Atlas of Great Comets by Ronald Stoyan

By Ronald Stoyan

During the a long time, comets, enigmatic and gorgeous wandering items that seem for weeks or months, have alternately involved and terrified humankind. the results of 5 years of cautious study, Atlas of serious Comets is a generously illustrated reference on thirty of the best comets which were witnessed and documented because the heart a long time. exact awareness is given to the cultural and medical impression of every visual appeal, supported via a wealth of pictures, from woodcuts, engravings, ancient work and artifacts, to a show off of the simplest astronomical pictures and photographs. Following the advent, giving the extensive ancient context and a contemporary medical interpretation, the good Comets function in chronological order. for every, there's a modern description of its visual appeal in addition to its clinical, cultural and old importance. even if you're an armchair astronomer or a professional comet-chaser, this fantastic reference merits a spot in your shelf.

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Silicates dominate, but there are also carbon, hydrogen, oxy­ gen and nitrogen compounds. Particularly notable is the presence of long-chain molecules. These substances, known in chemistry as organic molecules, such as glycine (an amino acid: C2H5NO2) may be detected in comets. Such molecules are the building blocks of hydrogen/carbon-based life as we know it. As ‘fresh’ comets from the Oort Cloud are more-or-less pristine, because they are essen­ tially unaffected by any chemical or geological processes, but are, at the same time, extremely old bodies, it is believed that the pri­ mordial material from which the Solar System formed contained these amino acids.

Tacitus, writing in his Annals, said: times. According to Diodorus, witnesses claimed that the comet had cast shadows like the Moon. A few chroniclers report that the comet “A comet appeared, upon which Nero took care to shed the blood of eventually ‘broke into two planets’. ” The assassina­ it was probably a sungrazer, which broke up after a close approach tion of his wife Octavia in AD 62 and Seneca’s suicide on Nero’s or­ to the Sun. If this is so, the Comet of 372 BC may be the parent co­ ders in AD 65, were also linked to comets – although the appearan­ met of the Great Comets of 1680 and 1843.

In AD 467, accor­ ding to the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes, a comet appeared ‘in the form of a trumpet’ for 40 days. This rounds off the list of great comets in antiquity. Great comets in the Middle Ages During the Middle Ages, the appearances of Comet Halley marked the passage of time: It was in the sky in the years 530, 607, 684, 760, 837, 912, 989, 1066, 1145, 1222, 1301, 1378 and 1456. Many of its appar­ itions were very bright and were well-observed in Europe and Asia. The return in the late summer of 530 was preceded, on 9 April of the same year, by a great meteor shower, when the Earth passed through the orbit.

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