A Year of the Stars: A Month-by-month Journey of Skywatching

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Prometheus Books, 2003 - Science - 336 pages
The ideal book for the amateur astronomer or anyone curious about our place in the universe, A Year of the Stars takes the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery through the seasons of the starry night sky. Acclaimed popular science writer Fred Schaaf, who has written the monthly stars and planets columns for Sky & Telescope magazine for over ten years, has created this eloquent guide that both beginners and veteran skywatchers will find rewarding.

Schaaf leads off with an introductory section that provides fundamental knowledge about astronomy, so that even the complete novice can plunge into the book at any month and follow the discussion. The section starts with naked-eye astronomy, describing how the starry heavens are mapped and organized. It then delves into telescopic astronomy, explaining the basic structure of the universe (including the various kinds of stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies) and offering advice about selecting and using telescopes and binoculars.

The rest of the book uses a month-by-month organization, highlighting the constellations, stars, "deep-sky objects," meteor showers, and other special phenomena visible each month, with many fascinating insights into the science, history, and lore of each month's sights. Schaaf's many years of monthly columns in Sky & Telescope and similar writing he has done for many publications (the Old Farmer's Almanac, Mother Earth News, and others) make him the world's leading expert in the monthly format of astronomy sights.

Complete with beautiful maps, drawings, photos, and a very useful glossary, this is the perfect book for savoring the experience of skywatching the whole year through.

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About the author (2003)

Fred Schaaf (Millville, NJ), a contributing editor and columnist for Sky & Telescope and writer of a weekly astronomy newspaper column for more than a quarter-century, is the author of ten books on popular astronomy, including 40 Nights to Knowing the Sky and Comet of the Century.

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