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The Ever-Changing Sky: A Guide to the Celestial Sphere

By: James B Kaler

495 pages, 310 figs, 57 tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2002 | #137264 | ISBN: 0521499186
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $60/€52 approx

About this book

Comprehensive and non-mathematical guide to spherical astronomy. Covers terrestrial and celestial co-ordinate systems, time measurement and celestial navigation, and prediction of the rising and setting of the stars, Sun and Moon. Focuses on the geometrical aspects of the night sky without using complex trigonometry. Progresses to a general study of the Earth and sky, including the stars and constellations (with useful star maps provided), the motions and appearance of the Moon, tides and eclipses, the orbits of the planets and the smaller bodies of the Solar System (asteroids, meteors, meteorites and comets). Finally, there is a brief overview of atmospheric phenomena (including rainbows and haloes).

&i;"To write a book about spherical astronomy without confusing the non-specialist is far from easy; to do so without using any but the most elementary mathematics is indeed a daunting task. James Kaler has tackled the problem head-on, and has achieved a notable success ... All in all this is a fine book which fills a notable gap in the literature. It may be recommended without the slightest reservation."&o;
- Patrick Moore, The Observatory #


Preface; 1. The Earth and the celestial sphere; 2. The moving Earth and the travelling observer; 3. The orbital motion of the Earth; 4. Stars and constellations; 5. Precession, nutation, and aberration; 6. Time; 7. Sunrise and sunset; 8. Positions in the sky and on Earth; 9. The Moon; 10. Tides, eclipses, and calendars; 11. The planets; 12. The small bodies of the solar system; 13. Light and atmosphere; Appendices: I. Graphs and tables; II. Star maps; III. Trigonometric relationships; IV. Bibliography; Index.

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James B. Kaler is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois where his research centres on dying stars. Professor Kaler has held Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and has been awarded medals for his work from the University of Liege in Belgium and the University of Mexico. As well as having published more than 100 research articles, he has written for a variety of popular and semi-popular magazines including Mercury, Astronomy, Stardate, Sky and Telescope, Scientific American, and l'Astronomia in Italy, and appears regularly on Illinois television and radio. His popular book, Stars, was published by Scientific American Library in 1992, and a new elementary astronomy textbook, Astronomy!, was published in 1994 by HarperCollins. Professor Kaler was also a consultant for Time-Life Books on their Voyage Through the Universe series. He is past president of the Board of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony.

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