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Astronomy Books

Books For Young Children: (Grownup books are further down the page)

Book: There once was a sky full of stars(Ages 4 - 8) If you're looking for a unique children's bedtime story with an astronomical theme, pick up There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars . This beautifully illustrated book helps children discover the magic of the night sky, the growing problem of light pollution, and what can be done to save the vanishing stars. There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars (Available on Amazon.com)

 

 

Zoo in the Sky Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations (Ages 4-8)
People have always looked up at the stars in wonder, seeking patterns in the sky. This gorgeous picture book, published by the National Geographic Society, introduces children to the constellations that are named for animals--Leo the Lion, the Great Bear and Little Bear, and many more. Christina Balit's striking paintings showcase each constellation against a deep blue background--animals or fantastical beasts positioned in the dark night sky, with the individual stars, metallic and iridescent, superimposed upon them. Each image is accompanied by a short, engaging, often dramatized description of the group of stars and the legends surrounding it, written by distinguished astronomer and writer Dr. Jacqueline Mitton: "Charging through the zodiac, here comes the Bull. Head down, horns thrust forward, Taurus is ready to toss the twins. But they are safe, always on the other side of the Milky Way." The front and endpapers are star maps that show the actual constellations of both the southern and northern skies. Mitton also offers a brief introduction to the constellations and two pages of related discussion on astronomy at the book's end. A lovely choice for anyone interested in the mysteries of the night sky.

Books for Young Adults:

The kids book of the night sky Kids Book of the Night Sky, The (Family Fun) (Ages 9-12)

 

 

 

A child's introduction to the night sky

A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky (Ages 9-12) Children eight and up will enjoy this conversational but information-packed introduction to astronomy and stargazing, which includes the achievements of the great scientists, the history of space exploration, the story of our solar system, the myths behind the constellations, and how to navigate the night sky. Whimsical color illustrations on every page and handy definitions and sidebars help engage younger readers and develop their interest. The special star wheel helps locate stars and planets from any location at any time of year.

 

The everything Kids astronomy book(Ages 9-12)Everything Kids' Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with steller facts, integalatic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzles (Everything Kids Series) Open this book and you'll find yourself on a rocket ship to another galaxy! From stars and planets to aliens and comets, The Everything Kids' Astronomy Book explores everything an astronomer-in-training could hope to discover, including:

  • How galaxies like the Milky Way were built
  • Why the sun's surface is 20,000 to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Why the earth spins and how gravity works
  • What comets and asteroids are made of and how they affect planets
  • The truth about the man in the moon
  • Why Mars is so hot and what those rings around Saturn are
  • What scientists think about aliens and life in outer space

If you want to build a sky-watching kit or change your room into a small universe, this book will take you on a journey that is out-of-this-world!

Find the Constellations Find the Constellations"A 'must' for public and school libraries and a wonderful book for an individual or family to own." Reading level (ages 9-12)

 

 

Books for Adults :

 

NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

The third edition of Nightwatch continues its tradition of being the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. Terence Dickinson covers all the problems beginners face, starting with the fact that the night sky does not look the way a modern city-dweller expects. He discusses light pollution, how to choose binoculars and telescopes, how to pronounce the names of stars and constellations, telescope mounts, averted vision, and why the harvest moon looks especially bright. Most of the lovely photographs in the book were taken by amateurs, which gives the section on astrophotography a particularly inspirational gleam.

 

Turn Left at Orion Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope--and How to Find Them
An excellent book for small telescope users...As the resurgence in small telescopes continues, this book will be of use to all users of such instruments. Since many of the objects covered in Turn Left at Orion can be seen from light-polluted skies, this book is a valuable asset even if you live in a large urban area.

"...should be packaged with every first telescope. It's as nearly perfect as such a book can be." Sky & Telescope

"...for those intent on doing some serious observing with a small telescope, Turn Left at Orion has much to recommend it."

 

A field guide to stars and planets A Field Guide to Stars and Planets (Field Guide to the Stars and Planets)
Review

"An excellent introduction to astronomy for beginners and a field guide for experts." -- -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"An excellent introduction to astronomy for beginners and a field guide for experts." -- Review
"Brimming with dazzling celestial photographs and timely astronomical information, the newly revised Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets is a must-have resource for any amateur stargazer." -- -- Country Living Gardener

 

Star WareStar Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories

In this revised and updated Fourth Edition of the essential guide to comparing and selecting sky-watching equipment, award-winning astronomy writer Philip Harrington takes you telescope shopping the easy way. He analyzes and explains today's astronomy market and compares brands and models point by point. Star Ware gives you the confidence you need to buy the telescope and accessories that are right for you and the knowledge to get the most out of your new purchase, with:

  • Extensive, expanded reviews of leading models and accessories-including dozens of new products
  • clear, step-by-step guide to every aspect of selecting telescopes, binoculars, filters, mounts, lenses, cameras, film, star charts, guides and references, and much more
  • Ten new do-it-yourself projects for building your own astronomical equipment
  • Easy tips on setting up, using, and caring for telescopes and other astronomical equipment
  • Lists of where to find everything astronomical, including Web sites and resources; distributors, dealers, and conventions; and corporate listings for products and services

Star Watch Star Watch: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Finding, Observing, and Learning About over 125 Celestial Objects
The night sky is alive with many wonders--distant planets, vast star clusters, glowing nebulae, and expansive galaxies, all waiting to be explored. Let respected astronomy writer Philip Harrington introduce you to the universe in Star Watch, a complete beginner's guide to locating, observing, and understanding these celestial objects. You'll start by identifying the surface features of the Moon, the banded cloud tops of Jupiter, the stunning rings of Saturn, and other members of our solar system. Then you'll venture out beyond our solar system, where you'll learn tips and tricks for finding outstanding deep-sky objects from stars to galaxies, including the entire Messier catalog--a primary goal of every serious beginner.

Star Watch features a detailed physical description of each target, including size, distance, and structure, as well as concise directions for locating the objects, handy finder charts, hints on the best times to view each object, and descriptions of what you'll really see through a small telescope or binoculars and with the naked eye. Star Watch will transport you to the farthest depths of space--and return you as a well-traveled, experienced stargazer.

 

Women Astronomers

Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars (Discovering Women in Science)
EnHeduanna: Chief Astronomer of the Moon Goddess of the City
Hypatia of Alexandria: Astronomer, Engineer, Physicist, Inventor
Hildegard of Bingen: Heard the music of the spheres
Caroline Herschel: She and her brother revolutionized the study of astronomy
Marla Mitchell: The most famous American astronomer of her time
Williamina Stevens Fleming: Founding mother of the Harvard women astronomers
Annie Jump Cannon: Built a star catalog of more than 350,000 stars
Henrietta Swan Leavitt: Discovered a way to measure distances between stars
Antonia Caetana Maury: Developed a new system for classifying stars
Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin: Called the most brilliant astronomer of her generation
Helen Sawyer Hogg: Canada's favorite astronomer for fifty years
Margaret Burbidge: Described the way chemical elements form in stars
Nancy Roman: Pioneered radio astronomy and orbiting observatories
Beatrice Tinsley: A brilliant career cut tragically short
Jocelyn Bell Burnell: Discovered quasars
Margaret Geller: Found structure in the Universe
Carolyn Shoemaker: Looks for comets that threaten Earth
Sally Ride: Astrophysicist and first U.S. woman in space
Jill Tartar: Searches for extra-terrestrial life
Wendy Freedman: Builds big telescopes and settles Hubble Constant

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye. The debate culminated in the demotion of Pluto from real planet to the newly coined category of "dwarf" planet. Suddenly Brown was receiving hate mail from schoolchildren and being bombarded by TV reporters-all because of the discovery he had spent years searching for and a lifetime dreaming about.

Filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is Mike Brown's engaging first-person account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy-which he inadvertently caused. As it guides readers through important scientific concepts and inspires us to think more deeply about our place in the cosmos, it is also an entertaining and enlightening personal story: While Brown sought to expand our understanding of the vast nature of space, his own life was changed in the most immediate, human ways by love, birth, and death. A heartfelt and personal perspective on the demotion of everyone's favorite farflung planet, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever dreamed of exploring the universe-and who among us hasn't?

Available on Amazon.com: How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

 

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