Auroras: Fire in the Sky

Overview

A celebration of nature's spectacular light shows, and a visual feast documenting the kaleidoscopic colors that decorate the sky.

For millennia, humans have been fascinated with the ghostly green and red curtains of light that shimmer across the heavens on dark, clear nights. Ancient peoples saw these displays as souls of the dead, the torches of the spirits and as harbingers of war. Barely 100 years ago, scientists finally learned that an aurora is created when the Earth's ...

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Overview

A celebration of nature's spectacular light shows, and a visual feast documenting the kaleidoscopic colors that decorate the sky.

For millennia, humans have been fascinated with the ghostly green and red curtains of light that shimmer across the heavens on dark, clear nights. Ancient peoples saw these displays as souls of the dead, the torches of the spirits and as harbingers of war. Barely 100 years ago, scientists finally learned that an aurora is created when the Earth's magnetic field is bombarded with charged particles from the sun. When the charged particles collide with oxygen in the atmosphere, auroras with yellows, greens and reds appear. Collisions with nitrogen result in bluish colors. However, our understanding of the physics behind auroras has not detracted from their wonder.

Auroras is filled with 80 photographs of one of nature's greatest spectacles, complete with captions that reflect on the folklore, science and beauty of the northern lights. The book poses and answers the many scientific questions about auroras:

  • Why are auroras usually seen only at high latitudes?
  • How do scientists study them?
  • What causes the different colors?
  • Why are massive auroras often followed by blackouts and computer system crashes?

Auroras is where cutting-edge science meets the stuff of dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Halifax Chronicle Herald - Jodi DeLong
Bortolotti's well-written text explains the remarkable light spectacle and features over 100 colour-drenched images by noted aurora photographer Yuichi Takasaka.
Winnipeg Free Press - Gail Marchessault
The shimmering, swirling, ghostly glowing northern lights are pictured here in multi-faceted glory; ideal if you want to see the Aurora Borealis without braving sub-zero temperatures late at night. This gorgeously produced book offers photos of rare red aurora, Aurora Australis (in the south), views from space and more. Brief front pages to each chapter and short captions under the photos cover history, science and folklore associated with the aurora. And if you are inspired to go out and see the magic for yourself, the last page has advice for you.
Earth Magazine
Stunning photos from photographer Yuichi Takasaka as well as some from NASA grace the pages of this beautiful coffee table book celebrating the auroras. The book has more photos than text, but what text is there covers a wide variety of topics, from basic descriptions of how auroras form and what determines their coloration to how they are linked with electrical blackouts and how ancient peoples explained the auroras' presence. The text is accessible to any reader, and some of the background and historical information may surprise even those who already know a lot about the mysterious sky lights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554076819
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 468,985
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Bortolotti; with photographs by Yuichi Takasaka
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