Astronomy For Dummies
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Published:
Wiley 2017
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4
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Description
Your updated guide to exploring the night sky

Do you know the difference between a red giant and a white dwarf? From asteroids to black holes, this easy-to-understand guide takes you on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring updated star maps, charts, and an insert with gorgeous full-color photographs, Astronomy For Dummies provides an easy-to-follow introduction to exploring the night sky. Plus, this new edition also comes with chapter quizzes online to help your understanding.

For as long as people have been walking the earth, those people have looked up into the night sky and wondered about the nature of the cosmos. Without the benefit of science to provide answers, they relied on myth and superstition to help them make sense of what they saw. Lucky for us, we live at a time when regular folks, equipped with nothing more than their naked eyes, can look up into the night sky and gain admittance to infinite wonders. If you know what to look for, you can make out planets, stars, galaxies, and even galactic clusters comprising hundreds of millions of stars and spanning millions of light-years.

Whether you're an amateur astronomer, space enthusiast, or enrolled in a first year astronomy course, Astronomy For Dummies gives you a reason to look into the heavens.

  • Includes updated schedules of coming eclipses of the Sun and Moon and a revised planetary appendix
  • Covers recent discoveries in space, such as water on the Moon and Pluto's demotion from "planet" status
  • Collects new websites, lists of telescope motels, sky-watching guides, and suggestions for beginner's telescopes and suppliers
  • Provides free online access to chapter quizzes to help you understand the content
  • Ever wonder what's out there in the big ol' universe? This is the book for you!

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    Street Date:
    08/28/2017
    Language:
    English
    ISBN:
    9781119374381
    ASIN:
    B074W7Z1WT
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    APA Citation (style guide)

    Stephen P. Maran. (2017). Astronomy For Dummies. 4 Wiley.

    Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

    Stephen P. Maran. 2017. Astronomy For Dummies. Wiley.

    Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

    Stephen P. Maran, Astronomy For Dummies. Wiley, 2017.

    MLA Citation (style guide)

    Stephen P. Maran. Astronomy For Dummies. 4 Wiley, 2017. Web.

    Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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          Stephen P. Maran, PhD, is the retired assistant director of space sciences for information and outreach at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. An investigator of stars, nebulae, and comets, he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, Space Shuttle missions, Skylab, and other NASA projects.

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    shortDescription
    Your updated guide to exploring the night sky

    Do you know the difference between a red giant and a white dwarf? From asteroids to black holes, this easy-to-understand guide takes you on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring updated star maps, charts, and an insert with gorgeous full-color photographs, Astronomy For Dummies provides an easy-to-follow introduction to exploring the night sky. Plus, this new edition also comes with chapter quizzes online to help your understanding.

    For as long as people have been walking the earth, those people have looked up into the night sky and wondered about the nature of the cosmos. Without the benefit of science to provide answers, they relied on myth and superstition to help them make sense of what they saw. Lucky for us, we live at a time when regular folks, equipped with nothing more than their naked eyes, can look up into the night sky and gain admittance to infinite wonders. If you know what to look for, you...

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    Your updated guide to exploring the night sky

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    For as long as people have been walking the earth, those people have looked up into the night sky and wondered about the nature of the cosmos. Without the benefit of science to provide answers, they relied on myth and superstition to help them make sense of what they saw. Lucky for us, we live at a time when regular folks, equipped with nothing more than their naked eyes, can look up into the night sky and gain admittance to infinite wonders. If you know what to look for, you can make out planets, stars, galaxies, and even galactic clusters comprising hundreds of millions of stars and spanning millions of light-years.

    Whether you're an amateur astronomer, space enthusiast, or enrolled in a first year astronomy course, Astronomy For Dummies gives you a reason to look into the heavens.

  • Includes updated schedules of coming eclipses of the Sun and Moon and a revised planetary appendix
  • Covers recent discoveries in space, such as water on the Moon and Pluto's demotion from "planet" status
  • Collects new websites, lists of telescope motels, sky-watching guides, and suggestions for beginner's telescopes and suppliers
  • Provides free online access to chapter quizzes to help you understand the content
  • Ever wonder what's out there in the big ol' universe? This is the book for you!

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    tableOfContents

    Introduction 1

    About This Book 2

    Foolish Assumptions 2

    Icons Used in This Book 3

    Beyond the Book 3

    Where to Go from Here 4

    Part 1: Getting Started with Astronomy 5

    Chapter 1: Seeing the Light: The Art and Science of Astronomy 7

    Astronomy: The Science of Observation 8

    What You See: The Language of Light 9

    They wondered as they wandered: Understanding planets versus stars 10

    If you see a Great Bear, start worrying: Naming stars and constellations 10

    What do I spy? Spotting the Messier Catalog and other sky objects 18

    The smaller, the brighter: Getting to the root of magnitudes 19

    Looking back on light-years 19

    Keep on moving: Figuring the positions of the stars 22

    Gravity: A Force to Be Reckoned With 25

    Space: A Commotion of Motion 26

    Chapter 2: Join the Crowd: Skywatching Activities and Resources 29

    You’re Not Alone: Astronomy Clubs, Websites, Smartphone Apps, and More 30

    Joining an astronomy club for star-studded company 30

    Checking websites, magazines, software, and apps 31

    Visiting Observatories and Planetariums 34

    Ogling the observatories 35

    Popping in on planetariums 38

    Vacationing with the Stars: Star Parties, Eclipse Trips, Dark Sky Parks, and More 38

    Party on! Attending star parties 39

    Getting festive at an AstroFest 40

    Tapping into Astronomy on Tap 40

    To the path of totality: Taking eclipse cruises and tours 40

    Motoring to telescope motels 42

    Setting up camp at dark sky parks 44

    Chapter 3: Terrific Tools for Observing the Skies 47

    Seeing Stars: A Sky Geography Primer 48

    As Earth turns 48

     keep an eye on the North Star 50

    Beginning with Naked-Eye Observation 52

    Using Binoculars or a Telescope for a Better View 55

    Binoculars: Sweeping the night sky 56

    Telescopes: When closeness counts 60

    Planning Your First Steps into Astronomy 66

    Chapter 4: Just Passing Through: Meteors, Comets, and Artificial Satellites 69

    Meteors: Wishing on a Shooting Star 70

    Spotting sporadic meteors, fireballs, and bolides 72

    Watching a radiant sight: Meteor showers 74

    Comets: The Lowdown on Dirty Ice Balls 79

    Making heads and tails of a comet’s structure 80

    Waiting for the “comets of the century” 84

    Hunting for the great comet 86

    Artificial Satellites: Enduring a Love–Hate Relationship 88

    Skywatching for artificial satellites 89

    Finding satellite viewing predictions 91

    Part 2: Going Once Around the Solar System 93

    Chapter 5: A Matched Pair: Earth and Its Moon 95

    Putting Earth under the Astronomical Microscope 96

    One of a kind: Earth’s unique characteristics 96

    Spheres of influence: Earth’s distinct regions 99

    Examining Earth’s Time, Seasons, and Age 101

    Orbiting for all time 102

    Tilting toward the seasons 103

    Estimating Earth’s age 105

    Making Sense of the Moon 106

    Get ready to howl: Identifying phases of the Moon 107

    In the shadows: Watching lunar eclipses 110

    Cultivating an interest in the occult(ations) 111

    Hard rock: Surveying lunar geology 112

    Quite an impact: Considering a theory about the Moon’s origin 117

    Chapter 6: Earth’s Near Neighbors: Mercury, Venus, and Mars 119

    Mercury: Weird, Hot, and Mostly Metal 120

    Dry,...