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