This book provides a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of comets. It presents a fascinating survey of the study of comets throughout history, from antiquity to the present day, and includes the most recent discoveries on the exceptional comets Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake. The authors discuss the role of comets in the formation of our Solar System and describe the links between comets, asteroids and the recently discovered Kuiper-belt objects. The book also includes new insights into the composition and nature of cometary nuclei, with results from the most up-to-date observation techniques. Written in a clear and lively style, and beautifully illustrated, this book will appeal to anyone interested in comets and astronomy, professionals and amateurs alike. It will be of particular interest to students and researchers in astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science, as well as general readers with a good background in physics.