Friday, April 23, 2021

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition
by Andrew Fazekas, Howard Schneider
3/19/19; 288 pages

It is time to start star gazing as warmer weather approaches in my location and the 2nd edition of the National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky by Andrew Fazekas and Howard Schneider is a very highly recommended perfect companion to this pursuit. This updated guide is user friendly and well organized to aide the novice in learning about the night time sky. (Since my current guide was a much earlier edition, any update is an improvement because of the many advances in telescopes, photography, and knowledge.)

The National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition, is well organized, especially for educational purposes. It starts with the basics and gives the reader simple tasks, studying the phases of the moon, tracking the motion of the stars and planets over weeks, and learning to recognize some of the brightest constellations. This sets a foundation for future sky watching. There is also a wonderful opening illustration on Sizing up the Galaxy, which will help set the scope of the nighttime sky. Take note of the use of your hand to find your way while observing the sky. This is a great idea for beginners, especially children. Even more than that, before we even get into space, there is information on our atmosphere and tricks of light that many people have observed, like a green flash, light pillars, halos, sundogs, auroras, noctilucent clouds, and sprites, for example. There are techniques presented for making the most of viewing eclipses and meteor showers. Then there is information about the more esoteric phenomena such as black holes and supernovas.

Chapters are logically organized into:  Discovering Starry Skies; The Atmosphere; The Sun; The Moon; The Planets; Comets & Meteors; Beyond The Solar System; Beyond The Milky Way; Navigating The Night Sky; Sky Charts; Viewing The Naked-Eye Planets; Further Resources and an index. Since it is a National Geographic guide, expect beautiful photographs and illustrations, charts and graphics. There are also a plethora of tips and techniques to assist in viewing the night sky with your naked eyes, binoculars, or a telescope. Since we are closely related to someone who lives out away from light pollution and has the perfect place for viewing the night sky, this is going to be a well used guide.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of National Geographic in exchange for my honest opinion for TLC Book Tours.

1 comment:

Sara Strand said...

Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours