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No 54 - November 2007

Book review: Aurora

Neil Bone, 2007, Aurora - Observing and recording nature's spectacular light show, Springer Practical Astronomy Series, ISBN 978-0-387-36052-2, softback, 182 pp., £20.50.

This is Neil's third Aurora book, thoroughly revised and updated to include the big displays we had back in 2003, which were photographed by Russell Cockman and others. The book takes us through some of the ancient and medieval accounts of the aurora as terrifying appearances, then into the age of science and the investigations into the solar-wind and terrestrial magnetic field interactions, with remote sensing and satellites. The physics of the aurora are briefly and clearly summarised. There are instructions for observing and photographing the aurora, and an account of some of the big displays of recent years. Briefly mentioned are some other upper-atmosphere phenomena worth observing, nacreous clouds, meteors, and most importantly - noctilucent clouds, with a little on aurorae on other planets, and finally a glossary of technical terms.

This book, by someone who has been observing the aurora for decades, since boyhood in Campbeltown, is highly recommended to all, from serious amateur aurora observers to those with a passing interest because it is a great read.

Neil Bone used to be Vice-President of ASE before redundancy forced him to move to Sussex, where he has continued to observe aurora and noctilucent cloud. He is currently Director of the BAA Meteor Section.

Dave Gavine


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Book review: Aurora

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Observing Mars in 2007/08

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