Download e-book The Star Book: An Introduction to Stargazing and the Solar System

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Yet its magnificence can be even more overwhelming than terrestrial wonders. For millions of years, the stars have wheeled overhead, and the planets have performed their celestial dance. Observing this pageant used to be a nightly ritual for humans across the planet each night until very recently. But while we often book trips to explore new cities and try new foods, we rarely do the same for astronomical phenomena and space experiences. In not seeking out encounters with astronomical phenomena, whether at the certified dark sky parks listed in this book or by viewing a meteor shower or eclipse, we deprive ourselves of a magical experience.

What drives our collective interest in the night sky? In an attempt to find significance among these patterns, religious beliefs were established to help make sense of the natural phenomena.

About this book

These religious beliefs remain closely tied to astronomy to this day, as reflected by practice of astrology the idea that the movement and placement of stars and planets have a direct impact on our daily lives. While we have spent centuries learning about the night sky, our time exploring it has only just begun. The most easily accessible way to enjoy the night sky is by stargazing, looking up at the constellations and planets visible either with the naked eye or through a telescope.

Astronomy dates back nearly 5, years, to the Bronze Age. Nearly every major civilization at one time was involved in the study of astronomy.

Major sites testifying to the astronomical knowledge of earlier cultures remain in the Yucatan, at Uxmal and Chichen Itza; at Chaco Canyon; and at the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, and more. Early contributions by civilizations like the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Indians are still used in astronomy today.

Over the centuries, the amalgamation of work by Chinese, Islamic, Egyptian, and European astronomers helped solidify astronomy into a scientific field in its own right.

Best Astronomy Books for Beginners

During the medieval era, astronomy was advanced significantly by the work of Islamic astronomers. While astronomy was actively practiced in Asia, Islamic astronomers helped with the translation from ancient Greek to Latin of fundamental astronomy texts by thinkers including Aristotle, Euclid and Ptolemy.

As a result European astronomers were able to recommit to the science of astronomy that was at risk of being lost. Islamic astronomers also created some of the most accurate calendars, predictive models, and recorded observations of astronomical phenomena in human history. Later, Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus helped initiate the Scientific Revolution which fundamentally shifted human understanding of astronomy and science in the 15th and 16th centuries. Physicists and astronomers including Galileo, Kepler, and Newton helped drive forward our understanding of the universe using this new model.

After initial resistance by the Catholic Church, the Copernican theory was accepted and knowledge about astronomy and astrophysical principles began to receive global consensus. The Copernican revolution came to its natural conclusion with the discovery of a series of scientific laws that helped us understand the night sky and our place in it. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the rate of discoveries by observational astronomers increased exponentially as the astronomical objects and phenomena laid out by these new laws was confirmed. To us, that vastness of space was a far-off wonder, a mystery.

And yet, some people study this stuff. Which brings us to the search for astronomy books for beginners. This staple from the popular For Dummies series gets pretty high ratings from readers. So if you want to learn about space with a telescope in tow, this one might be for you. This is a traditional textbook like you might find in an astronomy class. This workbook is designed to help you teach yourself, like an astronomy class you hold in your hands. If that sounds like what you want out of your first foray into astronomy, put this on your self-made syllabus.

With this one, learn a little bit about everything to prep yourself for branching more deeply into topics that grab your interest. Want to know what we know about how we got here? To do this, he draws analogies with common experiences. This guide to watching the night sky tops the list for nearly every search for stargazing texts.

In some instances, binoculars are more efficient when viewing particular planets and formations. The author does an excellent job at outlining those stars and planets. The star charts and diagrams are organized into seasons making navigation very simple and straightforward. The organizational feature is helpful when wanting to see certain objects in the sky during a particular time of year.

Each binocular feature includes a brief description, outlining the pros and cons.

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The content is both informative but not overly complicated. The author presents the subject matter and does so in a way that makes each concept easy to comprehend. This includes information on planets, size, distance from the sun, gravity, the number of moons for each planet and astronomical phenomena. Chapters use an indexing system that allows the reader to follow along and quickly reference back to certain areas.

Although the majority of the content focuses on locating celestial bodies in the sky, included is a brief section on the various types of accessories, telescopes, and binoculars. An interesting thing to note would be the section about the use of household items that improve viewing eclipses and stargazing. Overall, an excellent resource for amateur astronomers wanting to learn something new and a great refresher for those with more advanced astronomical knowledge.

Each chapter and the subject matter stay inside those chapters and does not go bouncing all over the place. Great at minimizing the time spent finding information about specific topics.

There are over photos and star charts, both of which are in color. The text is concise, easily understood and does an adequate job at explaining science-based topics that make sense to the average person. The style of writing is simple and easy to read for all ages but written well enough for adults to enjoy. As well as being informative the author provides tips and tricks on what the amateur astronomer can do to gain the most out of a casual stargazing session and is incredibly helpful for those who cannot afford an expensive, high tech telescope. Jason Lisle also includes step-by-step guides on choosing the right telescope and optimal times to observe constellations and other galaxies.

Not only does this guide cover the basics of stargazing using binoculars and telescopes but also provides guidance on scanning the sky with the naked eye. The material of the book is of exceptional quality. Durable plastic covers the front and back, and the pages are thick and glossy.

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Montessori Astronomy - Space and our solar system - Geodessee

The One-Minute Astronomer is composed of over short, easy to follow articles covering every aspect of astronomy. This guide focuses on the history of astronomy, famous astronomers, equipment advice, and stargazing. These materials are comprehensive, concise and ideal for someone looking for a quick and straightforward overview of astronomy and the universe. Size-wise, the book is small and compact, making it easy to grab on the go. The language is not overly technical but incorporates a thorough explanation of scientific principals without being overwhelming.

Historical backgrounds on famous astronomers is a nice addition for anyone wanting to know more about the historical figures who set the foundation for modern day astronomy.


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The diagrams are easy to follow and inform the reader exact locations and the most efficient times to search for a particular celestial object. Each constellation includes detailed facts and the history behind the stars. The equipment section covers both binoculars and telescopes, outlining which to buy and what to avoid. Although other books have more detailed pictures and in-depth information, anyone interested in learning more about astronomy should look for other science based resources. The One-Minute Astronomer does an adequate job at covering most basic questions new astronomers may have about astronomy and the universe.

Field Guide to the Night Sky delivers informative and easy to understand astronomical information in a small, compact book. Despite the size, this guide does an exceptional job at covering every area of astronomy. Filled full of vibrant astrophotography, terminology and sky maps, this guide is an excellent starting point for anyone with little previous knowledge in this scientific field.

What makes this guide so beginner friendly is the way the author can magically break down the most complicated of topics without using technical language.


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  7. For instance, the first section of the book focuses on getting the reader familiar with most astronomical concepts. The author describes the astrological terminology avoiding the use of jargon.