Astronomers' Universe
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Mystery of the Ashen Light of Venus

Investigating a 400-Year-Old Phenomenon

Authors: Barentine, John

  • Explores a well-known but little-understood astronomical phenomenon
  • Contains previously unpublished historical records and research
  • An engaging narrative for astronomers and those interested in the history of astronomy
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eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: July 8, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-72715-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Pre-ordered printed titles are excluded from promotions.
  • Due: June 10, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-72714-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
About this book

The “Ashen Light” of Venus—a ghostly emission of light from the night side of our nearest planetary neighbor—is among the last unsolved mysteries of astronomical history. In the four centuries since the phenomenon was first reported, highly reputable visual observers of Venus have recorded seeing the Ashen Light, while others have spent a lifetime searching for it without once being convinced that they ever saw it.

Is the Ashen Light a trick of the eye? The result of a defective lens? A real scientific event?

Occasional references to the Ashen Light are scattered across the literature, yet no work to date has synthesized these records. This book therefore digs deep into the history of the mystery and our latest attempts to understand it, sifting through the clues that might explain whether it is caused by physics, is conjured up by the eye or brain, or a combination of both. 

This baffling story will appeal to amateur astronomers, hobbyists, and lay readers interested in joining the debate about one of the most elusive observable phenomena ever recorded in the night sky.

About the authors

John Barentine currently serves as the Director of Public Policy for the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) in Tucson, Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and was involved in amateur astronomy there from early on. Later, he attended the University of Arizona, doing research at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and National Solar Observatory headquarters in Tucson. From 2001-06 he was on the staff of Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, serving first as an observing specialist on the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5-m telescope and then as an observer for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

John obtained a master’s degree in physics at Colorado State University and a master’s and doctorate in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. John has contributed to science in fields ranging from solar physics to galaxy evolution while helping develop hardware for ground-based and aircraft-borne astronomy. Throughout his career, he has been involved in education and outreach efforts to help increase the public understanding of science. In addition to his work for IDA, John is a member of the steering committee of the University of Utah Consortium for Dark Sky Studies and serves on light pollution committees of the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

John is the author of two books on the history of astronomy for Springer: "The Lost Constellations" and "Uncharted Constellations." The asteroid (14505) Barentine is named in his honor. His interests outside of astronomy and dark skies include history, art/architecture, politics, law and current events.

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: July 8, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-72715-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Pre-ordered printed titles are excluded from promotions.
  • Due: June 10, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-72714-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mystery of the Ashen Light of Venus
Book Subtitle
Investigating a 400-Year-Old Phenomenon
Authors
Series Title
Astronomers' Universe
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-72715-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-72715-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-72714-7
Series ISSN
1614-659X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 190
Number of Illustrations
31 b/w illustrations, 18 illustrations in colour
Topics