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Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space, and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril

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Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Entwining his personal reminiscences as a backyard stargazer with those of fellow enthusiasts, Timothy Ferris introduces readers to the wonders of amateur astronomy. "Amateur" appears as a misnomer when Ferris examines the advances in astronomy that some backyard stargazers have been responsible for. David Levy, Lubos Kohoutek, and Thomas Bopp all have comets bearing their names as reward for their efforts, and Ferris relates some wonderful stories of the enthusiasm and awe that lead to discoveries of stars and galaxies. When Yuji Hyakutake discovered a comet that went on to become a spectacular naked eye comet, his humble response was, "I'm a bit perplexed by all the attention paid to me, when it is the comet that deserves the credit." Fittingly, someone who knows of what he speaks is former amateur turned professional astronomer George Ellery Hale, who defined an amateur as "one who works because he cannot help it." Remarkable for the international community it has spawned and the democracy it embodies, the story of amateur astronomy is fascinating. And, as Ferris lovingly details, so is the cosmos itself — from our giant neighbors, planets like Jupiter and Saturn, to the superclusters spanning hundreds of light-years in diameter, to the quasars whose light is older than the Earth itself. Seeing in the Dark will encourage you to turn off the lights and open your eyes. Georgie, Powells.com

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface


I:
THE SHOREÿ

From the Observatory Log:
A Primate at Dusk

1. Beginnings

2. Spaceflight

3. The Ozone

Standing Watch:
A Visit with Mr. White Man

4. Amateurs

How Much Can You See?
A Visit with Stephen James O'Meara

5. Professionals

Picturing the Universe:
A Visit with Jack Newton

6. Rocky Hill

Farsighted:
A Visit with Barbara Wilson


II:
BLUE WATER

7. The Realm of the Sun

Rock Music of the Spheres:
A Talk with Brian May

8. The Morning and Evening Star

Founding Father:
A Visit with Patrick Moore

9. Moon Dance

The Telescope and the Tomb:
A Visit with Percival Lowell

10. Mars

Light at the Edge of Darkness:
A Visit with James Turrell

11. Stones from the Sky

Comet Trails:
A Visit with David Levy

12. Vermin of the Skies

The Camera's Eye:
A Visit with Don Parker

13. Jupiter

Storms on Saturn:
A Visit with Stuart Wilber

14. The Outer Giants

From the Observatory Log:
Chimes at Midnight


III:
THE DEPTHS

15. The Night Sky

Digital Universe:
A Virtual Visit to a Robotic Telescope

16. The Milky Way

Blues Line:
A Visit with John Henry's Ghost

17. Galaxies

Big Science:
A Visit with Edgar O. Smith

18. The Dark Ages

From the Observatory Log:
Minerva at Dawn


APPENDIXES

A. Observing Techniques

B. Notable Periodic Meteor Showers

C. Representative Bright Stars

D. Messier Objects by Season

E. Planets and Their Satellites

F. Further Reading

G. Star Maps


Notes

Glossary

Index



Product Details

ISBN:
9780684865799
Subtitle:
How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe
Author:
Ferris, Timothy
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Subject:
Astronomy
Subject:
Star Observation
Subject:
Astronomers
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Subject:
General Science
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Series Volume:
309
Publication Date:
September 2002
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.56x6.36x1.27 in. 1.51 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics

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