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Patterns in the Sky: An Introduction to Stargazing (Night Sky Astronomy for Everybody) Paperback – September 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1931559393 ISBN-10: 1931559392

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Product Details

  • Series: Night Sky Astronomy for Everybody (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Sky Publishing (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931559392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931559393
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I can recommend using this site!
Craig Dokken
It's just a great little book, and an excellent choice for any teenager or adult wanting to learn their constellations and get started in astronomy.
M. Marshall
The book is organized by seasons with the best objects visible showcased.
John C. Fox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John C. Fox on February 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Patterns in the Sky by Ken Hewitt-White

Sky Publishing, 2006, soft cover, 6" x 9", 98 pages

I've been having fun with astronomy for the past 17 years and still consider myself a novice. That is why I get excited about new books written for the astronomy-challenged person that I am. Patterns in the Sky by Ken Hewitt-White

Is just such a book. It is one of the first in the series of books by NightSky written especially for the readers of that excellent magazine. The book is targeted for the beginner and intermediate level student.

The introduction gives the reader a concise overview of basic astronomy with terms to be found in the text and colorful illustrations to make it easy to understand. It contains a list of constellations and stars you will be viewing throughout the year and two fold-out star charts covering all four seasons.

The book is organized by seasons with the best objects visible showcased.

Each season chapter contains interesting astro facts, mythology, charts, photos and diagrams to help the student find those objects in the sky. The book concludes with a helpful glossary and resource information.

You don't need a large telescope or huge binoculars or vast knowledge of the sky to use this book to find these celestial wonders. This is entry level astronomy directed to the masses that can be a stepping stone to a greater understanding of the stars.

Jack Fox, Richmond Astronomical Society
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles A Jennings, MC, LPC on September 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been nearly 40 years since I dabbled in astronomy, and 50 since I was a boy scout. Back then, astronomy seemed to be more popular which made it easier to look skyward and identify major star constelations. Now, in my 60's, and thanks to a pair of Canon 12x36 IS binoculars, my wife and I are becoming re-introduced to the hobby/science. I still have my old books, but acutally felt a bit intimidated by them as I dusted them off. I wanted something simpler, something that a beginner might grab to refresh my faded memory. This book did quite well at that. Because star gazing is not completely new to me, I might not be able to fully put myself in the shoes of a beginner, but I will try.

The book is definately not intimidating, neither is it comprehensive. It takes you out to your backyard and helps you make sense of what you can easily see without optics, understand why things move the way they do. It helps you position yourself in our immensely large universe and, with a little effort on your part, imagine how things would look from space, or even another hemishpere on earth.

Divided into four main parts, based on the seasons of the year, it provides a decent star chart for each season, and short stories that have attached themselves to some constelations and prominent stars. I found the stories helpful in locating and remembering their subjects. I was pleased that the book does not talk down to the reader, as though a child, nor like a stuffy professor who wants to show you how smart he is.

I doubt that I could give 5 stars for any introductory astronomy book because it must necessarily be short enough to invite reading, but that means it cannot answer all the questions that will arise as one becomes involved in star gazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Marshall on January 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a park ranger, I give star talks to the general public. On my handout, I recommend 3 books for those interested in learning the night sky: this one ("Patterns in the Sky"), "The Stars" by H. A. Rey, and Terence Dickinson's "Nightwatch." This one is a bit dryer than H.A. Rey, but I think this book (and anything by Sky and Telescope) draws the constellations in the best possible way, so they really look like what they're supposed to look like, but without too much of a stretch. (They were clearly influenced by H.A. Rey, but for constellations like Taurus and Ursa Major their version is much easier to see in the sky.) "Nightwatch" is wonderful for its tour of the universe, and discussion of topics such as the use of binoculars and what telescope to buy, but the constellation drawings in "Nightwatch" tend to be pretty abstract.

Besides the great charts (one per season) this book also covers highlights of each constellation, including a bit of mythology, brightest stars, and objects of interest for binoculars or a small telescope. It's just a great little book, and an excellent choice for any teenager or adult wanting to learn their constellations and get started in astronomy.

If you'd rather save your money for now, the same star charts (but in black on white rather than a dark-adapted-eyes-friendly dark background) are available for free on the Sky and Telescope web site; search for "Getting Started in Astronomy" and select northern or southern hemisphere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this book while I was helping my daughter work on her sky searcher badge for girl scouts. Great book for a beginner. My daughter read it cover to cover.
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