Comets: Nature and Culture
Comets are different from anything else seen in the sky. They can appear anywhere, they move against the background of stars and they change their appearance with time, becoming fuzzy and then sprouting long tails. They have inspired scientists, artists, authors, innumerable religious figures and many people who have seen reflected in them their hopes, fears and sense of wonder in the universe. Comets takes the reader on a far-ranging exploration of these fascinating phenomena - the most beautiful and dramatic objects in the skies. Andrew Karam delves into the science of comets, the ways in which our scientific understanding of them has changed and how they have been depicted in art, religion, literature and popular culture. He also traces history's most important comets, including the comet that convinced the Romans that Julius Caesar was a god and the 1066 appearance of Halley's Comet, which was seen to foreshadow the death of Harold the Second in the Battle of Hastings. Comprehensive in scope and beautifully illustrated throughout, this enjoyable and informative book will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about these compelling, remarkable celestial bodies.