The Stargazing Year: A Backyard Astronomer's Journey Through the Seasons of the Night Sky

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9780786281107: The Stargazing Year: A Backyard Astronomer's Journey Through the Seasons of the Night Sky
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A quarter-century after giving up his first telescope, Charles Laird Calia lay down one evening on his front lawn with his two young daughters, looked up at the stars, and rediscovered a childhood passion. Part primer on the science and history of astronomical observation, part love poem to the night sky, this is an amateur astronomer's account of a year spent observing the cosmos in his New England back yard.

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About the Author:

Charles Laird Calia is the author of the novel The Unspeakable. A frequent contributor to Sky & Telescope magazine, he is a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers, and the British Astronomical Association.

From Publishers Weekly:

For anyone who spent their childhood enraptured by the heavens, only to have that rapture interrupted by a career, family and social expectations, Calia's book provides new hope that their childhood joy can be rediscovered. In a series of 12 essays, each dedicated to one month of the year, Calia describes his quest to build his own backyard observatory, providing interesting tidbits of astronomical history and mythological lore along the way. The book is part memoir, part travelogue through the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere. Calia, a frequent contributor to Sky & Telescope magazine and the author of the novel The Unspeakable, weaves mythological tales of various constellations almost seamlessly together with momentous events in his own life, particularly the death of his astrologer mother. But his skill as a writer truly shines in the interconnectedness of his narrative, as when a lyrical passage on stellar nebulae segues into a dialogue with the salesman at the building supply store and then into a discussion of Robert Frost, another amateur astronomer. The result is charming, witty, wistful and ultimately inspiring. This is not a reference work, though the star charts at the beginning of each chapter and the directions for finding various objects in the night sky are sufficient for a casual observer with binoculars. Instead, this is a book to read for pleasure on those nights when the sky is overcast.
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Charles Laird Calia
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