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Rain Of Iron And Ice: The Very Real Threat Of Comet And Asteroid Bombardment (Helix Books) Paperback – 25 Apr 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley (25 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201154943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201154948
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,011,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

John S. Lewis, author of Rain of Iron and Ice, is professor of planetary sciences and codirector of the Space Engineering Research Center at the University of Arizona-Tucson. He has chaired international conferences on space resources and is a globally recognized expert on the subject.

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Long before modern times, long before there was such a thing as a university or a scientist. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ZSky on 17 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
This book by John Lewis is very intriguing read. Roughly 220 pages with fifteen chapters, and easy to read. He explored the threats from space as well discussed the asteroid impacts from the past in our solar system, including that of Mars, Moon, Mercury, and even the impacts on asteroids themselves.

Out of all informative and fascinating chapters in this book, I felt the fourteenth chapter is most chilling to read because the author brings the reader to experience each scenario of impacts from A to J. Each is frightening as one begin to see, as the computer simulations show, what it would be like to be collided with the iron asteroid.

Overall, I felt this book is directed towards bringing the public awareness of the threats from space as it is likely. Not everyone ever believes that Earth will get hit by comets or asteroids, and that we are safe from such threats. This book can help one to understand the grace issue of such threats, and why we would need to look up and be aware of such cosmic events will happen, and it is just the matter of when. This book will surely be added to that awareness.

In my opinion, I really recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Mar. 1998
Format: Paperback
John S. Lewis uses his extensive knowledge of asteroids and comets to create "Rain of Iron and Ice", the most authoritative work on the cosmic threat that I have read to date.
Most fascinating and frightening about the book is the computer simulations of impacts at various locations around the world. The scenarios are a reminder of exactly how vunerable the Earth is to a threat that is largely misunderstood and taken for granted.
Serious students of asteroid and comet impact will appreciate the technical accuracy with which Lewis delivers the material. Those picking up the book for the first time will be surprised with the ease of readability and the easy flow of the author's words.
The accuracy and readability of "Rain of Iron and Ice" will leave no doubt as to just how real the threat asteroids and comets pose to our planet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Aug. 1998
Format: Paperback
An excellent book, both for the beginner, or for the serious student of cosmic impact. The author takes us on a tour of impacts through the solar system, and then back through the history of our own planet, revealing some disturbing evidence of past impact. If you're looking for a good book on the subject, this is it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although published in 1996 this authoritative introduction to the Asteroid Age is an excellent primer, explaining why western science was until recently so willfully blind to the significance of asteroids. John S Lewes, professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona is the acknowledged expert in this field. He carefully describes the zoo of asteroids and comets, the risks they pose to life on planets, the impact they have had for instance in removing 90% of Mars' atmosphere, while filling Earth's low lying land with ocean. Rain of Ice and Iron is a great prelude to Lewes' next book "Mining the Sky" which describes the incredible wealth available for mankind within easy reach.

John S Lewes has recently become Chief Scientist at Deep Space Industries, a company newly launched to lead the asteroid goldrush.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, and scary 1 Nov. 2000
By Philip C. Plait - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Lewis is an acknowledged expert on the topic of impacts, and it shows. His writing is clear and vivid; his descriptions of impact events are some of the best (and most chilling) I have read. There is a wealth of detail about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets, yet he never talks above the reader's head. As a professional astronomer myself and one who has talked about this subject many times, I highly recommend this book.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Lewis set to rock with "Rain of Iron and Ice" 16 Mar. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
John S. Lewis uses his extensive knowledge of asteroids and comets to create "Rain of Iron and Ice", the most authoritative work on the cosmic threat that I have read to date.
Most fascinating and frightening about the book is the computer simulations of impacts at various locations around the world. The scenarios are a reminder of exactly how vunerable the Earth is to a threat that is largely misunderstood and taken for granted.
Serious students of asteroid and comet impact will appreciate the technical accuracy with which Lewis delivers the material. Those picking up the book for the first time will be surprised with the ease of readability and the easy flow of the author's words.
The accuracy and readability of "Rain of Iron and Ice" will leave no doubt as to just how real the threat asteroids and comets pose to our planet.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
One of the finest books on the subject. 27 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An excellent book, both for the beginner, or for the serious student of cosmic impact. The author takes us on a tour of impacts through the solar system, and then back through the history of our own planet, revealing some disturbing evidence of past impact. If you're looking for a good book on the subject, this is it.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Don't worry about my review -- just read the book 10 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This fine book is designed primarily with one goal in mind. Aimed at a popular audience, it is written to counteract the unfortunately widespread myth that no one has ever been killed, or will ever be killed, by a falling asteroid or meteor. John Lewis reworks this statement, reminding us that the way it should be phrased is as follows: "no one as ever been killed or hurt by a meteor or asteroid in the presence of a Western, 20th/21st century journalist or meteoriticist."
This book demonstrates, through statistics and anecdotes, that it is more than just a question of occasional asteroids like the one that killed the dinosaurs, or like the ones in the asteroid movies from the summer of 1999. There is an extremely wide range of asteroids, meteors, and other random space-rocks, of all different shapes, sizes, and compositions. The ones large enough to do fairly serious damage land all over the planet, and substantially more often than many of us tend to believe.
Chapter 14 alone is worth the price of the book. In it, Dr. Lewis shows us computer simulations of several likely asteroid strikes. Let me clarify that -- he presents the results of computer simulations of 10 randomly computer-generated "centuries" on Earth, and what the statistical likelihood of pretty awful asteroid collisions are in each century. Many of the simulations are pretty terrifying. The one that opens the chapter, taking place in the Phillipines, is one of the most horrifying things you'll ever read.
Another valuable part of the book is the table in chapter 13, which lists dozens of damaging asteroid or meteor strikes throughout recorded history, all over the world. Stories like this crop up throughout the book, they aren't just in chapter 13.
The intent of this book is to raise public awareness. It succeeds dramatically. Please buy a copy, and get copies for some of your friends. Two thumbs up.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
It "Rocks" 18 Dec. 2000
By Holy Olio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
__________________
The need for radioastronomy to detect near Earth objects on the day-side is documented in this book. Amateur astronomers have a real opportunity to potentially save all life on Earth. Despite the efforts expended (mostly since 1994, after the impact of the fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter) the estimate is that 90 per cent of nearby asteroids are unknown. As David Morrison has warned, nothing can be told about the unknown majority, and the odds are that there will be no warning.
At least four large impacts occurred during the 20th century, the best known being the Tunguska object in 1908. I was a bit startled to learn of the small 1919 impact on Lake Michigan (p 159) having never heard anything about this from elderly folklore-prone relatives.
Perhaps most useful is Lewis' discussion of the various myths about our safety from such impacts.
See also "Night Comes to the Cretaceous" by James Lawrence Powell.
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