Finding Our Place in Space

We know this isn't your first night out and that you've certainly looked up at the sky before. Maybe you can find the Big Dipper and even Orion—or at least his Belt—but, for the most part, all the stars look pretty much the same to you, and you can't tell a star from a planet.

The first chapter of this part gets you started with the constellations. The second chapter introduces ancient astronomy. The third looks at the motions of the solar system and why planets behave differently from stars. The last chapter in this part presents the work of the great astronomers of the Renaissance.

Chapter 1

Naked Sky, Naked Eye: Finding Your Way in the Dark

In This Chapter

V What you can see with your naked eye

V The celestial sphere

V Orienting yourself among the stars

V Celestial coordinates and altazimuth coordinates

V Identifying constellations: how and why

Want to make a movie on an extraterrestrial theme? Hollywood has been using space as a backdrop for quite some time, and it's especially big box office these days. Audiences are thrilled by special effects: blazing comets, flaming meteors, brightly banded planets, strange, dark moons. Just be prepared to spend upward of $100 million to make your film. Those special effects don't come cheap, and today's moviegoers are spoiled by one dazzling spectacle after another. Whatever did people do for excitement before 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Star Trek, Independence Day, and Contact?

They looked at the sky.

This chapter will tell you what they saw.

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!

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