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The Stargazer's Guide: How to Read Our Night Sky

Handbook / ManualPopular Science

By: Emily Winterburn

280 pages, 60 b/w illus


Hardback | Sep 2008 | #176748 | ISBN-13: 9781845297244
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $20/€17 approx

About this book

Like the ocean, a starry sky has the capacity to fill us with wonder. A stargazer is anyone who's ever found themselves looking at the stars and wanting to know a bit more. Unlike its more scientific sister, astronomy, stargazing requires no equipment, except perhaps something comfortable to sit on and a star map (such as the ones in this book). Portable, free and completely fascinating, it can be done anywhere - even in the city.

This book will guide you through what there is to see in the sky, why it's interesting and how previous generations have viewed and interpreted it. Organised month by month, we are taken through the various stories - mythological, historical and scientific - associated with the night sky and provided with simple diagrams to identify the constellations. Also explained are the sun - our closest star - the moon, planets, comets, meteor showers (or shooting stars) and satellites.

This book also answers key questions like: What do we see when we look at the sun? How did the Greeks spin myths around forty-eight out of the eighty-eight constellations we recognise today? What, exactly, is the Milky Way? Why, on the 19th of November, might a stargazer see hundreds of shooting stars every hour? What does modern astronomy owe to astrology? No reader of this book will ever gaze up at the seemingly endless mass of stars in the same way again.

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Emily Winterburn comes from a background in physics and the history of science. As the Curator of Astronomy at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, she is responsible for one of the world's most important astronomy collections. Emily has written for the BBC and Astronomy Now magazine and has appeared on the BBC's What the Ancients Did for Us, the Channel 4 News and most recently In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg. The poster-girl for a new generation of astronomers, her engaging approach is very much in demand.

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