September 2000

Across the universe

By Ken Croswell
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Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.

Ken Crosswell has developed an exciting new way to help parents and children find that illusive first star of the night, as well as identify all the rest of the constellations, in his new book, See The Stars: Your First Guide To The Night Sky.

With a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University, Crosswell first became interested in the subject the day his first grade teacher introduced his class to the planets of the solar system. He has retained that love of the planets and stars and now shares his knowledge of locating them in easy-to-understand language that both young and old will comprehend.

Giving detailed instructions on the best ways to find the premium place to look for specific stars, and what equipment will be needed (a simple pair of binoculars and some warm clothing is all that's necessary), Crosswell shows how easy it is to observe the wondrous world of the cosmos. The information in See The Stars is broken down into monthly segments. With the help of beautiful and clear constellation photographs, many obtained from NASA, Crosswell explains when and where to look for the brightest stars of any particular month, as well as the names of the different stars and what colors they show. There's even a chart in the back that helps to identify the most prominent stars as well as planets in the sky, the constellation they belong to and how far away they are away from Earth.

See The Stars is a delightful book that would be a perfect gift for that budding astronomer, and a real help for the befuddled parent who can't quite remember where Orion's famous Belt might be on any given night.

Sharon Galligar Chance is the senior book reviewer for the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas, and the mother of four budding astronomers.

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