Lights in the Sky: Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena / Edition 1

Lights in the Sky: Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena / Edition 1

by Michael Maunder
     
 

ISBN-10: 1846285623

ISBN-13: 9781846285622

Pub. Date: 11/28/2007

Publisher: Springer London

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781846285622
Publisher:
Springer London
Publication date:
11/28/2007
Series:
The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
Edition description:
2007
Pages:
227
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)

Table of Contents

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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