A Year of the Stars: A Month-by-month Journey of Skywatching
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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A PRIMER FOR NEW ASTRONOMERS
THE MONTHS OF THE STARS
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1st-magnitude stars Alpha Altair amateur astronomers amateur telescopes Andromeda Antares appear Aquarius Arcturus Auriga Beta Betelgeuse Big Dipper binoculars bright stars brighter brightest star called Canis Cassiopeia celestial pole century Cephei chapter color Coma Berenices constellation Cygni Cygnus dark deep-sky objects Delta Deneb dimmer distance Double Cluster double stars east Epsilon famous farther galaxy Gamma globular cluster glow heavens horizon Hydra light pollution light-years light-years from Earth located look luminosity Lyra magnification Messier objects meteor shower midnorthern latitudes million month Moon naked eye naked-eye star night north celestial northern observers open clusters Ophiuchus orbit Orion pair Perseus planets Pleiades Polaris Procyon red giant Rigel right ascension Sagittarius Scorpii Scorpius Serpens shines at magnitude sight Sirius skies small telescopes solar system spectral Spica spiral Star Cloud star cluster summer Summer Triangle supernova triangle tude Ursa Major variable star Vega Virgo Cluster visible Zeta