This book introduces the general reader to the world of comets – those celestial visitors from the outer Solar System that occasionally visit the Earth’s neighbourhood and put up spectacular shows in the night sky. The world had geared up for just such a show at the end of 2013, when Comet ISON was expected to light up the night sky. Using the occasion to bring the world of comets to those interested, this book is a delightful read about the quirky world of these unpredictable visitors. Apart from lucidly and accurately updating the reader about what comets are, where they come from, why is it that they assume the fantastic shapes they do etc. “Comets” also regales the reader with myths about comets in various cultural contexts, snippets about famous comets in the history of mankind, anecdotes on comet discoveries and discoverers, the bewildering procedures followed while naming comets and much more. The book takes a hard look at the hype surrounding the fiery expectations about Comet ISON an cautions the reader that, while there was a good chance of the comet blazing forth in the skies of December 2013, there was a realistic chance that the comet would not survive its close encounter with the Sun. Sadly, the pessimistic predictions came true and the comet disintegrated as it went around the Sun. As we wait for chance to throw us a Great Comet to gaze at in the future, “Comets: Nomads of the Solar System” is an excellent guide to prepare for the event!
Ancient Stone Riddles is an introduction to the fascinating but less-known monuments called megaliths in the context of the Indian subcontinent. The book seeks to present the current understanding among archaeologists and other researchers in a lucid manner to the general reader, while stimulating thought on the many questions that linger about these remnants from our distant past and the people and cultures that built them. It also discusses recent research about the knowledge systems possessed by the megalith builders, including the possibility that some of these monuments were erected to observe celestial cycles.