“How To Know The Night Sky As Well As You
Know The Streets of Your Own Home Town”
by Brian Ventrudo, Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer
“Do not be afraid to become a star-gazer. The human mind can find no higher exercise.”
– Garrett P. Serviss
There are few sights as beautiful as the sky on a dark, clear night. The Moon, the crackling stars, and the graceful arc of the Milky Way across the sky have held humanity in awe since the time of our earliest ancestors.
If you’ve arrived at this web page, then you too may wish to know more about the night sky.
Perhaps, for one reason or another, you never had the chance.
Or perhaps you already know the brighter stars and constellations, but want to learn the sky more intimately.
As you read this page, you’ll discover an astonishing resource that will make it easy to learn the stars and constellations as well as you know the streets of your own home town.
And you won’t just learn a few bright stars. You’ll get a personal tour of hundreds of stars and the major constellations in the northern and near-southern sky, along with an introduction to the brighter galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae visible with the unaided eye or with a simple pair of inexpensive binoculars.
Once you follow the sky tours in this resource, not one person in a thousand will know as much about the night sky as you do.
And you will learn to easily find some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky, including…
• A hazy patch of stars in the constellation Cancer… once used by ancient sky watchers to forecast oncoming storms, long before Galileo discovered this mysterious cloud was really a cluster of blue-white stars
• The rich star fields towards the center of our galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius, home to dozens of nebulae and star clusters within easy reach of a beginning star gazer with binoculars
• Two immense spiral galaxies visible to the naked eye (and lovely in binoculars), the light of which you see has spent more than 2 million years crossing the void of intergalactic space (these are the most distant objects you can see without optical aid)
• The “demon star” in the constellation Perseus that eclipses like clockwork every few days (you can easily see this star with the naked eye)
• Two dazzling star clusters in Taurus that look better in a $50 pair of binoculars than in a $10,000 telescope
• A glowing blister of interstellar gas in Orion that’s right now giving birth to hot, silver-blue young stars
• A number of massive ancient red supergiant stars that are inexorably moving to the end of their lives as catastrophic supernova explosions
• And much more…
A Completely Updated Time-Tested Astronomy Classic
The resource I’m talking about is Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Night Sky, by the editors of One-Minute Astronomer.
Even if you’ve tried to improve your knowledge of the heavens before, you haven’t tried anything like this. And you haven’t got results like this either.
How can I be so sure?
Because it’s helped countless people learn their way around the night sky… for more than 120 years.
Stargazing For Beginners is based on a classic work of popular astronomy called “Astronomy With An Opera Glass” by Garrett Serviss. First written more than a century ago, Serviss’ book became essential reading for backyard stargazers. Many professional astronomers, as well as accomplished amateurs like Walter Scott Houston first learned the stars with this book. Even modern astronomy experts like Stephen J. O’Meara have a copy of Serviss’s original book in their personal library.
But can a book first written in 1888 still be useful to 21st century stargazers?
The answer is absolutely… yes! That’s because Serviss’ work takes a casual, friendly approach to learning the night sky that remains appealing across the decades. And since the positions of the stars change slowly, the Serviss’s sky tours are just as accurate today as they were 120 years ago.
Of course, the astonishing advances in astronomy over the past century have dated most of the scientific explanations in the original work. But our modern version of Serviss’s book, Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Night Sky includes a complete update of the science related to the stars and deep-sky sights described in the sky tours.
That means Stargazing For Beginners gives you the best of both worlds… modern scientific explanation combined with the easy charm and fascinating historical tales of the original work.
Stargazing For Beginners also gives you up-to-date advice on choosing and using the optical instrument of choice for these sky tours: a simple pair of binoculars. Whether you already own a pair, borrow from a friend, or invest in a new set, you’ll discover…
• Why binoculars are better than a telescope for learning the stars and constellations
• The critical optical specifications of binoculars… what they are, why they matter, and how they affect your view of the stars
• How to test drive a pair of binoculars for astronomy (and which binoculars to avoid at all costs)
• How much to invest in a pair of binoculars for astronomical observing… and why spending more money is not always the best way to go
• Why larger-aperture binoculars may not be the right choice for you, especially if you’re over the age of 40 (this tip alone may save you $100 or more )
• And the truth about image-stabilized binoculars for astronomy… even if you can afford them, are they really worth the extra money?
Get A Glimpse of the Science Behind the Stars
As a stargazer, you’ll discover the greatest reward in observing the night sky lies in your imagination, as you reflect upon the the astonishing forces at work in the cosmos. That’s why we make sure you get a taste of the science behind what you see in the night sky, including…
• How newly-born stars create shimmering nebulae out of the very gas and dust from which they were born
• A type of variable star in the constellation Cepheus that astronomers use as a “cosmic yardstick” to measure the size of the universe.
• The “end-game” of stars like our sun, and how they expire by throwing off their outer layers as a beautiful planetary nebula
• Dense remnants of dead stars as massive our sun yet only as small as the Earth
• Tightly-bound clusters of stars that are almost as old as the universe itself (you can see many of these clusters with binoculars from your backyard, once you know where to find them)
Plus you’ll learn about two key motions of the Earth, and how and understanding of these motions help you accurately read a simple star map over the course of a season. After just a few nights, you’ll understand how the sky changes from hour to hour and month to month, and you’ll be able to read the sky like a pro.
A Tour of the Lava Seas, Mountains, and Craters of the Moon
Of course, the Moon is one the most spectacular sight in the sky. Even the most modest binoculars reveal dozens of fascinating features on the ancient surface of Earth’s only natural satellite.
That’s why we’ve included a free supplementary report called Observing The Moon And Planets With Binoculars to help you discover the most prominent craters, mountains, and dark-grey lava seas. You get a tour of the major surface features of the Moon and a full lunar map to help you easily find the features.
And you’ll learn…
• The absolutely best time to see features on the lunar surface, and why the full Moon is just about the worst time to see anything
• A relatively new crater in the southern lunar highlands that sprayed ejected material over the surface of the Moon as far as 2,000 km away
• Where to find the ranges of rugged mountains that tower more than 20,000 feet over the lunar surface
• An east-to-west tour of the main “seas” of the Moon, including maps of the locations of the six Apollo lunar landings of 1969-1972
• Why one side of the Moon is forever hidden from Earth-bound observers
And while binoculars aren’t the best tool for seeing the other planets in our solar system, you’ll also discover how to see the periodic dance of the four largest moons of Jupiter around the giant planet. It’s like seeing a miniature solar system changing night-to-night (even hour-to-hour), right in the field of view of your binoculars.
The Easiest Way To Know The Night Sky
Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Night Sky is now available in printed format from Amazon in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. It’s illustrated with more than twenty maps and images to help you find your way around the sky each month of the year. The book is written to make it as easy as possible for you to learn the night sky.
(Note: By necessity, the printed book does not include the bonus star maps and free audio version available with the on-line version of Stargazing for Beginners. If you wish to have the electronic version of this book, you can get it immediately right here…)
See the Wonders of Deep Space From Your Backyard
You came to this web page because you want to learn the stars and constellations. This is your opportunity. Stargazing For Beginners gives you everything you need to know to identify many dozens of stars in the major constellations of the northern and near-southern hemisphere. With friendly, easy-to-follow tours and custom-made star maps for all four seasons, you will acquire expertise of the night sky that few people will ever enjoy.
And you’ll most certainly be ready to acquire a deeper knowledge of astronomy, and to effectively use a telescope to see further into the heavens.
You can order Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Night Sky at Amazon.com (U.S.), Amazon.ca (Canada), and Amazon.co.uk (U.K.). As this book does not cover the deep-southern night sky, it’s not available from booksellers in the southern hemisphere. And don’t worry if the book is listed as “Temporarily Out of Stock”. It will be printed and shipped quickly upon your order.
Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer