Discover the wonders of the Universe with this complete introduction to observing and understanding the night sky.
This practical guide explains and demystifies stargazing, teaching you to recognize different kinds of objects and showing you how they move through the sky over the course of the night and the year. It shows you how to understand and enjoy the cosmos, building your practical astronomy skills from the basics to more advanced techniques.
Beginning with an explanation of the Universe itself - how big is it, what shape is it, how old is it, and will it end? - it then takes you on a tour around the night sky, building up your knowledge in simple stages. Practical advice begins with naked-eye observations, then illustrated step-by-step instructions show you how to set up and use binoculars and telescopes and how to take your own pictures of the night sky. It also lets you take a closer look at the different objects you can view in the night sky, telling you how to train your eye to recognize basic patterns of stars (constellations) and how to tell planets apart from other celestial bodies, showing you how to observe them in an innovative step-by-step way. An atlas of the night sky is also included, with charts that can be used in both the northern and southern hemispheres throughout the year.
Accessible, inspirational, and authoritative, The Practical Astronomer will enthuse and inform anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the night sky.
About the Author
Will Gater is an astronomy journalist and author. He has written for several of the UK's top astronomy and science magazines and promotes both of these subjects with frequent appearances on television and radio, including the BBC's Sky at Night.
Anton Vamplew is a freelance astronomer. As well as writing about astronomy in books and magazine articles, he has worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and has made regular broadcasts on BBC television and radio.