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Richard O. Norton
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites

Beautifully illustrated with over 140 full colour images, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites provides a thorough guide to these fascinating extraterrestrial rocks.

Meteorites are our only contact with materials from beyond the Earth-Moon system. Using well known petrologic techniques, this book reveals in vivid colour their extraordinary external and internal structures. Looking deeper still, right to the atomic level, they begin to tell us of the environment within the solar nebula that existed before the planets accreted. In recent years, meteorites have caught the imagination of scientist and collector alike. An army of people are now actively searching for them in the hot and cold deserts of Earth.

This book is a valuable guide to assist the searchers in the field to recognize the many classes of meteorites. It is further a reference source for students, teachers and scientists who wish to probe deeper these amazing rocks from space.

Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • 1. Cosmic dust - interplanetary dust particles
  • 2. The fall of meteorites
  • 3. External morphology of meteorites
  • 4. Classification of meteorites: a historical viewpoint
  • 5. Primitive meteorites: the chondrites
  • 6. Chondrites: a closer look
  • 7. Primitive meteorites: the carbonaceous chondrites
  • 8. Differentiated meteorites: the achondrites
  • 9. Differentiated meteorites: irons and stony-irons
  • 10. Meteorites and the early solar system
  • 11. Asteroid parent bodies
  • 12. Terrestrial impact craters
  • Appendices.


"This is a beautiful, substantial, glossy book that comprehensively discusses the major issues in meteorites and cosmochemistry. The superb pictures are of high quality and made up of artwork as well as diagrams and photographs. The subject matter is very complete, and covers the effects of impacts, the history of meteorites, and how to recognize meteorites in the field ... As a work to inspire and interest, it works magnificently."
(The Observatory, Sara Russell)

"... splendid encyclopaedia ... excellent value and is highly recommended."
(Spaceflight, Richard Taylor)

"... a thorough guide to extraterrestrial rocks."
(Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin)

"Norton deftly navigates the turbid waters of our current meteorite classification system making these 100-plus pages alone worth the price of the book. Scores of colour illustrations grace every one of the 12 chapters, to the point that this encyclopedia could masquerade as a coffee-table book showcasing the beautiful meteorites of the world. ... History has been made in meteorite literature, and the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites deserves the same shelf presence as the famous Catalogue of Meteorites."
(Earth, Moon and Planets, Martin G. Horejsi)

"Norton ably demonstrates his competent grip of this field ... this is an encyclopedia for budding and accomplished enthusiasts who wish for an authoritative reference that includes the latest research in a steadily burgeoning subject ... definitely recommended"
(Steve Ringwood, Astronomy Now)

"[the] illustrations - over 150 of them in colour - are not just aesthetically stunning, but very instructive too ... if you are fascinated by meteorites, then this book is well worth having ... the illustrations are a delight."
(J. Br. Astron. Association, John Saxton)

"Twelve packed chapters crammed with stunning illustrations present the origin, structure and classification of meteoric material ... This is an encyclopedia for budding and accomplished enthusiasts who wish for an authoritative reference that includes the latest research in a steadily burgeoning subject."
(Sky & Telescope)

Cambridge University Press, 2002, 374 S.
56,30 Euro
Hardcover, w. 67 line diagrams 41 half-tones 174 colour plates 22 tables
ISBN: 978-0-521-62143-4

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