T. Plotner, The Night Sky Companion, DOI 10. 1007/978-0-387-79509-6_1, 1 Springer ScienceþBusiness Media, LLC 2009 2 TheNightSkyCompanion Welcome,fellowtravelertothestars!Forthenextyearwewilltakeajourneytogetheracrossthenight sky. In these pages you will find lunar features, planets, meteor showers, single and multiple stars, open and globular clusters, as well as distant galaxies. There will be astronomy history to explore, famous astronomers to meet, and science to learn. You’ll find things here for those who enjoy stargazing with just their eyes, binoculars, or even the largest of telescopes! Although these observing tips are designed with all readers in mind, not everyone lives in the same time zone—or the same hemisphere—and certainly no one has clear skies every night. But no matter where you live, or who you are, it is my hope that somewhere here you find something of interest to keep you looking up! LearningtheNightSky If you are new to astronomy, it might seem difficult to learn all those stars. Relax! It’s much easier than you think. Just like moving to a new city, everything will seem unfamiliar at first, but with a little help from some maps, you’ll soon be finding your way around like a pro. Once you become familiar with the constellations and how they appear to move across the night sky, the rest is easy. If you do not have maps of your own, try visiting your local library or one of many online sites thatcangeneratethem. Theygiveobjectpositionsingreatdetail,andmosthaveakeyofGreekletters to help you understand star hop instructions.
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