The 50 Best Sights in Astronomy and How to See Them: Observing Eclipses, Bright Comets, Meteor Showers, and Other Celestial Wonders
"Fred Schaaf is one of the most experienced astronomical observers of our time. For more than two decades, his view of the sky--what will be visible, when it will be visible, and what it will look like--has encouraged tens of thousands of people to turn their eyes skyward."
--David H. Levy, Science Editor, Parade magazine, discoverer of twenty-one comets, and author of Starry Night and Cosmic Discoveries
"Fred Schaaf is a poet of the stars. He brings the sky into people's lives in a way that is compelling, and his descriptions have all the impact of witnessing the stars on a crystal clear dark night."
--William Sheehan, coauthor of Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet and The Transits of Venus
The night sky holds endless fascination for anyone who chooses simply to look up and observe, but with so much to see, it can be difficult to know where to start. This remarkable book introduces you to the fifty best sights in astronomy and tells you exactly how to see them. In no time at all, you will learn how to find and appreciate the Orion group of constellations; the Summer Triangle; Venus, Jupiter, and Mars; the best meteor showers; man-made satellites; star clusters; novae; variable stars; and more.
The sights are presented according to the field of view necessary to see them. Your eyes and a clear night sky are all you need to view the sights in the first part of the book, before moving on to those that can be observed through binoculars and, finally, a telescope. Concise descriptions and explanations of these spectacular visual wonders will deepen your appreciation of them and spur further exploration. You will also find the essential basic information on astronomical observation you need to get started, including observing conditions, techniques, telescopes, and astronomical measurements.
Once you start gazing, you'll see that the sky really is the limit--and discovering its amazing treasures will become your lifetime passion.
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Basic Information for Astronomical Observers
Field of View 180 THE WHOLE SKY TO 100 NAKEDEYE SCAN
Field of View 100 TO 50 THE WIDEST FIXED NAKEDEYE FIELD
Field of View 50TO 15 MODERATELY WIDE NAKEDEYE FIELD
Field of View 15TO 1 NARROW NAKEDEYE FIELD BINOCULARS FIELD AND WIDETELESCOPIC FIELD
Field of View 1 TO 01 OR LESS MEDIUM TO NARROW TELESCOPIC FIELD
Appendix A Total Solar Eclipses 20082024
Appendix C Total and Partial Lunar Eclipses 20072017
Appendix D The Brightest Stars
Appendix E Transits of Venus and Mercury
Appendix B Major Meteor Showers
1st-magnitude stars 2nd-magnitude Aldebaran Alpha amateur astronomers Andromeda appear asteroid aurora beautiful Belt Betelgeuse Big Dipper binoculars bright stars brighter brightest star close color Coma comet constellation corona craters crescent Cygnus dark skies deep-sky objects dimmer double star dust Earth edge fairly fireball galaxy glimpse globular cluster glow greatest elongation heavens horizon Hyades Ifyou inferior conjunction Jupiter Lambda Sagittarii light pollution light-years located look lunar eclipse magnification magnitude Mars medium-sized telescope Mercury meteor shower midnorthern latitudes Milky Moon’s naked eye naked-eye night northern notjust novae observers occultation open clusters orbit Orion Nebula planet planetary nebulae Pleiades point of light prominent region Rigel rings Sagittarius satellite Saturn seen shadow shines Sight Sirius small telescope solar eclipse Star Cloud star cluster Summer Triangle Sun’s sunspots supernova surface tail total eclipse total solar eclipse umbra unaided eye variable stars Vega Venus Virgo visible wonder