it is possible to use a radio to hear the ping of meteors in the daylight? These are the sorts of things one learns from reading this book.