Lights in the Sky: Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series)
By: Michael Maunder (author)Paperback
2 - 4 weeks availability
Many lights and other objects in the sky go unrecognised, or at least are little understood by those observing them. Such things range from the commonplace like rainbows and meteors, to the distinctly unusual like the green flash and ball lightning. And there is still a residuum of objects that remain unidentified by the watcher - classed generally as 'UFOs', a description which today has connotations of the mysterious, even of extraterrestrial visitors. The first part of this book is an identification guide, very much like the "plant identifier" sections found in a good gardening or botany book. It allows quick (and structured) identification of known aerial phenomena, whether at night or during the day. The objects thus found are referenced to the second part of the book...The second part gives a full description, physical explanation, and where relevant notes on observing and photographing the various phenomena. Some will need optical aids such as binoculars or telescopes, but the main thrust of the book is identification and explanation rather than imaging.
The final chapter approaches UFOs from a scientific standpoint, particularly the way in which human perception and often preconception affects the outcome. It does however finish with a short section on "extraterrestrial UFOs", emphasising the burden of proof aspect and touching on the scientific theories of life on other worlds and the improbability of visitors.
PART 1 - IDENTIFIER Daylight Diffuse phenomena Point Sources Dawn and Dusk Diffuse phenomena Point Sources Night Diffuse phenomena Point Sources PART 2 - ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA Dawn: Zodiacal light Season for pre-dawn sighting Red sky, Shepherd's warning Crepuscular rays Other dawn phenomena Daylight: Haloes and coronas also detached arcs Sundogs and mock suns (a special case of a halo) Iridescence Glories Heiligenschein Rainbows & fogbows Dusk: Zodiacal light Season for twilight sightings Red sky Shepherd's delight Solar pillars Green flash Spectre of the Brocken Mother of pearl clouds Volcanic dust ( Krakatoa 1888, via El Chicon 1981 to Pinatubo 1990) Other dust: Bishop's ring, green & blue suns Night: Light pollution Milky Way Messier objects Caldwell objects Gegenschein Lunar haloes Lunar rainbows Aurorae Nacreous clouds Noctilucent clouds Meteors Other phenomena: marsh gas, fireflies &c Anytime: Lightning, Ball lightning UFOs: Human perception Mistaken identities Astronomical and meteorological Man-made Extraterrestrial visitors? Burden of proof The Fermi paradox Further Reading
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- ID: 9781846285622
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