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Meteor Showers and their Parent Comets

$91.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521076357

$ 91.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Meteor Showers and their Parent Comets is a unique handbook for astronomers interested in observing meteor storms and outbursts. Spectacular displays of 'shooting stars' are created when the Earth's orbit crosses a meteoroid stream, as each meteoroid causes a bright light when it enters our atmosphere at high speed. Jenniskens, an active meteor storm chaser, explains how meteoroid streams originate from the decay of meteoroids, comets and asteroids, and how they cause meteor showers on Earth. He includes the findings of recent space missions to comets and asteroids, the risk of meteor impacts on Earth, and how meteor showers may have seeded the Earth with ingredients that made life possible. All known meteor showers are identified, accompanied by fascinating details on the most important showers and their parent comets. The book predicts when exceptional meteor showers will occur over the next fifty years, making it a valuable resource for both amateur and professional astronomers.

    • Explains the cause and evolution of meteoroid streams
    • Identifies about 250 known meteor showers and forecasts exceptional meteor showers in the coming decades
    • Contains new insights into comet fragmentation as an important source of main meteor showers
    • Details results from the Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a veritable encyclopedia of past and current meteor studies. Though intended for professional astronomers... the text remains accessible to amateurs with a keen interest in meteor showers."
    Sky and Telescope

    "All known meteor showers are identified, accompanied by fascinating details on the most important showers and their parent comets. The book predicts when exceptional meteor showers will occur over the next fifty years, making it a valuable resource for both amateur and professional astronomers."
    Mercury, Spring, 2007

    "...a good book for beginners, amateurs, and researchers interested not only in meteors, but also in the evolution of solar system minor bodies. The text provides an overall introduction to the origin of meteoroids and their direct applications to the study of their parent objects." --The Meteoritical Society

    "The tour de force of the book is the extensive set of tables, which includes predictions for expected meteor outbursts, and these will be of great benefit to the amateur observer...a compulsory aid to planning when and where to take your next astronomical holiday." --Journal of the British Astronomical Association

    "the reader will find inserts chronicling the author's own experiences in meteor observing, some ending in frustration and disappointment, others crowned by the elation of success. These gold nuggets add a welcome 'novel' quality to the text that is often lacking in efforts of this size and scope...this book provides the community with something that it has so far lacked: a concise, comprehensive, and up-to-date reference textbook on the subject of meteor showers and their origins. At the same time, the unassuming style of writing makes it accessible to the non-specialist looking to broaden his or her horizons." --The Observatory

    "The work which went into this volume is phenomenal...a must have for any reseracher in meteor science, and should appear in the library of institutions that teach and research in cometary, meteor or more generally planetary science...this book will make a lasting impact on the field of meteor science." --R.L. Hawkes: Springer Book Review

    "As I continued to read, I felt as though the author had invited me to sit down with him in his study so he could share his passion, joy, and excitement of what he and others have learned about meteors and comets. ... I heartily recommend Dr. Jenniskens' book for either your personal or your institution's library. It will provide much helpful information for many years to come." - The Planetarian

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521076357
    • length: 804 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 41 mm
    • weight: 1.26kg
    • contains: 380 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. How meteor showers were linked to comets
    2. What is at the core of comets?
    3. The formation of meteoroid streams
    4. Meteors from meteoroid impacts in Earth
    5. Comet and meteoroid orbits in space and time
    Part II. Parent Bodies:
    6. Long period comets
    7. Halley-type comets
    8. Jupiter-family comets
    9. Fading comets of the inner solar system
    10. Asteroids
    Part III. Young Streams from Whipple-type Ejection:
    11. What planets do to dust trails
    12. Meteor storm chasing
    13. Meteor outbursts from long-period comets
    14. Trapped: the Leonid Filament
    15. The Leonid storms
    16. The Ursids
    17. The Perseids
    18. Other Halley-type comets
    19. Dust trails of Jupiter-family comets
    Part IV. Young Streams from Comet Fragmentation:
    20. Broken comets
    21. Quadrantids
    22. Geminids
    23. The sunskirting streams: Arietids and delta-Aquariids
    24. Alpha-Capricornids and kappa-Cygnids
    25. The Taurid complex
    Part V. Old Streams and Sporadic Meteoroids:
    26. Annual showers
    27. Dispersion from gradually evolving parent body orbits
    28. The ecliptic streams
    29. Toroidal streams
    30. Meteor showers from asteroids
    31. Sporadic meteors and the zodiacal cloud
    Part VI. Impact and Relevance of Meteor Showers:
    32. Impact!
    33. Meteor showers on other planets
    34. Meteors and the origin of life

  • Author

    Peter Jenniskens, The SETI Institute, California
    Dr Peter Jenniskens is a professional astronomer and research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute.

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