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Astronomy: A Visual Guide

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Overview

Astronomy provides a survey of science's growing understanding of space, including facts on space research and space probes. Packed with stunning images and diagrams, the book features:

  • A wide variety of heavenly phenomenas, including distant stars, the planets of the solar system, comets and shooting stars, eclipses and black holes.
  • Vivid cross-sections of the planets with concise descriptions and a chart of their relative distance from the sun.
  • Spectacular photographs from the world's finest observatories and space-based cameras, many further expertly clarified by digital graphics.
  • Easy-to-read monthly sky maps with symbols to identify open and globular star clusters, galaxies and planetary nebulae.
  • Labeled and diagrammed constellations.
  • Profiles of nebulae, clusters and galaxies.
  • Pictographs showing whether viewings require binoculars or a telescope.

Astronomy is a highly recommended, fascinating and easy-to-use illustrated reference for amateur astronomers of all levels.

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Editorial Reviews

Kingston This Week - Rob Mooy
Packed with stunning images and diagrams, the book features a wide variety of heavenly phenomena...and spectacular photographs from the world's finest observatories and space-based cameras.
Deseret News (Salt Lake City) - Jessica Harrison
With an interesting mix of content, graphics and photography, Astronomy is an easy-to-use, illustrated reference for amateurs of all levels. Garlick offers a trove of information that is manageable and is sure to inspire young and old.... At less than $30, Astronomy is the perfect family gift.
Coalition for Space Exploration
This gorgeous book provides 90 charts and graphs, 100 maps, along with 430 color illustrations and photographs—all nicely packaged to give all ages of reader a breathtaking look at the surrounding cosmos.... You really can't do much better than this volume, which lives up to its title as a visual guide. Easy-to-read and understandable text makes it a volume that you'll reference on a regular basis. The blend of space exploration and astronomy—dipping back to the past to today's mind-boggling findings also means it's a page-turner. As is a particular passion of Firefly Books, the reader is given guidance on how to become a skywatcher, with or without equipment.... This superb book is a great add to your personal library.
Lunar an Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin
Astronomy is a fascinating and easy-to-use illustrated reference for amateur astronomers of all levels.
Kingston This Week
Astronomy provides a survey of science's growing understanding of space, including facts on space research and space probes. Packed with stunning images and diagrams, the book features a wide variety of heavenly phenomena, including distant stars, the planets of the solar system, comets and shooting stars, eclipses and black holes, and spectacular photographs from the world's finest observatories and space-based cameras, many further expertly clarified by digital graphics.

— Rob Mooy

Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
With an interesting mix of content, graphics and photography, Astronomy is an easy-to-use, illustrated reference for amateurs of all levels. Garlick offers a trove of information that is manageable and is sure to inspire young and old.... At less than $30, Astronomy is the perfect family gift.

— Jessica Harrison

VOYA
Experts and amateurs alike will love this book for its stunning photography and clear descriptions of celestial phenomena. The book begins with an overview of humankind's fascination and exploration of the sky, from the Mayans' sun-centered architecture in third century B.C., to the Hubble telescope and the Odyssey's latest exploration of Mars. Helpful time lines for events like the space race and the development of astronomical tools are dispersed throughout this section. Subsequent chapters on the solar system, stars and galaxies, the night sky, and the universe cover topics such as the planets and how they were formed, the life spans of different kinds of stars, how to read monthly star maps as well as mind-boggling concepts such as dark energy and wormholes. Finally a section called Factfile is full of statistical information, making it a handy source for ready reference. Although some concepts are difficult to fathom, they are explained with simple language in a relaxed, informal style. For example, to explain the Big Bang Theory the author portrays the universe as the size of a grapefruit before it "cooled and cooked its broiling fog of subatomic particles." Wormholes are described as the "super-highways through spacetime." Clearly this book is considerably more interesting to read than a textbook, but the real star of the show is the full-color, spectacular photography, some shots spanning two pages. The author's passion for astronomy is apparent, and he successfully presents the topic in an overview that will inspire budding astronomers. This highly recommended volume joins a companion Visual Guide, Weather (Firefly, 2004). VOYA CODES: 5Q 2P M J S A/YA (Hard to imagine it beingany better written; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Firefly, 304p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps., Ages 11 to Adult.
—Valerie Ott
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 36 - Margaret Dominy
What makes Astronomy: A Visual Guide stand out is the interesting arrangement of content, mixture of graphics and photography, and the depth of coverage... highly recommended for academic and public library collections.
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor
Panoramic introductions... custom designed to inspire stargazing.
E-Streams - Courtney Greene
This title is recommended for all libraries; its excellent visuals coupled with straightforward, broad subject coverage make it appropriate for many purposes and nearly any audience from browsers to researchers.
NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers Assoc) - Claudia Fetters
What really sets this book apart is its stunning visual impact... also notable for its inclusion of multicultural astronomy, illustrating not just western thinking but also the contributions of many cultures to the study of the sky.
Charleston Post and Courier - John Lyons
The book is bursting with information but is so well-designed and written that the text never seems too heavy.
Science Books and Films - Gary W. Finiol
A wonderfully useful, well-written, complete and attractive introductory text... an excellent, highly impressive book.
Air and Space Smithsonian - Geoff Chester
Superb collection of images... Each of these is a work of art, and they can evoke in the viewer and almost intuitive understanding of the processes they depict.
Sky and Telescope - Paul Deans
Overall the photos and the reproduction quality are excellent.
Globe and Mail - Dan Falk
Fun... of practical use to amateur stargazers... exactly the kind of book that might inspire a youngster to take an interest in the heavens, possibly starting a hobby that can last a lifetime.
Choice - M.-K.Hemenway
An attractive large-scale book... a volume with high visual impact and clear, although brief, explanations. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.
Library Media Connection - Mark Westhoff
Detailed information and detail in the photographs and illustrations are the strengths of this book... Recommended.
Astronomy
One of the most beautiful introductory books on astronomy in a very long time... an excellent gift for anybody keen on astronomy.
Booklist
Panoramic introductions... custom designed to inspire stargazing.
— Gilbert Taylor
E-Streams
Excellent visuals coupled with straightforward, broad subject coverage make it appropriate for many purposes and nearly any audience.
— Courtney Greene
NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers Assoc)
Illustrat[es] not just western thinking but also the contributions of many cultures to the study of the sky.
— Claudia Fetters
Charleston Post and Courier
The book is bursting with information but is so well-designed and written that the text never seems too heavy.
— John Lyons
Science News
Novice astronomers seeking an all-in-one reference to the heavens will find it here.
Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin
Introductory and comprehensive... an easy-to-use illustrated reference for amateur astronomers of all levels.
Air and Space Smithsonian
Superb collection of images... they can evoke in the viewer and almost intuitive understanding of the processes they depict.
— Geoff Chester
Hemispheres
Will appeal to anyone who's ever marveled at the mysteries of a night sky.
Astronomy
One of the most beautiful introductory books on astronomy in a very long time... an excellent gift for anybody keen on astronomy.
Sky and Telescope
Overall the photos and the reproduction quality are excellent.
— Paul Deans
Bookpage
A stargazer's wonderland, offering a trove of hard data and interesting speculation... eminently readable... best of all are the stunning photographs.
Science Books and Films
A wonderfully useful, well-written, complete and attractive introductory text... an excellent, highly impressive book.
— Gary W. Finiol
Globe and Mail
Fun... exactly the kind of book that might inspire a youngster to take an interest in the heavens.
— Dan Falk
Choice
An attractive large-scale book... a volume with high visual impact and clear, although brief, explanations. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.
— M.-K.Hemenway
Library Media Connection
Detailed information and detail in the photographs and illustrations are the strengths of this book... Recommended.
— Mark Westhoff
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554074600
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark A. Garlick, PhD, is a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists and the author of The Story of the Solar System, The Expanding Universe and many other science books.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

Searching the heavens
The Solar System
Stars, galaxies and celestial light
The night sky
The universe
Factfile

Glossary
Index

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Preface

Introduction

Astronomy has fascinated us as far back in our history as we care to explore. At first, the interest stemmed from religious beliefs. The stars, and planets were considered deities — indeed, this is true even today. Later, as we learned to domesticate animals and grow crops, the sky served as a celestial agricultural calendar, its constant motions reminding us when to sow and reap.

Today, our interest in astronomy is no less profound, and some might argue it is even more deep-rooted, perhaps because we know so much more about it. Or perhaps it's the human desire to explore, and to understand that which we currently do not. Whatever the reason, astronomy is a subject of research at universities across the globe. The more time our scientists spend peering into the depths of space, the greater the wonders — and mysteries — they uncover. Exploding stars called supernovae shine, just briefly, with the power of hundreds of billions of our Sun. They produce superdense neutron stars, shiny balls of matter the size of a city, and yet containing the mass of an entire planetary system, spinning hundreds of times every second. Enigmatic black holes twist time and space and suck in light. At the edge of the known Universe, quasars spew jets of charged particles millions of light-years into space. And then there is the material we cannot see but which we know must exist — dark matter and the newly discovered, bizarre and poorly understood dark energy.

Join us on a cosmic journey in which we will meet all of these marvels and many more, in stunning words and pictures.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Astronomy has fascinated us as far back in our history as we care to explore. At first, the interest stemmed from religious beliefs. The stars, and planets were considered deities -- indeed, this is true even today. Later, as we learned to domesticate animals and grow crops, the sky served as a celestial agricultural calendar, its constant motions reminding us when to sow and reap.

Today, our interest in astronomy is no less profound, and some might argue it is even more deep-rooted, perhaps because we know so much more about it. Or perhaps it's the human desire to explore, and to understand that which we currently do not. Whatever the reason, astronomy is a subject of research at universities across the globe. The more time our scientists spend peering into the depths of space, the greater the wonders -- and mysteries -- they uncover. Exploding stars called supernovae shine, just briefly, with the power of hundreds of billions of our Sun. They produce superdense neutron stars, shiny balls of matter the size of a city, and yet containing the mass of an entire planetary system, spinning hundreds of times every second. Enigmatic black holes twist time and space and suck in light. At the edge of the known Universe, quasars spew jets of charged particles millions of light-years into space. And then there is the material we cannot see but which we know must exist -- dark matter and the newly discovered, bizarre and poorly understood dark energy.

Join us on a cosmic journey in which we will meet all of these marvels and many more, in stunning words and pictures.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Excellent Guide

    From the history of astronomy to the applications of studying the skies, this visual guide is an exceptional text for novice and intermediate star gazers. Wonderful photographs and illustrations. Even includes star charts for all months for users to search out those celestial bodies they've read about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2010

    alluring

    I never read before something about astronomy, but this its a great book, nice photos, clear, simple. You can chosse from 5 or 6 items at the bookstore but i think this its the better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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