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SEE THE STARS by Ken Croswell

SEE THE STARS

Your First Guide to the Night Sky

By Ken Croswell

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-56397-757-5
Publisher: Boyds Mills

For readers who live where stars are visible in the night sky, this will inspire a trip outside in every season; for those who live where pollution and ambient light make star-viewing difficult, the color photographs will provide a nearly satisfying substitute. While many sky guides show a hemisphere of sky with dozens of labeled constellations, much to the confusion of novice stargazers, this selects one prominent constellation for each month of the year. Clear directions are given for where and when to find the constellation in most latitudes. A full-color photograph of the night sky shows the constellation with each star carefully labeled. More experienced gazers will relish the informative text by Croswell, a Harvard-trained astronomer (Planet Quest, 1997, etc.). Croswell conveys his love of astronomy, and a profound sense of wonder, as he describes each star in the group and introduces many broader issues and concepts of astronomy. For example, looking at Taurus (the Bull) in the December sky, the viewer will notice the brighter of two stars in the bull’s right horn tip. That is El Nath, a blue star 130 light-years away. “It doesn't look special, but it marks a special direction: the Galactic anti-center, the point exactly opposite the center of our Galaxy, where we look out to the edge of the Milky Way’s disk of stars, some 30,000 light-years beyond El Nath.” The author concludes with a flow chart of how to find the planets in the night sky, a list of the brightest stars and where they appear, and an index. An inspiring and useful title. (Nonfiction. 10-14)