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Review: National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

9 Nov 2009, 02:53 UTC
Review: National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky
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This summer I received a copy of a new astronomy book to review: National Geographic's Backyard Guide to the Night Sky by Howard Schneider (ISBN 978-1-4262-0281-0, trade paper version, list price US $21.95 / Can $26.00). First ImpressionsMy copy had a substantial heft and feel as well as a quality glossy cover. It is everything I would expect from National Geographic.It's well organized with margin notes that include useful URLs, side bars and boxes with sky facts and lore.The compact size and binding don't facilitate using the seasonal sky charts in the field. I'd be concerned about the binding not really being intended to fold flat. On the plus side, the portability makes it far more likely to be used than sit on a self.The subject matter covered goes well beyond the role of a beginner stargazing book. The bool provides mythological, scientific, and historical back stories. It also touches on the relationship between the science of astronomy and the nonsense of astrology. A number of advanced topics like star formation are also introdced. The information for the beginning stargazer is solid.LayoutThe well structured content provides multiple views and perspectives on virtually every page. The main text is organized into ...

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