David Levy brings these "ghostly apparitions" to life. With fascinating scenarios both real and imagined, he shows how comets have wreaked their special havoc on Earth and other planets. Beginning with ground zero as comets take form, we track the paths their icy, rocky masses take around our universe and investigate the enormous potential that future comets have to directly affect the way we live on this planet and what we might find as we travel to other planets. In this extraordinary volume, David Levy shines his expert light on a subject that has long captivated our imaginations and fears, and demonstrates the need for our continued and rapt attention.read more
An old book but a great and breezy read. David Levy has a natural grasp on how to tell a story with wit ,wisdom, and clarity; and not lose you in technical jargon.This book is not ONLY about comets but poetry, the birth of the solar system, life on earth, and everything else of importance to anyone interested in things other than shopping.read more
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The recent discovery of an asteroid seemingly on a near-collision course with Earth has heightened awareness of the real risk to our species and civilization posed by asteroids and their spectacular cousins, the comets. Levy, who was a discoverer of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994 (and who chronicled the comet's explosive demise in Impact Jupiter), has authored a host of other books about comets and is science editor of Parade. In his compact and literate new book, he notes that comet impacts on the early Earth were the likely source of the water and organic materials that developed into life. They were also the most likely cause of the demise of the dinosaurs (and other mass extinctions), paving the way for the rise of mammalian life. The book is rich in photographs and images, including three paintings by James V. Scotti, discoverer of the near-miss asteroid that made recent headlines. Science fiction buffs will appreciate the millennial doomsday scenario Levy offers, beginning with a terse scientific announcement heralding a train of disrupted comet pieces heading for a spectacular impact on Earth in July 2000. Those who prefer fact-based speculation to flights of imagination will appreciate his knowledgeable discussion of the possibility of comet-seeded life on other worlds in the solar system, the Milky Way and beyond. 40 b&w photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved