Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Celestial Ramblings (copy)

As the weather warms, most of us long to be in the great outdoors. My idea of heaven is lying on a blanket and staring into the warm night sky, being pleasantly surprised to catch a shooting star or satellite.

As you can imagine, I have developed a taste for astronomy books. They are tough to purchase though, as with the vastness of space, the books tend to have too much material and feel textbook heavy. Most publishers break astronomy into smaller pieces like stars, planets, or solar systems. It is next to impossible to find a book dealing with Greek myths and the constellations.

From experience, the books with constellational Greek myths are far and few. The last one purchased, Star Myths by Theony Condos, was so dry I ended up dreaming of stars.

Imagine my delight finding Greek myths included in the 2004 book titled Night Sky Atlas by Robin Scagell. This spiral book, appropriate for all ages, includes a two-page layout of the monthly skies and easy explanations of celestial concepts. The adult version, Stars and Planets by Ian Ridpath, delves more into telescopes and positions of the planets, using a strip diagram to the year 2012. As with the children’s book it follows a monthly chart format, allowing you to discover which planets might be visible in the May skies before venturing out.

My husband and I are currently using a third copy of Stars and Planets, having literally worn out the first two. We don’t leave home without it either. Our copy has traveled with us to Alaska, Nova Scotia and Ireland just to name a few places. Just like life, the night sky is slightly different when seen from another perspective.

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