Universal Workshop

Daedalus ascending

books etc. by
Guy Ottewell


Universal Workshop home page
contact; how to order

links to other web sites and pages: paintings, a maze game, human rights, appreciation of minorities, climate change, more

Guy's blog


To Know the Stars

The long-awaited new edition of this classic book for young people is now available. It has been radically enlarged and improved — from 40 black-and-white pages to 90 pages enriched with many color illustrations (including cartoons!).

An introduction to the night sky and the universe, for children, teenagers, and indeed any beginner.
     At the outset you are encouraged to go outside and set about viewing the stars. The “dome” picture helps in understanding how the sky rolls from east to west.
     Four pages for each month take you through the night skies of the year. For each month there is an evening-sky map, and the stories of a few of the constellations make them stick in your memory. Other concepts are woven in: the Milky Way, leap-days, the ecliptic and zodiac, meteor showers, the Pole, midsummer, changing clocks, dark trenches in the sky, “silly little constellations.“.. A quiz in September is one of the ways of making it fun.
     After these monthly pages, there are pages to turn to for “More Explanations.” They amount to a gentle but rather thorough guide to astronomy, a light-hearted and accessible textbook. The usually confusing business of the sky's changing appearance is cleared by starting from the simplest scene — you alone in space with the far-off stars — and only then adding the things that complicate it: Sun, Earth, Earth's motions and atmosphere and curvature. There are new pages on the Moon, eclipses, each planet, asteroids, rings, comets. A list of the Top Twenty stars (with their personalities) leads into more about stars: their color, distances, sizes. There are sections on telescopes, light pollution, astronomy vs. astrology, Greek letters, distances and angles, the pronunciation of names, exoplanets, the universe.

8½ x 11 in., 90 pages, color covers, color illustrations. 1983; 15 printings; 2nd edition 2014. ISBN 978-0-934546-69-0.

Or buy through Createspace
(recommended if ordering from outside the U.S.)

"It retains the highly informative, lucid, and user-friendly flavor of Ottewell's other books" —Sky & Telescope

"At once a succession of imagined circumstances leads the young sky watcher to recognize the reality we know behind the appearance . . . There is no more straightforward guide to the stars of the sky" —Scientific American

"I have a little girl and she is already asking about the stars. And I can't think of a better start than with this book" —A reader in South Carolina

We thought of putting the table of contents on the back cover—easiest place to find it!
To Know the Stars contents