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
"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