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Astronomy - Popular Astronomy | Lights in the Sky - Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena

Lights in the Sky

Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena

Maunder, Michael

2007, XV, 227 p.

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  • Enables anyone to identify puzzling astronomical and meteorological phenomena, via an easy finder section
  • Describes all such phenomena, with photographs, illustrations and detailed physical explanations
  • A final chapter looks at "UFOs" in the context of human perception and preconception

Amateur astronomers spend a lot of their time observing the sky, but not everything up there is necessarily an astronomical phenomenon. Nor is everything immediately identifiable. How many people can tell the difference between a Sun Dog and a Glory - both meteorological phenomena? Or between the Zodiacal Light and the Gegenschein, which are astronomical?

Lights in the Sky is a truly comprehensive guide to observing, identifying, and imaging sky glows and other unusual atmospheric/astronomical phenomena, in both the night and daytime skies.

If, as a practical observer, you want to be able to identify what it is when you are faced, for example, with the Specter of the Brocken - or with an unidentified flying object that is...well, unidentified...then Lights in the Sky will provide all the practical scientific information you need.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Cloud - Rain - UFOs - Weather phenomena - ball lightning - extraterrestrial - green flash - haloes - lightning - noctilucent clouds - rainbows - sundogs

Related subjects » Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Meteorology - Popular Astronomy

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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