Starwatch: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky
(Barron's Educational Series, Oct. 1, 2003)
Neophyte sky watchers who try to use standard, often complex astronomical charts and maps can often end up confused and frustrated. This beautifully illustrated volume makes identifying heavenly objects easy. All viewers need to supplement this book when they go starwatching is a simple red-lens flashlight and a small telescope. If unavailable, a pair of binoculars, or even the naked eye will do. Guided by Starwatch, readers can observe the sky month-by-month as it completes its annual cycle. The author shows how to locate such constellations as Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), Orion, Gemini, Pegasus, and many others. He also points out the major stars in each constellation, noting fascinating facts about many of them. For instance, Orion's main star, Betelgeuse, is approximately 250 times bigger than our own Sun--a comparison parallel to the difference between a marble and a beach ball. He also tells how to find the planets in the night sky, see Jupiter's moons with ordinary binoculars, and even how to find those deep-space objects called nebulae on clear dark nights. Facts and illustrations fill every page of this fascinating book, which is divided into separate chapters for every month of the year. It's an exciting introduction to astronomy for both kids and adults, and it features more than 300 vivid color illustrations.