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Books – Astronomy, Space and A Whole Lot More

Books – Astronomy, Space and A Whole Lot More…

 

Tis the season to be jolly and consequently Christmas Presents are foremost on our minds. Books have always been the perfect Christmas gift and a gift for all seasons.

For Christmas this year, the Meteorwatch team have put together a fine collection of books which are out of this world. There are books to please armchair astronomers and books to impress wannabe astronauts and more! It can be hard work thinking about what Christmas presents to buy friends and loved ones. So we made this book list to help you.

Pour a glass of festive cheer and enjoy the list of books here:

 

Please read on for some great book ideas for Christmas. There are no spammy pop-ups, spammy articles, or the need to click through endless pages. Just scroll down the list effortlessly.

Click on the books links or images for more info. Images and descriptions credit: Amazon.co.uk

Hello, is this planet Earth?: My View from the International Space Station (Official Tim Peake Book)

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The first book by astronaut Tim Peake – a mesmerising collection of over 150 of Tim’s stunning photographs that he took on board the International Space Station, many of which have not been seen before. Includes a personal commentary from Tim. Tim’s proceeds received from the books sales will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.

2017 Guide to the Night Sky: A month-by-month guide to exploring the skies above Britain and Ireland (Royal Observatory Greenwich)

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A comprehensive handbook to the planets, stars and constellations visible from the northern hemisphere. 6 pages for each month covering January–December 2017. This practical guidebook is both an easy introduction to astronomy and a useful reference for seasoned stargazers. Designed for Britain and Ireland but usable anywhere in the world between 40°N and 60°N, covering most of Europe, southern Canada and the northern United States. Written and illustrated by astronomical experts, Storm Dunlop and Wil Tirion, and approved by the astronomers of the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Content includes:

• Advice on where to start looking.

• Easy-to-use star maps for each month with descriptions of what to see.

• Positions of the moon and visible planets.

• Details of objects and events you might see in 2017.

Planet Earth II

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10 years on from the first, groundbreaking, Planet Earth, we use the most incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery to bring you the most exciting and immersive picture of our world’s wildlife yet.
With over 250 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit’s spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth.
Each of the books chapters reveal an environment – some never-before-seen, some astonishingly familiar – defined by a unique set of rules required for survival. From the most desolate desert to the depths of the jungle, from blistering heat and freezing cold to perpetual darkness and deadly UV, discover how a whole host of creatures have adapted to life in the most extreme conditions. And how they compete with one another to become the largest, the fastest, the most poisonous, or most devious – all in a bid to survive.
Planet Earth II includes the first in-depth look at the urban environment, and the surprising range of behaviors occurring right under our noses, as well as some previously untouched island worlds. Filmed with remarkable 5k and infra-red technology, these are the challenges, the confrontations, and the triumphs of some of the most extraordinary creatures in the natural world, told from their perspective.

This is our planet, as you have never seen it before.

13 Journeys Through Space and Time: Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution

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An exploration of space and time and a journey of discovery, through thirteen of the most fascinating Christmas Lectures given at the Royal Institution of Great Britain over the last 200 years. With a foreword by ESA astronaut Tim Peake.

Started at the Royal Institution (RI) in 1825 by Michael Faraday, the Christmas Lectures have been broadcast on television since the 1960s and have formed part of the British Christmas tradition for generations. First devised to attract young people to the magic of science through spectacular demonstrations, they are now watched by millions of people around the world every year.

Drawing on the incredible archive at the RI, which is packed full of handwritten note books, photographs and transcripts, this book will focus on thirteen of the most captivating Lectures given at the RI on space and time, taking a look at what we thought we knew then and what has been discovered since.

Sun, Moon and Stars (Usborne Beginners)

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What is the Sun made of? How did astronauts get to the Moon and what did they find there? For children beginning to read on their own, books like this are an exciting introduction to space. Includes vivid, full colour illustrations and photographs on every page, and easy-to-read text specially written with the help of a reading expert.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth 

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Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield’s success – and survival – is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst – and enjoy every moment of it.

In his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement – and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth – especially your own.

Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope – and How to Find Them

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With over 100,000 copies sold since first publication, this is one of the most popular astronomy books of all time. It is a unique guide book to the night sky, providing all the information you need to observe a whole host of celestial objects. With a new spiral binding, this edition is even easier to use outdoors at the telescope and is the ideal beginner’s book. Keeping its distinct one-object-per-spread format, this edition is also designed for Dobsonian telescopes, as well as for smaller reflectors and refractors, and covers Southern hemisphere objects in more detail. Large-format eyepiece views, positioned side-by-side, show objects exactly as they are seen through a telescope, and with improved directions, updated tables of astronomical information and an expanded night-by-night Moon section, it has never been easier to explore the night sky on your own. Many additional resources are available on the accompanying website, www.cambridge.org/turnleft.

Goodnight Spaceman (Goodnight 6)

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Inspired by ESA astronaut Tim Peake and his sons, and featuring an introduction from Tim, this is the perfect bedtime book!

Two space-mad little boys get ready for bed and say goodnight to their toy rockets, launch pads and planet mobiles, before being whisked away into space on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams . .

Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation

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The story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan’s remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.  One of the most popular astronomy books of all time.

Philip’s Moon Map

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In a convenient folded format, Philip’s Moon Map is a superbly detailed, large-format map of the near (visible) side of the Moon. Specially drawn for Philip’s by Dr John Murray, an expert on the lunar surface, the map is not only a highly accurate and clear representation of the Moon but is also a practical guide for lunar observers.

More than 500 physical features – craters, seas, mountain ranges, peaks, valleys and rilles (elongated depressions) – are named and indexed, and the landing sites of unmanned and manned spacecraft are also marked. The observer can thus readily identify objects seen through binoculars or a telescope, or pick targets for a programme of observation.

The accompanying text is a practical guide to Moonwatching, which explains how to use the map and highlights the most interesting lunar features. Close-up images of some of these objects show what the observer can expect to see. Also included are photographs of the Moon at each daily stage and a smaller map of the far side, as revealed by satellites. Guidelines on drawing or photographing the Moon are also included.

The International Space Station (Let’s Read-&-find-out Science)

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The International Space Station races through space at 17,500 miles per hour. How do people live there? What may they discover? Find out the story of the twenty-first century’s great scientific adventure. Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children 2001–selected by Natn’l Science Tchrs Assoc. & Child. Bk Cncl. and Booklist “Top 10 Science Books for Children” 2000

The Urban Astronomy Guide: Stargazing from towns and suburbs

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Philip’s The Urban Astronomy Guide provides the ideal introduction to the fascinating hobby of astronomy for the town dweller. These days, you don’t have to live close to a city or town centre to suffer from the effects of light pollution. From your back garden or rooftop observing site, your night sky will be illuminated by light from the surrounding city or town. And while, like everyone else, you will have to contend with the vagaries of the weather, you will have the added problem of poor air quality. But despite these difficulties, there is still a host of celestial delights to be seen!

This books, author Robin Scagell shows that night-time lighting and the resultant brightening of the sky can be combated, and demonstrates how to make the best of poor conditions. Although the unaided eye may be able to pick out only a few hundred stars, binoculars or a small telescope will reveal many times that number. A little optical aid can also give you good views of every type of major astronomical object, including star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.

For example, for those who want to develop their interest further, there are special filters that let through the light from distant nebulae while blocking out wavelengths infested by unwanted stray light from streetlights. And modern CCDs allow modest amateur telescopes to penetrate the urban sky glow and reveal sights that would have taxed the largest professional instruments only 30 years or so ago.

Philip’s The Urban Astronomy Guide will show you how to get the most out of almost any sky with whatever equipment you have, or even with none at all.

Philip’s 101 Objects to Spot in the Night Sky: A Fun and Practical Guide to the Stars and Planets

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The new Philip’s 101 Objects To Spot In The Night Sky is a fun and practical guide to identifying and observing 101 of the most fascinating and exciting sights in the northern-hemisphere sky for young newcomers to astronomy, explaining what can be seen using the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

This books, author Robin Scagell shows the novice astronomer where to look in the sky to see a particular object, or group of objects or sights, which may be a planet, its rings or satellites, a series of lunar craters, a constellation, asteroids, meteors, a nebula, galaxy or star cluster, for example. He explains what you can expect to see with just the naked eye and describes the object in detail, giving observing tips for better viewing.

A concise ‘fact file’ is provided for major objects, and readers can award themselves ‘points’ for their skill in finding the object in the first instance, with higher scores given for spotting some of its more elusive or hard-to-see features.

Philip’s 101 Objects To Spot In The Night Sky is illustrated in full colour throughout, with approximately 300 high-quality photographs, diagrams and star maps.

Philip’s Month-By-Month Stargazing 2017: The guide to the northern night sky

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Philip’s Month-by-Month Stargazing 2017 is a concise guide to the northern-hemisphere night sky, helping starwatchers to see the year’s most fascinating events, whether observing with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. The authors have also included ideas for joining Citizen Science projects at the cutting edge of astronomical research.

The guide is suitable for use between latitudes 40°N and 60°N, including Britain and Ireland, Europe as far south as Rome, and Canada and the northern USA as far south as Philadelphia.

Each chapter (one for each month of the year) has a colour star map, created by Wil Tirion, showing the positions and phases of the Moon, the positions of the planets, and other useful information. Each month also includes a constellation described in detail; special events during the month, such as eclipses; a featured astronomical object, usually a deep-sky target; plus an astrophotograph, with details of how it was taken.

The Solar System Almanac explains the movement of the planets, with particular attention paid to their positions in 2017. Solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers and comets are also described.

Exploring the Deep Sky provides a list of recommended deep-sky objects. The observer can use the monthly charts to discover which constellations are on view, and then use this information to plan deep-sky observing.

The books conclusion is an Equipment Review. Here Robin Scagell, author of Philip’s Stargazing with a Telescope, provides a round-up of what’s new in observing technology

Stargazing For Dummies

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Reach for the stars

Stargazing is the practice of observing the night sky and its contents – from constellations through to planets and galaxies. Stars and other night sky objects can be seen with the naked eye, or seen in greater numbers and in more detail with binoculars or a telescope.

Stargazing For Dummies offers you the chance to explore the night sky, providing a detailed guide to the main constellations and also offering advice on viewing other night sky objects such as planets and nebulae. It?s a great introduction to a fun new hobby, and even provides a fun way to get the kids outside while doing something educational!

  • Gives you an introduction to looking at the sky with binoculars or a telescope
  • Offers advice on photographing the night sky
  • Without needing to get your head around mind–bending theories, you can take part in some practical physics

If you?re looking for easy–to–follow guidance on getting to know the night sky, Stargazing For Dummies has you covered. One of the best books around.

The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook

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Discover how you become an astronaut, the training you must undertake, how you travel into space and what you do when you’re up there. With a foreword from ESA astronaut Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to embark on a mission to the International Space Station. Published in association with the UK Space Agency.

Facts from Space!: From Super-Secret Spacecraft to Volcanoes in Outer Space, Extraterrestrial Facts to Blow Your Mind!

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From the sun’s super-hot core to the many moons of Neptune, we’re traveling to the far reaches of our solar system and beyond! Astronomer Dean Regas presents Facts from Space!–an exciting education on everything outside our atmosphere. Inside, you’ll discover space facts and celestial trivia, including:

  • A day on Venus is longer than its year.
  • Early space missions ejected human waste into space, where it froze into intricate crystals that still float in space today.
  • After being in space, some astronauts returned to Earth up to 2 inches taller than when they left.
  • The stars in the Big Dipper are shifting among themselves and will look like a “Big Spatula” by the year 75,000.
  • And more!

Packed with fascinating information, it’s a stellar read for sci-fi fans and at-home astronomers alike!

Big Book of Stars and Planets (Big Book)

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Children can explore the wonders of space in these incredible picture books with giant fold-out pages full of fascinating facts to satisfy the curiosity of every young space enthusiast. From the Sun and the planets in our Solar System to massive stars and vast galaxies and lots, lots more, there’s a whole universe to discover.

Big Book of Rockets and Spacecraft (Big Book)

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Open the giant fold-out pages of this books to discover the powerful rockets and spacecraft that explore outer space. From early rockets and Moon missions to space stations and probes, learn what it takes to blast off from Earth and even live in space. The oversized pages show magnificent spacecraft and rockets to scale, up-close and in detail.

The Cambridge Star Atlas

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This classic star atlas is ideal for both beginning astronomers and more experienced observers worldwide. The clear, full-color maps show stars, clusters and galaxies visible with binoculars or a small telescope. The atlas also features constellation boundaries and the Milky Way, and lists objects that are interesting to observe. This new edition features a clearer map of the Moon’s surface, showing craters and features; a second Moon map, mirror reversed for users of telescopes with star diagonals; enhanced index charts showing the constellations more clearly; and a new data table listing stars hosting planetary systems. It is now spiral bound, making it ideal for use at the telescope.

Where’s Wally? In Outer Space: Activity Book

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Have fun solving crazy conundrums and amazing activities that are out of this world with Wally and friends! Play tangle line teasers, find your way out of a space race maze, unscramble muddled up words, crack alien codes, match and spot the differences in busy picture puzzles, get creative by colouring in, complete a planet hop game and much, much more! Can you also find Wally’s super special star? There are over 100 crazy cosmic stickers and lots of extra things to find and do!

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space

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Professor Astro Cat is the smartest cat in the alley. He’s got a degree in just about every discipline under the sun!

Speaking of the sun, he happens to be specialist on that too, and Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space will tell you everything that there could be to know about our star, our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe. The professor’s made sure of that; he’s a fastidious little feline!

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space also explores topics such as gravity, extraterrestrial life, time, and many other fascinating subjects that will take you and your children on a journey to the very frontiers of space!

Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees

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Throughout much of the world, night skies are growing increasingly brighter, but the force that protects the remaining naturally dark sky, unpolluted byartificial light, is the same that saves its ancient treesisolation. Staking outsome of the world s last dark places, photographer Beth Moon uses a digital camera to reveal constellations, nebulae, and the MilkyWay, in rich hues that are often too faint to be seen by the naked eye. As inher acclaimed first volume, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, these magnificentimages encounter great arboreal specimens, including baobabs, olive trees, andredwoods, in such places as South Africa, England, and California. In her artist s statement, Beth Moon describes the experience of shooting atnight in these remote places. An essay by Jana Grcevich, postdoctoral fellow ofastrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, provides the perspectiveof a scientist racing to study the stars in a world growing increasinglybrighter.Clark Strand, the author of Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, takes a different tack, illuminating theinherent spirituality of trees.”

The Practical Astronomer (Dk Astronomy)

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A complete beginner’s guide to observing the night sky

Understand and enjoy the solar system and beyond with this practical guide to astronomy.

Pick up all the basics of sky-watching. Start off by taking a tour around the night sky in simple stages, discovering how it fits together and how it works. Then take a closer look at the objects you can see and learn to train your eye to recognize basic patterns of constellations and how to tell planets apart from other celestial bodies. Plus, there’s advice on buying and using kit, from binoculars to telescopes.

Packed with detailed maps of the night sky and star charts to help any budding astronomer in their quest to find out more about this fascinating subject.

Philip’s Astronomy Starter Pack

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A new edition of the exciting Philip’s Astronomy Starter Pack, suitable for use in the Northern Hemisphere, containing three essential items to introduce the beginner to the fascinating hobby of astronomy: a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ planisphere, an 80-page paperback book about the stars and planets, and a colourful wall poster of the Solar System.

Philip’s Glow-in-the-Dark Planisphere: This planisphere has been specially made so that, after being held under a bright light, the stars and the names and shapes of the constellations will glow in the dark for a period. It is both a fun and practical starfinder for identifying the stars and constellations visible on any night of the year from the UK, Northern Europe, Northern USA and Canada (51.5 degrees North); the star map is drawn by the well-known celestial cartographer Wil Tirion. A sheet explaining how to use the planisphere is included in the pack.

Philip’s Exploring Stars and Planets: A colourful and entertaining introduction to the exciting world of astronomy, this 80-page paperback is illustrated with more than 200 colour photographs, artworks and maps, as the author Ian Ridpath describes the latest developments in the fast-moving fields of space exploration and astronomy. Concise chapters introduce the Sun, the Earth and all the other planets in our Solar System. Then, moving further into space, the author examines the stars and galaxies, and explores the origin of the Universe.

Philip’s Solar System Poster: A large attractive folded wall chart (580 x 870mm) illustrating the planets and other bodies in the Solar System, with informative text and tables by Ian Ridpath.

Collins Stargazing: Beginners guide to astronomy (Royal Observatory Greenwich)

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A brilliant new introductory guide to the night sky, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Offering complete advice from the ground up, Stargazing is the perfect manual for beginners to astronomy – introducing the world of telescopes, planets, stars, dark skies and celestial maps.

Discover how to tackle light pollution, how to stargaze with just your eyes, and what equipment is best for beginners.

Astronomy experts Radmila Topalovic and Tom Kerss explain the best ways to plan your stargazing experience and the keys things to look out for on specific dates throughout the year.

With seasonal star charts, constellation charts and facts about our Solar System, Stargazing is packed of useful information and guidance for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Bridging the gap between human curiosity and the need for scientific expertise, Stargazing allows a complete novice to understand our place in the cosmos and enjoy the beautiful and extraordinary wonders of the night sky.

The perfect companion to the best-selling Guide to the Night Sky books from Collins, Stargazing is a great way to get started in the fascinating world of astronomy.

International Space Station Manual (New Ed) (Owners’ Workshop Manual)

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The International Space Station (ISS) is a permanently manned earth-orbiting complex where astronauts carry out research into a wide range of scientific activities. It comprises modules built in the USA, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. Author David Baker examines how the ISS was built, the logistics modules and freighters operated by its user nations, how the ISS works as an integrated facility, life on board, what the ISS does, the research carried out and who benefits.

Philip’s Planisphere (Latitude 51.5 North): For use in Britain and Ireland, Northern Europe, Northern USA and Canada

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Invaluable for both beginners and advanced observers, Philip’s Planisphere (Latitude 51.5 North) is a practical hour-by-hour tracker of the stars and constellations, designed for use anywhere in Britain and Ireland, Northern Europe, Northern USA and Canada. Turn the oval panel to the required date and time to reveal the whole sky visible from your location.The map, by the well-known celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, shows stars down to magnitude 5, plus several deep-sky objects, such as the Pleiades, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Orion Nebula (M42). Because the planets move round the Sun, their positions in the sky are constantly changing and they cannot be marked permanently on the map; however, the back of the planisphere has tables giving the positions of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn for every month until 2020.The planisphere is supplied in a full-colour wallet that contains illustrated step-by-step instructions for how to use the planisphere, how to locate planets, and how to work out the time of sunrise or sunset for any day of the year. It explains all the details that can be seen on the map – the magnitudes of stars, the ecliptic and the celestial coordinates. In addition, the section ‘Exploring the skies, season by season’ introduces the novice astronomer to the principal celestial objects visible at different times of the year. Major constellations are used as signposts to navigate the night sky, locating hard-to-find stars and some fascinating deep-sky objects. The movement of the stars is also explained

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