The Ever-Changing Sky: A Guide to the Celestial Sphere / Edition 1

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Overview

The Ever-Changing Sky provides a comprehensive and uniquely non-mathematical guide to spherical astronomy. In a clear and lucid text, the author guides readers through terrestrial and celestial co-ordinate systems, time measurement and celestial navigation, on to the stars and constellations (with useful star maps provided), the motions and appearance of the Moon and planets, tides and eclipses, and the smaller bodies of the Solar System (asteroids, meteors, meteorites and comets). There is also a brief overview of atmospheric phenomena. This text will be in- valuable to students taking courses in naked-eye astronomy, amateur and professional astronomers, and general readers wanting to know how the night sky changes.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Now available in paperback, Kaler's (U. of Illinois) work provides wonderfully accessible descriptions of every kind of atmospheric and astronomical phenomena—from rainbows and sundogs to meteor showers and eclipses. The bulk of the book is dedicated to nonmathematical (or very basically mathematical) explanations of celestial coordinates, tides and timekeeping, stars and constellations, planetary motion, how to calculate the location and time of sunrise and sunset, moon phases and features, light and telescopes, and navigation. Though black and white, the illustrations are superb. Appendices include star charts; graphs and tables of sunrise, sunset, and twilight times; and an introduction to trigonomic functions and how to use them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"[A]n excellent discussion of the variations in solar time. This is essential material for understanding sundials." Joe Heafner, Sky & Telescope

"It develops into a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the sky that could be useful to astronomers, whether they are professionals, amateurs, or students, and to general readers who simply wish to learn about the night sky...a thoroughly enjoyable read." Astronomy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521380539
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

James B. Kaler is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois where his research centres on dying stars. Professor Kaler has held Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and has been awarded medals for his work from the University of Liege in Belgium and the University of Mexico. As well as having published more than 100 research articles, he has written for a variety of popular and semi-popular magazines including Mercury, Astronomy, Stardate, Sky and Telescope, Scientific American, and l'Astronomia in Italy, and appears regularly on Illinois television and radio. His popular book, Stars, was published by Scientific American Library in 1992, and a new elementary astronomy textbook, Astronomy!, was published in 1994 by HarperCollins. Professor Kaler was also a consultant for Time-Life Books on their Voyage Through the Universe series. He is past president of the Board of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony.

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Table of Contents

List of tables
Preface
1 The Earth and the celestial sphere 1
2 The moving Earth and the traveling observer 28
3 The orbital motion of the Earth 55
4 Stars and constellations 93
5 Precession, nutation, and aberration 145
6 Time 163
7 Sunrise and sunset 193
8 Positions in the sky and on Earth 204
9 The Moon 220
10 Tides, eclipses, and calendars 262
11 The planets 292
12 The small bodies of the Solar System 346
13 Light and the atmosphere 378
App. 1 Graphs and tables 432
App. 2 Star maps 456
App. 3 Trigonometric relationships 463
Bibliography 476
Index 480
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