Did you look at the lock? Millions have since managed to be fascinated by the night sky, but stargazing and astronomy are no easy feat for the uninitiated. The best way to get more out of the night sky and delve into astronomy is to learn from the experts, many of whom have prepared excellent, easy-to-read books during various closures.
Here are some of the best new books on space, stargazing, and astronomy to delve into this winter — or to treat someone else this Christmas.
Back Astronomy Manual: Fourth Edition
Written by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer
How do you go from being a casual stargazer to an accomplished amateur astronomer? You buy this book, like this. A huge, oversized hardback book full of color charts and images, this “heavenly bible” was first published in 1991 and here it gets a remake.
A closing product – as in many books – this new edition is now 416 pages long, includes more observational instructions, and contains new advice on the latest telescopes, binoculars, and smartphones.
As someone who travels to the Southern Hemisphere, I would also appreciate the lack of Northern Hemisphere bias, which damages a lot of “complete guides” to the night sky, and the coverage of both lunar and solar eclipses.
Northern lights: The Ultimate Guide to the Northern Lights
by Tom Kearce
Have you ever seen the aurora borealis? Do you know what to do if they appear in front of you? Host star signs Weekly star podcast and founder of Stargazing.London, Tom Kerss’ Guide to the Northern Lights goes much deeper than you might expect.
While it’s packed with basic and practical information on how to see and photograph the aurora borealis, this book also includes a great overview of the aurora borealis through the centuries. Inside are some gems of how our planet’s magnetosphere works to find out how and why Captain Cook witnessed the aurora borealis in 1770 while sailing south of the equator.
When you’re heading to the Arctic Circle, this guide will help you get the most out of your trip.
Solar Eclipse Atlas: From 2020 to 2045
Written by Michael Zeller and Michael E.GreatAmericanEclipse.com)
Although it was originally launched in 2020, the total solar eclipse that year did not turn out well due to COVID-19. So, if you’re getting your legs back in travel and thinking about taking on new adventures, check out this excellent, authoritative, and fun reference book for all solar eclipses – partial, annular (“ring of fire”) and sacred total – that will be our planet through 2045… which will be a old One for North America.
The secret world of stargazing
Written by Adrian WestVirtualAstro
“There are billions of people on this planet, and only a small part of us understand and enjoy the night sky.” So says Adrian West, better known as Tweet embed On Twitter, in an increasingly exclusive and comprehensive pastime that is currently in trend.
In this accessible and upbeat stargazing guide, he specializes in how looking up at the night sky is good for mental health. A book born of pandemic lockdowns, its 14 chapters cover everything from the beginning to what to look at in each season. It also touches on the author’s Twitter obsession – the bright lanes of satellites like the International Space Station (ISS).
Written from the heart but with expert advice, The secret world of stargazing Serves as a concise, easy-to-understand guide for any “occasional stargazers” who picked up the habit during 2020 and now want to take the next step and learn how to navigate and learn about the night sky.
Fire and Ice: Volcanoes of the Solar System
Written by Natalie Starkey
Space volcanoes are amazing. It’s how the planet’s body cools itself, releasing excess heat into space. For geologists, volcanoes on a planet or moon are evidence that the world is active – alive!
But does it snow? Volcanoes do that? They do this on Triton, one of Neptune’s moon, and on Enceladus, on Saturn. An alien Titan on Saturn may contain ice volcanoes that pump out methane.
The first to examine extraterrestrial volcanoes in our solar system, Natalie Starkey’s latest read is an explosive read in more than one way that will give you a new perspective on both the planets closest to us and the dark corners of our solar system.
Philip’s Stargazing 2022: Britain and Ireland
Written by Nigel Henbest
If you’re going to be a good stargazer, you need to know exactly what’s going on, when and where you’ll be able to see it from where you live. You can do a lot of it online, but a much easier way is to read this short, easily accessible guide to the night sky that includes for the first time information on basic astrophotography and a dark sky map of Britain and Ireland.
So what will happen above us in 2022? Highlights include a remarkable conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, a total lunar eclipse, and the rare absence of a brilliant Mars next to the Moon.
Treating each month with a summary of notable events, a calendar of events, and an easy-to-use Skykart chart, this timely guide from Dr. Nigel Hinbest – who was writing the annual report Philip Your guide with the late Dr. Heather Cooper for many years – an excellent way to prepare your eyes for a clear sky.
I wish you a clear sky and wide eyes.