Wednesday 15 July 2015

Book Review - 2016 An Astronomical Year (UK Edition)

2016 An Astronomical Year (UK Edition) – A Reference Guide to 365 Nights of Astronomy

Who doesn't love to gaze at the sky on a clear night? Whether you have a telescope, binoculars, or are just using your naked eye, there is always plenty to see when the clouds clear. The sky not only changes from hour to hour as the Earth rotates, but from day to day and month to month as the Earth works its way around the Sun. What's not so easy is knowing what to expect to see on any particular day.

That's where 2016 An Astronomical Year comes in. It is essentially a day-by-day calender of astronomical events, what to see and whether to look for it in the evening sky or the pre-dawn sky. Here,  I'm reviewing the UK Kindle edition. There is also a US edition for those of you who live across the pond from here. There's some useful introductory information about how to use the guide, and an excellent glossary.

The main body of the book is a monthly guide, giving an in-depth account of what to see during the month. This includes a sky diagram; naked eye highlights; lunar phases; pre-dawn planets and asteroids; what's not visible; evening planets & asteroids; meteor showers; constellations; bright stars; deep sky objects.

Within each month's guide there's also a day-by-day account of events to see. Naked eye objects are highlighted for easy reference, and there are plenty of excellent graphics and images to help with identification of objects.

All in all, my conclusion is that this is an excellent book, and it's 'the book I've wanted all along'. A go-to reference guide for beginner or experienced sky-gazer.

It may seem a little early to be thinking of the night sky in 2016, but get it now, because when the time comes, this will be the guide to own. Meanwhile, how about getting 2015 An Astronomical Guide – A Reference Guide to 365 Nights of Astronomy, also by Richard J Bartlett. You know you want to…