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

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The Ever-Changing Sky is a comprehensive and uniquely non-mathematical guide to spherical astronomy. In a clear and lucid text, it guides 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 is invaluable to students of naked-eye astronomy, amateur and professional astronomers, and more general readers wanting to know how the night sky changes.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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 (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521499187
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 516
  • Sales rank: 1,034,049
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.02 (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

Preface; 1. The Earth and the celestial sphere; 2. The moving Earth and the travelling observer; 3. The orbital motion of the Earth; 4. Stars and constellations; 5. Precession, nutation, and aberration; 6. Time; 7. Sunrise and sunset; 8. Positions in the sky and on Earth; 9. The Moon; 10. Tides, eclipses, and calendars; 11. The planets; 12. The small bodies of the solar system; 13. Light and atmosphere; Appendices: I. Graphs and tables; II. Star maps; III. Trigonometric relationships; IV. Bibliography; Index.

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