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Explore STARS

There is nothing more awesome than to look up and see thousands of stars spread across a dark sky. If we are able to be from light pollution, we can see about 2,000 stars if we look up from any place on earth on a moonless night. Astronomers think that there are trillions of stars in our galaxy alone.

If you are interested in learning more about stars, you are in the right place! Homewood Public Library offers patrons the option to check out telescopes for stargazing and attend space-oriented events. We offer various books and videos to start your own space adventure – check out some of the titles below.

Sky gazing : a guide to the moon, sun, planets, stars, eclipses, constellations by Thacher, Meg

The sun, moon, stars, and planets have been a source of wonder and fascination for as long as humans have inhabited the earth. In Sky Gazing, a highly visual guide to observing the sky with the naked eye, kids aged 9–14 will delve into the science behind what they see, whether they live in a dark rural setting or under the bright lights of the city. Exploring astronomical objects and phenomena, this captivating book takes young readers on a tour of our solar system and deep space beyond, with explanations of how objects like Earth’s moon were formed and the “why” behind phenomena such as eclipses, northern lights, and meteor showers. Curious sky gazers will discover how to find and observe planets — no binoculars or telescopes required! — and star charts will guide them in spotting constellations throughout the seasons and in both hemispheres while they learn about constellation myths from cultures around the world. Activities including tracking the cycles of the sun and moon, what to observe during the day, and what to do on a cloudy night keep kids’ eyes on the skies, while astronomer profiles and sidebars on space technology and current issues such as light pollution help ground their discoveries in the ancient and enduring science of studying the sky.

Backyard astronomy experiments by Wood, Alix.

The universe is an incomprehensible expanse of wonder. Perhaps the most wondrous thing is that we can catch a glimpse of it from our backyards. Readers of this cosmic book will learn about outer space through fun, hands-on experiments. Each project can easily be done at home. What’s Happening sidebars explain the science behind each activity, introducing readers to key astronomy information. Step-by-step instructions and full-color photographs ensure each project is accessible. Readers will reach for the stars with this epic book of astronomy experiments

The astronomy book

From planets and stars to black holes and the Big Bang, take a journey through the wonders of the universe. Featuring topics from the Copernican Revolution to the mind-boggling theories of recent science, The Astronomy Book uses flowcharts, graphics, and illustrations to help clarify hard-to-grasp concepts and explain almost 100 big astronomical ideas. Covering the biographies of key astronomers through the ages such as Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, Hubble, and Hawking, The Astronomy Book details their theories and discoveries in a user-friendly format to make the information accessible and easy to follow.

The history of astronomy by Rooney, Anne.

The Story of Astronomy traces one of humankind’s oldest interests from Neolithic times to NASA. For thousands of years, the stars, planets, Moon and Sun were central to religious and superstitious beliefs. From this starting point scientific study began first for making calendars and predicting astronomical events and later to find non-supernatural explanations for how the universe works. The invention of the telescope around 1600 marked a watershed in the study of the heavens. Since the first recognition that the planets are other worlds, the wonders of space have puzzled and enthralled us. The Story of Astronomy charts our fascination with stars from before Stonehenge to the search for exoplanets and extraterrestrial life. 

Astronomy : a visual guide by Ridpath, Ian

Take a look through the lens and discover the beauty and science of the magnificent world that is our night sky – and beyond. From the 150km- (93 mile-) -wide impact craters on the Moon to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a swirling storm that started in the 1600s, learn all about the history of astronomy. Find out about astronomical phenomena and take a visual tour of the Solar System, complete with stunning photography of the planets. This easy-to-follow book also makes use of clear graphics and annotations to explain the science behind the wonders of the sky.

A definitive month-by-month guide to the night sky, with profiles of all 88 constellations, over 100 star charts, and an almanac of astronomical events over the next decade, will help you to navigate your way around the night sky, and locate stars, galaxies, and other objects.

The handy astronomy answer book by Liu, Charles

From planetary movements and the exploration of our solar system to black holes and dark matter, this comprehensive reference simplifies all aspects of astronomy with an approachable question-and-answer format. With chapters broken into various astronomical studies—including the universe, galaxies, planets, and space exploration—this resource is an ideal companion for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers, answering more than 800 questions, such as Is the universe infinite? What would happen to you if you fell onto a black hole? What are the basic concepts of Einstein’s special theory of relativity? and Who was the first person in space? 

Recentering the universe : the radical theories of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo by Miller, Ron

In the sixth century B.C.E., the Greek philosopher Anaximander theorized that Earth was at the center of the cosmos. That idea became ingrained in scientific thinking and Christian religious beliefs for more than one thousand years. Defiance of church doctrine could mean death, so no one dared dispute this long-accepted idea. No one except a handful of courageous scientists.

In the 1500s and 1600s, men like Nicolaus Copernicus, Johanned Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton began to ask questions. What if Earth actually orbited the sun, instead of the other way around? What if the universe was much bigger than anyone imagined?

These scientists risked their reputations–even their lives–to challenge the very heart of Catholic dogma and scientific tradition. Yet, in less than 200 years, their radical thinking overturned theories that had lasted more than a millennium. Join these bold thinkers on the journey of discovery that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos

Turn left at Orion : hundreds of night sky objects to see in a home telescope– and how to find them by Consolmagno, Guy

A superb guidebook described in Bookwatch as ‘the home astronomer’s bible’, Turn Left at Orion provides all the information beginning amateur astronomers need to observe the Moon, the planets, and a whole host of celestial objects. Large format diagrams show these objects exactly as they appear in a small telescope and for each object, there is information on the current state of our astronomical knowledge. Revised and updated, this new edition contains a chapter with ten new spreads describing spectacular deep sky objects visible from the southern hemisphere, and tips on observing the upcoming transits of Venus. It also discusses Dobsonian telescopes, with hints on using personal computers and the Internet as aids for planning an observing session. Also new to this edition are redrawn Guidepost figures at the beginning of each season chapter that allows readers to visualize a three-dimensional view of the sky’s dome; redesigned seasonal object layouts that provide more space for the naked-eye charts; a new spread on double stars near Bootes has been added to Spring, replacing the Shrinking Double spread; and a unique When and Where to Look table has been added to the last page, among other new features. Unlike many guides to the night sky, this book is specifically written for observers using small telescopes. Clear and easy to use, this fascinating book will appeal to skywatchers of all ages and backgrounds. No previous knowledge of astronomy is needed.

Starfinder : the complete beginner’s guide to the night sky by Stott, Carole.

Starfinder lays out the universe clearly, highlighting the signposts in the sky and explaining the cosmology of the stars. Discover the wonders of the night sky with up-to-date information about the universe, including monthly charts to both the northern and southern hemisphere, and a section on observing the Moon, planets, and other bodies of the solar system.

Facts from space! : from super-secret spacecraft to volcanoes in outer space, extraterrestrial facts to blow your mind! by Regas, Dean

A guided tour through the universe–and beyond! 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

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