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Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) [Paperback]

Brian Cudnik

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Book Description

6 Nov 2010 1441903232 978-1441903235 2009
The face of the Moon we see today has been substantially etched by the effects of meteor impacts. Craters on the Moon are the result of ancient impacts with large meteorites - or small asteroid-like bodies - which produced both primary craters (where the meteorites hit) and secondary craters (where material hurled high above the surface crashed back down). Even some of the vast lunar "seas" - actually basalt plains from ancient volcanic eruptions - may have been the result of impacts that triggered lava outflows. The era of major impacts on the Moon may have passed, but lunar meteorites may well be the cause of what are known as Lunar Transient Phonomena ("LTP" or sometimes "TLP") flashes and puffs of gas or vaporized rock or dust that are observed on the Moon's surface. This book looks at the way the Moon has been shaped by meteorites, proposes lunar meteorites as the most likely cause of most LTPs and describes in practical detail how amateur astronomers can observe impacts on the Moon, past and current.

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Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) + The Moon and How to Observe It: An Advanced Handbook for Students of the Moon in the 21st Century (Astronomers' Observing Guides)
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Review

From the reviews:

“Cudnik (Prairie View A&M) … presents a comprehensive observer’s guide written for those who would like to directly participate in this type of research. … This work provides a discussion of the types of impact phenomena seen throughout the solar system, a thoroughly documented set of past observations of probable and confirmed lunar impacts, and very specific recommendations for the types of equipment to use for viewers to make their own observations. … Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.” (C. Palma, Choice, Vol. 47 (11), August, 2010)

“The successful recording of … lunar meteoroid impacts revived interest amongst a small group of lunar observers in this observing niche and much of this book is spent describing the techniques necessary to record these very rare events. Every piece of hardware and software and every technique the digital or visual observer might want to use, to detect lunar impacts, is covered in the book. … This book is very comprehensive and … lunar observing specialists will feel inclined to add it to their bookshelves.” (Martin Mobberley, Astronomy Now, April, 2011)

“The Moon is subject to the untrammeled force of impact from meteoroids, asteroids and comets … . Brian Cudnik, was first to observe a meteor impact on the Moon in real time. He sets forth a programme for observing impact events based on visual / CCD experiences of a host of historical events, couching it within the guidelines set forth by the ALPO (Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers). Recommended lunar reading!” (Peter Grego, Popular Astronomy, March-April, 2011)

“Providing an historical overview of impact cratering, not only on the Moon but throughout the Solar System … . serve as a practical guide to observing lunar meteoroid impacts and they introduce the serious amateur to a programme of observational work that can truly yield valuable results and allow genuine professional-amateur collaboration. … a valuable book on an important observational opportunity for the amateur, and Cudnik is to be congratulated on writing a clear and compelling tutorial on how to go about such work.” (Bill Leatherbarrow, The Observatory, Vol. 131 (1223), August, 2011)

From the Back Cover

We all know that the pock marked face of the Moon looks the way it does because it was hit by meteors. But not many people know that this is still happening today. While the era of major impacts is over, lunar meteorites still cause flashes and puffs of gas, vaporized rock, and dust that we can observe.

The Moon itself has a fascinating history. It is now thought to have been formed after a Mars-sized object collided with Earth and stripped off a portion of its mass. This debris took shape within a few hundred years and was originally much closer to our planet. The craters on its surface were largely formed by intense meteorite and asteroid bombardment between 4.6 billion and 3.8 billion years ago.

In this comprehensive book, Brian Cudnik, one of the first people to observe a meteorite impact on the Moon in real time, shows how both amateur and practical astronomers can look for these ‘lunar transient phenomena,’ or LTPs. He explains in detail the processes that formed the craters and impact marks we see on the Moon and elsewhere in the Solar System, and he details the events leading up to our recognition that the Moon is not a ‘dead’ world in terms of meteors but is still being hit by space debris.

Meteors and asteroids have melted the Moon’s crust, forming the lunar magma ocean, and caused enormous impact craters that, like an old warrior’s battle scars, give us a visual history of the planet. As amateur astronomy becomes ever more sophisticated, this book interprets the Moon’s scars and acts as a guide to observing our nearest planetary neighbor, showing how amateurs can support and even compete with the professionals in this field.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure, but not your typical observing guide ! 26 Feb 2010
By Busy Bee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thorough book about "Lunar Transient Phenomena - LTP" and "Lunar Impact Features" specifically Craters and Maria. It covers the historical and scientific background of the various features, how to identify them and co-ordinate your observational efforts with other around the world and make your own contributions to this illusive part of Astronomy. As indicated by the book's Description "Observe geology in the making on the Moon's surface".

Unlike the other book by Springer under the title "The Moon and How to Observe It (Astronomers' Observing Guides)" which is intended to any one interested in observing the moon, this book I believe is targeted to a few Dedicated Amateurs or even professionals who are curious about these Features and Phenomena and want to know the facts from an expert in the field "Brian Cudnik" who has done a magnificent job in summarizing his life experience in this field wonderfully within the pages of this book. I will not attempt to discourage anyone from acquiring the book, on the contrary it's a treasure and scientifically intriguing; but it's not your typical observing guide as its end goal aims at making active observations of current events that are more or less rare and hard to detect, observer and capture.
Last Thought, this book offers an observation challenge, are you up to it?! Happy Hunting!!

Note: A few minor mistakes including a Mix-Up in the references to the first two images in chapter one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for crater formation 9 Oct 2011
By J. Norton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a reference source for a seminar lecture on "Advanced Lunar Observation". This is a great starter book for anyone who wishes to learn about the current theories covering surface features of the moon. I had already done a fair amount of lunar research and found this book avoided a lot of technical jargon and yet gave a fascinating and complete historical,as well as current description and physics of the formation of impact craters. In addition the author's chapters on observing lunar impacts today; including equipment and how to use it, what to look for, and amateur and professional groups which are collaborating on observing and recording transient lunar phenomenon as well as lunar impacts as they occur. The book is very readable and pictures and diagrams give good insight into understanding of the text. After my lecture, people wanted to look at my copy of Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and indicated they were going to buy a copy for themselves. I heartily recommend this book for beginners through advanced observational astronomers.
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