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365 starry nights pdf download

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This book has been my companion for years This is a most interesting book. It has a reading for each day of the year and talks about the stars that are currently visible at that time in the Northern Hemisphere. It gives facts, history and also intriguing legends about the stars, such as that of Sirius and its companion, Sirius B and how did ancient cultures in Africa know about Sirius B long before it was "discovered" in Europe after the invention of the telescope.

The author also poses many interesting theories and questions about the distant past of astronomical events. It would also be a good place for aspiring amateur astronomers to begin as it helps you become well-oriented so that you can easily identify what you are seeing in the night sky. Well worth reading, in my opinion. I am enjoying it tremendously. You don't have to be an astronomer to LOVE this book.

If you want to expand your mind, explore the stars, stretch your awareness to include the billions of galaxies, and actually learn some mythology, stars formation, fascinating science, and all easy, Yes, easy to read. I read it over and over. Love this book. Very clear and easy to read. By studying one small piece of the sky at a time, the information is not too overwhelming for those of us who are novice sky-watchers.

I also love how he takes you on a year-long journey through the entire northern night sky, one day at a time. A superb book for any beginning astronomer. It's a 'night-by-night' so I've been re-reading this book for years. After about two years some things have sunk in, to the point that I can point to the sky and remember some cool trivia. Totally fun. This is a beautiful, sketch-illustrated introduction to naked-eye astronomy. Learn constellations, how stars work, what you can't see, history and myth.

All at once! In small digestible chunks! I love this book because it is beautiful. I like to just keep it around for browsing Patrick Cowsill.

This book has been all around the world with me. It's like a dummies' introduction to the sky. They'll start you out with the Southern Cross, and from there into the big deep sky. Best ever beginner's handbook to the night sky.

Broken into short, easily digested segments by month, section of the sky, and deeper knowledge of the whys and wherefores. Armed with this, a beginner can immediately go out and enjoy stargazing. Chris Mertes. Author 3 books 1 follower. This is a good concept, and a fun way for someone interested in astronomy to learn what to look for any night of the year.

I've owned this book a couple of years now and have enjoyed referring to it often. I have been enjoying this one quite a bit, although I generally fall asleep shortly after it gets dark.

I love this book. It is excellent to read any night of the year to figure out what is going on in the night sky. If you need an introduction or just lovre the out doors get a copy of this book.

This is the book that turned me on to Chet Raymo, and has given me over a decade of fascinating views into the universe. An excellent resource for me anyway. There are alternative uses for books such as these. Liz Parker. Author 1 book followers. Great book for light astronomy research and basic understanding. Ray Savarda. A rather interesting read; certainly useful if you had a telescope and wanted a daily target to go look at, and some background on those stars, etc. Made me want to go buy a telescope!

Join the discussion. Whether you observe the sky with a telescope or the naked eye, Starry Nights makes the infinite intimate and brings the heavens within your grasp. Keep this invaluable, informative guide close at hand, and you'll find that the sky is the limit nights a year. Previous page. Print length. Publication date. January 30, Grade level. See all details. Next page. Frequently bought together. Total price:. To see our price, add these items to your cart.

Add all three to Cart. Choose items to buy together. Get it as soon as Thursday, Feb Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. Terence Dickinson. Nicole Mortillaro. Andrew Fazekas. Guy Consolmagno. Offered by Amazon. To find them in the sky, it is best to start with Orion, one of the most conspicuous constellations.

The stars of Orion vividly suggest the mythological figure they are supposed to represent -- a bold hunter armed with a club and sword and faced by a charging bull.

To observe Orion, find a place where you have a clear view of the sky. Turn so that you are facing south. During the evening hours this month you will find Orion about halfway up from the horizon to the zenith. The zenith is the point in the sky directly above your head.

The most striking feature of the constellation is the alignment of three equally bright stars in the hunter's belt. If you are looking in the fight direction you can't miss it. As you stand facing giant Orion, the glittering yellow star almost directly over your head is Capella in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer.

Betelgeuse, the brilliant red star in the arm of Orion, is near the center of the Hexagon. In January and February we will look closely at each of these stars and constellations in turn. Look also for the bright stars of the shoulders and feet and the fainter stars of the head and sword. Orion rises in the early evening at the beginning of December and dominates the sky all winter long.

The hunter's stars, which include two of the brightest in the heavens, outshine those of any other constellation.

Because Orion stands above the earth's equator, it is visible from every inhabited place on earth. All human cultures in every time and place have given special note in story and myth to this wonderful array of stars.

Sailors of old feared the sight of Orion, for his appearance on the eastern horizon forecast stormy winter weather.

But the hunter has also long been associated in myth with the forces of goodness and light, and as such we welcome his appearance as a promise of sparkling starry nights to come. Orion's belt will help. Point to the place on your horizon that is due east of your observing location a map of your town will help you find the approximate compass points -- later you will use the stars. Now swing your arm up in an arc through the stars of Orion's belt, and on to the point on your horizon that is due west.

You have traced out the sky's equator, or celestial equator. The celestial equator is the imaginary line among the stars that lies directly above the equator of the earth.

JANUARY 4 4th: It is convenient to imagine, as the ancients believed, that all of the stars lie on one great skysphere that surrounds and encloses the earth. We call this imaginary sphere the celestial sphere. In fact, as we know, the stars are distributed in space at different distances from earth, and there is no "sky-sphere. Like many of the stars, the stars of the belt have Arabic names.

These names derive from the time of Europe's "Dark Ages" when the Arabs were the keepers and developers of ancient Greek astronomy. When Europeans rediscovered astronomy during the late Middle Ages, it was often by way of Arabic translations of the Greek texts. Mintaka MIN-tack-a means "belt. As we go along, you may begin to wonder why so many star names begin with "Al-. This is accomplished through the use of an angular method of measurement, with the vertex of the measured angle at the eye of the observer.

This is the width of the constellation Orion. It should take about six handspans to measure the distance from the horizon to the zenith. Try it and see how closely your hand and arm fit the rule. As seen from the earth, the sun appears to make a full circuit of the sky in a little over days see Jan. A degree, then, as defined by the Babylonians, was about the distance the sun moved each day with respect to the background of stars.

The moon would therefore fit nicely between the three stars of Orion's head. If you look for these stars on a clear night you might have the impression that the moon is much larger than the space they enclose.

Hold out your little finger against these stars and then against the moon, and you will discover that the moon is smaller than you think. Some other useful guides for measuring angles in the sky are shown at the right. The stars remain fixed in the deeps of space. The earth turns west to east on its axis. As a result, the stars -- with sun, moon, and planets -- seem to move from east to west, making one full circuit around the earth each day.

Like the sun and moon, the stars of Orion rise in the east and set in the west about 12 hours later. In 24 hours, Orion will set in the west, pass beneath the earth, and rise again from the east to regain his present position. The illusion that it is the stars, not us, which move is very powerful. The earth is near at hand and seems massive and stationary compared to the apparently tiny celestial objects.

Only since the brilliant theoretical work of Nicholas Copernicus in the 16th century have we come to recognize that the "turning" of the stars is actually the turning of the earth. Since the stars we see at night are those on the side of the earth opposite the sun, the evening sky changes as our vantage point changes.

In 6 months' time, looking out into space from the other side of the sun, we shall find other stars in our starry night. This is due to two things: 1 the stars are at different distances from the earth, and 2 the stars are not all of the same intrinsic brightness.

The scale that is used to describe the brightness of stars as they appear to earth observers is called the scale of apparent magnitude. The scale was invented by the astronomer Hipparchus who lived and worked in the city of Alexandria years ago. The brightest stars in the sky, like Rigel and Betelgeuse in Orion, Hipparchus called stars of the first magnitude.

The faintest stars he could see, he called sixth-magnitude stars. To other stars he assigned appropriate magnitudes between these limits. Thousands of years later we still use Hipparchus' scale of apparent brightness, although it has of course been made quantitatively more exact. Hipparchus was one of several great astronomers of the ancient world who was associated with the city of Alexandria.

If you live near city lights you will not see stars less bright than about the fourth magnitude, or no more than several hundred stars at any one time. If you live where the sky is very dark, on a clear night you might see several thousand stars down to the sixth magnitude. The stars of Orion's head are about the fourth magnitude and are a good test of the quality of the night. Of course, with binoculars or a telescope, you can see many more stars than could be seen by Hipparchus, even on dark Alexandrian nights unmarred by atmospheric pollution or electric lights.

With the invention of the telescope it was necessary to extend the scale of apparent magnitude to encompass stars less bright than the sixth magnitude see Oct. At the other end of the scale, a few stars in the sky -- Sirius, Canopus, Alpha Centauri, and Arctutus -- have been assigned negative magnitudes on the modem scale. The Horsehead Nebula is a dark cloud of dust and gas silhouetted against a brighter region of glowing interstellar gas heated to incandescence by the energy of the many stars embedded within it.

The Horsehead takes its name from its shape. The size of this dark cloud is almost too great to imagine. A billion solar systems would fit neatly inside, and the Horsehead is just a wisp of a much larger cloud!

You will not see the Horsehead with the naked eye. It is best seen with long-exposure telescopic photographs. It is in just such dense nebulae as the Horsehead that astronomers believe stars and possibly planets are born, condensing by gravity from the material of the cloud. If a knot of condensing gas -- it is mostly hydrogen -- is compressed to a density and temperature great enough for nuclear fusion to occur see Jan.

This is the process that is occurring even now in the Great Orion Nebula. What looks to the naked eye like three stars in Orion's sword are revealed by a small telescope to be a fascinating complex of stars and glowing gas clouds. Even to the unaided eye the central "star" of the sword may seem fuzzy. This "star" is the Great Nebula, a spectacular region of turbulent gas and dust heated by the radiation of hot young stars that have only recently by star time!

The diameter of the Great Nebula is more than 20, times that of the solar system, and there is enough hydrogen, helium, and other materials in the cloud to form at least 10, stars similar to our sun. Stars have lifetimes such as we do, although much longer ones.

In the Great Orion Nebula we observe their births; shortly we will see how they die. JANUARY 13 13th: Embedded in the very heart of the Great Orion Nebula, and visible with binoculars or a small telescope, is the beautiful multiple star system known as the Trapezium, four hot young stars in a tight trapezoid-shaped cluster. Actually, these four stars are only the brighter components of an expanding cluster containing hundreds of faint stars.

The intense radiation from these high-temperature stars excites the gas of the surrounding nebula and makes it glow. To the eye the nebula glows with an eerie green light, but photographs show beautiful hues of pink, blue, and violet. Indeed, some members of the group may even now be "turning on" their nuclear energy sources to become stars.

As gravity pulls together a knot of gas and dust from the Great Nebula, the pressure and temperature at the core of the contracting cloud go up. When the temperature reaches about 10 million degrees Celsius, nuclei of hydrogen atoms fuse together to form the heavier nuclei of helium.

This is the same process that occurs in the explosion of a hydrogen bomb and results in a release of energy. The energy makes its way to the surface of the contracting sphere where it is radiated as heat and light. A star is born! The new energy source at the star's core stops the gravitational contraction of the star. The star can continue to burn steadily -- an outward pressure sustained by nuclear fusion balanced against gravity -- for as long as the hydrogen at the core holds out.

The lifetime of a hot blue star such as Bellatrix might be as little as 10 million years. Bellatrix is larger than the sun and contains 10 times as much matter.

Although it has more fuel than the sun, Bellatrix is a hotter star and "bums" its hydrogen at a faster rate. The slower-burning sun will probably have a lifetime of 10 or 15 billion years.

Since our star is now about 5 billion years old, we have about at least 5 billion years to go! JANUARY 15 15th: When a star such as Bellatrix has used up the hydrogen fuel at its core, gravity again gets the upper hand and the core of the star collapses. The sudden increase in pressure and temperature in the core releases new but limited sources of nuclear energy which heat the outer layers of the star and cause them to expand outward. As the star swells, the outer layers cool and change color from bluish, to white, to yellow, to red.

The massive white star Rigel RYE-jell, "foot" is possibly at this stage of its evolution and has begun the process of expansion. Rigel is 50 times bigger than the sun. Betelgeuse is one of the largest stars known.

Its diameter is greater than the earth's orbit around the sun! It is one of the very few giant stars that has been seen as an actual disk, rather than a mere point of light. Using special techniques, astronomers have taken photographs that show features of its surface. The distinctive reddish, color of Betelgeuse is readily apparent to the eye, particularly by contrast with white Rigel.

Plunging toward him from the west is Taurus TOR- us the Bull, an awesome long-homed creature with threatening red eye and head lowered in a tumultuous charge. The bull is not so conspicuous a constellation as bright Orion, but the "vee" of stars that outlines the bull's face is easily recognized. Taurus is almost certainly one of the most ancient of the constellations.

It is one of the familiar signs of the zodiac, the constellations that the sun moves through during its yearly journey across the sky see June Six thousand years ago, when astronomy and agriculture were developing together in the civilizations of the East and Near East, the sun was in Taurus on the first day of spring, a passage that marked the beginning of the cycle of planting, growth, and harvest.

It is perhaps because of this that the bull figures so prominently in the myths and legends of the eastern Mediterranean worlds. Big -- but not nearly so large as monstrous Betelgeuse!

Aldebaran's Arabic name means "the follower. The colors of stars are indicators of their temperatures, a relationship that is the same, say, as for a piece of iron heated from red hot to orange, to yellow, to white hot. Bluish or white stars like Rigel are very hot. Orange or yellow stars such as our sun are less hot. Ruddy stars like Aldebaran are the coolest of all.

The intrinsic brightness of a star is determined by both its temperature and its size. Although cooler than the sun, Aldebaran would far outshine our star -- if at the same distance from the earth -- because of its much greater surface area. The ecliptic is the imaginary line on the celestial sphere that marks the sun's yearly journey through the stars. Of course, it is actually the earth that does the moving, not the sun. But as the earth travels around the sun, the sun appears to move against the background of the more distant stars.

When the sun is in the sky, its great light, scattered through the earth's atmosphere, obliterates the fainter light of the stars. So we must imagine the background of stars in the sun's part of the sky. The sun is in the constellation Taurus in late May and early June. The sun will always be found in one of these constellations.

Because the moon and planets move more or less in the same flat plane as the earth's orbit the ecliptic plane , we will always find them somewhere in the sky near the ecliptic. The "ecliptic" takes its name from the fact that an eclipse of the sun or moon can only occur when the moon is on the ecliptic and in a direct line with earth and sun. If you see a bright "star" in a zodiac constellation that is not on your star map, you are almost certainly looking at a planet.

Watch the planet night by night and see it move with respect to the stars the inner planets will move more rapidly than the outer ones. Sometimes the moon's monthly circuit around the earth takes it directly in front of a zodiac star, such as Aldebaran.

When the moon blocks the light of the star we say that the star is occulted by the moon. An occultation of Aldebaran is an exciting event to watch with binoculars.

Since the star is an almost perfect point of light and the moon has no atmosphere, the light of the star blinks out with surprising suddenness as the moon passes over it. So stars which appear together in our sky may be very distant from each other in "real space. The associations of stars we call constellations are therefore of mythological significance only, and have little physical meaning for the modem astronomer.

They remain, however, convenient fictions for talking about the stars. A light year is the distance light travels in a year at a speed of , miles per second. The light by which we see Nath left that star years ago! Zeta Tauri's light has been traveling toward us since the time of William the Conquerer. A light year is about 6,,,, 6 trillion miles. Zeta Tauri is one of the most distant stars of Taurus that can be seen with the unaided eye.

Most of the stars you will see in the night sky without optical aid are between 20 and light years distant. There are about stars closer to us than 20 light years, but most are small dim stars that cannot be seen without a telescope.