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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  729 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews

Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and port
ebook, revised, 432 pages
Published July 6th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1985)
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Христо Блажев
Кометите – вестители от миналото, онова, истинското и милиардогодишното:

“Комета” е шеметно пътешествие, което едновременно се вглежда в далечното минало, когато се е формирала Слънчевата система в яростни сблъсъци и кошмарни катаклизми, и далеч отвъд орбитата на Плутон, където невидими се носят безброй замръзнали тела, останки от този период. Нарядко някоя от тях бива увлечена поради една или друга причина и се гмурва към Слънчевата система, където, ако
Last Ranger
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mysterious Traveler

Once upon a time, the young Albert Einstein tried to imagine what it would be like to ride on a beam of light and what the universe would look like to that observer. Writing in his 1985 book, Comet, author Carl Sagan takes the reader on another imaginary journey. This time the observer is riding aboard a wayward comet traveling from the Solar System's outer fringe, around the sun and back into deep space again, giving the reader a birds eye view of what you would see on such a
Menglong Youk
Being the seventh Carl Sagan's book I've read,"Comet" was a book co-written by, of course, the late Great Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan in 1985 before the return of the historical comet Halley. The book offers us a spectacular ride on the comet from its origins to the point when it gets close to the Sun and heads back to where it comes from. After that, nearly everything you might be curious or might not even imagine to ask about comets will lie on the pages; the histories, myths, the physical appea ...more
Glyn Longden
Rating: 6.5/10. The volume I read was not the revised version but the original which was released in 1985 just BEFORE Halley's Comet. Sagan obviously was trying to cash in on the interest in the comet. The problem with reading science books which are more than 20 years old is that much of the material is dated, incorrect, speculation, or irrelevant. So while Sagan offers much which is interesting there is none of the later research such as the 'Giotto' mission or the comet Shumaker-Levy which cr ...more
Gary Brooks
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent work by an excellent scientist. like a magical train ride through the entire solar system.
Madyson Carter
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: astronomy
Carl Sagen's purpose in writing this book is to inform people about comets, the history of their observations, the people who made a huge impact on our understanding of comets, where they come from, what they're made of, etc. The theme of course is comets. The style of this book is an exposition because it is an explanation and analysis of comets to bring some clarity and understanding on comets. In my opinion it was very good. What I liked is that it didn't just spew scientific unorganized nons ...more
This could have been titled "Comet Halley" and I would have been perfectly fine with that. I want to live to see Comet Halley in 2061 since I had recently been born when it passed by in 1985-86. The amount of information pertaining to Edmond Halley and his infamous comet filled me with gratitude and now I know where the info for the most recent Cosmos television series came from. Near the end of the book, Sagan makes mention of future journeys into "trans-Plutonian" space and of flying a craft t ...more
Steve Van Slyke
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sagan fans
Shelves: space, science
It's hard to imagine that discovery of the Kuiper Belt, the end of the Soviet Union, the identification of the Chicxulub Crater as that of the comet or asteroid that caused the K-T extinction, and the arrival of Comet Hale-Bopp, were all events unknown to the authors at the time of their writing.

Had they known about these events it is certain they would have had a large impact (no pun) on how they constructed much of the book, at least the latter parts of it.

Still, much of the book is well worth
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, if Cosmos was a mainstream and overall view of our universe and is as human species, each subsequent book I read from Sagan simply feels like an uncut version of one of the chapters of Cosmos. This one in particular is about Comets and you will learn everything- the history, the myth, the composition, the physics, the chemistry, the theory, the journeys now and and the future. It's a magnificent story written in typical Sagan and Druyan way. So if you're new to it - read Cosmos ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the last two chapters which as every other books of Carl Sagan left me with something to ponder and reflect. I enjoyed the stories in the first few chapters especially the work of Halley. There are many new things in the middle chapters that I didn't know in details so I like the fact that I learnt new things here and there but some sections are a bit long and dry. I have stopped in the middle for a few months and resumed reading it when I ran out of book to read. I'm glad I finished it s ...more
Jan 27, 2008 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: missing, science
Received as a gift many years ago. Disappeared during one move or another; no clue whose shelf it is on today. As I recall, a gorgeous book on par with Cosmos though certainly much more focused in its subject matter. As I recall, it has an illustration of the Halley's Comet orbital path in the upper right corner of the odd (even? whichever is the right-side) pages and when you flip through them, you can watch the comet orbit the sun. Brilliant.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure if this counts, as I didn't read the last twenty or so pages. See other reviews for rather accurate assessments. This was the hardcover version which quite frankly included way too many extra pictures; I wish I chose the paperback. I already knew most of this but it was a decent review, as always. I'm on a quest to read every main Carl Sagan work so only have a few more left. Not his best or most interesting work; probably somewhat dated.
Chris K
Some parts were amazing, others a little too raw and without knowing how much of the book was outdated by recent scientific study it was hard to remain focused on the more technical details.

Regardless, "Comet" will make you think long and hard about the origins of our solar system and the future of humans in outer space.

The best part of the book is about the historical perspective on comets and the eventual understanding of them by scientists.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan attempt to explain comets, their origins, their composition, and what they mean to Earth in a simple way that non-scientists can understand. (Even still, there were a few times where they get a little *too* sciencey or too mathy, even for me.)

Lots of pictures, diagrams, collections of comet-related artwork, and beautiful paintings done for the book.
Charlie George
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is my least favorite of 6 books I've read of the late Carl Sagan and I love his work. I learned very interesting things about comets, but it seemed like I could have learned them all in about one-fifth of this book. He was capable of much more concise writing, and this book suffers from being obsolete as we continue to learn more about the celestial bodies with ongoing robotic probes.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book about comets that I've been searching for. Ya gotta love that Sagan voice. Still woefully out-of-date, though. Seems like it was revised for reprint during the same 1996 "books about comets" boom, but that just means it's 20 years behind instead of 30.

Ronald Lett
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-science
One of the best gifts I have ever received. Extremely readable.
Vangelis Kritikos
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Yes, it is outdated, but it is very well and thoroughly written, covering the basic scientific (of 1985) and cultural aspects of the subject.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy anything involving astronomy, I'd recommend this book, Sagan lays out everything in such a way that I could see anyone reading this book.
May 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Astronomy Lovers
Shelves: booksread
Great book. Reads like a reference book at times, but still very interesting stuff. Realized while reading this book, that there's still a lot we don't know about comets.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The history here is fantastic. It's interesting to compare how medeival China recorded comets, with how Europe did (or didn't) at the same time.
Christine Lisak
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an amazing chronology of modern science in space!
J. D.
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book for its entertaining and detailed history and information on the subject. Written in the sweeping style associated with the autjor(s).
Ning Ke
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books that I've read. I am reading it again -right from the beginning!
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  • Carl Sagan: A Life
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In 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
More about Carl Sagan...
“Contemplated as one grand whole, astronomy is the most beautiful monument of the human mind; the noblest record of its intelligence.” 1 likes
“Всяка среща с Халеевата комета е била повод за изразяване на надежди и страхове. Същото се отнася и до появата на ярки непериодични комети. Почти ритуално това е било време да се помолим. Ето защо за следващата поява на Халеевата комета и на кометата Хейл-Боп ние предлагаме една своя молитва: Живеем на крехка планета, от чийто грижливо опазване зависи дали ще има бъдеще за нашите деца. Ние сме само временните попечители на един свят, който сам по себе си не е нищо повече от една прашинка в невъобразимо необятна и стара Вселена. Затова нека се научим да постъпваме преди всичко в интерес на вида и планетата ни.
Тогава още неизброимо много нощи ще има хора, които да бъдат свидетели на величието на кометите, благословили земното небе.”
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