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such as how to categorize satellites that appear overhead. Secrets of the Night Sky is not only a how-to manual for enjoying the celestial sphere but is also a painless introduction to the science of cosmology. With a flair for analogies, Berman imparts a visceral understanding of the scale of stellar objects. And in case your explorations do lead you to buy a telescope, the book's appendices contain a variety of no-nonsense advice that may save you from getting fleeced.”


Seeing and Believing; How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens.  By Richard Panek. (Viking, 198 pp, 1998) GFBR**** HS-Adult. “Journalist Richard Panek begins his historical essay on the telescope with the Hubble Deep Field. This extended exposure by space telescope is a picture that looks out of our galaxy--farther, immeasurably farther, than the human eye has seen before. It exemplifies the purpose of all telescopes: ‘To address our place in the universe, literally. To size up all of space and figure out where we are in it.’ How and why did this particular technology have such profound effects? Panek first considers Galileo, who ‘raised his new instrument toward the night sky and understood at once that there was more to see--and more to seeing--than meets the eye.... Unlike spectacles or magnifying lenses, the optic tube offered not just a distortion of what was already there, but more. It revealed evidence that was different from what the naked eye could see, evidence that wasn't otherwise there.’ Panek goes on to look at the, ahem, luminaries of observational astronomy--William Herschel, George Ellery Hale, Edwin Hubble--showing how faith in the telescope grew and our mental image of the universe expanded until ‘all the assumptions safely based on observation are gone.’ Panek's prose is vivid and beautiful, sustaining this (curiously) unillustrated book as it traces the astronomer's quest for light and dark, sight and belief. “


Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril. By Ferris, Timothy (Simon & Schuster, 379 pp, 2002) General audiences. “Amateur astronomers are the heroes of this latest opus from one of the country's best-known and most prolific science writers. Ferris (Coming of Age in the Milky Way) has a special place in his heart for these nonprofessionals who gaze into space out of wonderment and end up making discoveries about comets, the moon and the planets that change our understanding of the galaxy. Ferris recounts how he, as a boy growing up in working-class Florida, was first captivated by the spectacle of the night sky. He then looks at the growing field of amateur astronomy, where new technologies have allowed neophytes to see as much of the cosmos as professionals. The book introduces readers to memorable characters like Barbara Wilson, a one-time Texas housewife who turned to astronomy after her children were grown and has since helped found the George Observatory in Houston (where a number of new asteroids have been discovered) and developed a reputation as one of the most skilled amateur observers. Ferris also takes stock of what we know today about the cosmos and writes excitedly about the discoveries yet to come. With a glossary of terms and a guide for examining the sky, this book should turn many novices on to astronomy and captivate those already fascinated by the heavens.”


Sky Phenomena; A guide to Naked-eye Observation of the Stars. By Norman Davidson. (Lindisfarne, 206 pp, 1993) General Audiences. “This book shows how the sky works – the daily trail of the sun and nightly travels of stars, the phases and placement of the moon, the mechanisms of eclipses, the vagrancies of the planets, and more. It’s an owner’s manual for the sky.”


Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 3 out of 30

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