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    Review ------ The perfect introduction to astronomy and stargazing. It has been the top-selling stargazing guide for over 20 years... With information that even the most experienced stargazers will find comes in handy. ( 2018-12-04) Renowned author and astronomer Terence Dickinson took Grade 5 and 6 students from the [North Bay] area through the universe to make snowballs from water and ice particles that make up Saturn's rings, and visit the red liquid methane lakes of its moon, Titan.... "I'm hoping that they'll walk away with excitement about the universe," he said." It's a subject that young people are not discarding. They're living with it. They're interested in it. And they know a lot." (Maria Calabrese The North Bay Nugget 2008-09-11) [Review-of-previous-edition:] [Nightwatch was] a clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing that also managed to convey the excitement of astronomy. This fantastically revised edition continues that tradition, but now includes sky maps for observers in the southern hemisphere and a guide to celestial phenomena up to 2018. The best introduction around. (Ivan Semeniuk New Scientist 2007-01-20) Aspiring stargazers will find everything that they need to unlock the secrets of the night sky in this newly updated edition. Public and school libraries will certainly want to update their collections with this book. (Amy Luedtke VOYA) A "must" for any night-time observer. (Diane C. Donovan The Midwest Book Review 2007-03-01) A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist. (Mike Lynch St Paul Pioneer Press 2006-12-17) General interest introduction to astronomy now in its fourth edition... bends the mind with information. (Barbara Julian Victoria Times-Colonist 2007-01-14) This is probably the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. (Drew Monkman The Examiner (Peterborough) 2007-12-11) New, better-quality photos; amped-up sections on astrophotography and using amateur telescopic equipment; and a new chapter on the skies visible from the Southern hemisphere. (Lynn Andriani 2006-09-05) This fourth edition of the essential guide for amateur stargazers is newly updated, lavishly illustrated...and packed with facts...and a cosmic closet-full of other astronomical delights. For anyone who ever looked up and wondered what's out there, Nightwatch puts the heavens at your fingertips. (Neil Pond American Profile 2006-11-26) Read more ( javascript:void(0) ) About the Author ---------------- Terence Dickinson is the best-selling author of 14 other astronomy books, including The Backyard Astronomer's Guide and Hubble's Universe. He has received many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Science Book of the Year Award. Read more ( javascript:void(0) ) Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. -------------------------------------------------------- Preface ------- In the decades since the first edition of NightWatch appeared in 1983, more than a half a million copies have found their way into the hands of astronomy enthusiasts. For me, the most gratifying aspect of this successful publishing story is the feed-back I've received from so many backyard astronomers who say that the book was their primary guide during the crucial initial stages of their celestial explorations. As in the previous revised editions, the overriding goal in this new expanded version has been to provide a complete first book of amateur astronomy. I wanted to retain the features that readers say they like, so I have not tampered with the basic structure and presentation. But extensive fine-tuning and up-dating have touched many pages. The most visible of the changes is the addition of a new chapter on the southern-hemisphere skies with a new set of charts styled after the northern-hemisphere ones in Chapter 4. This addition to the book is the direct result of requests from readers of previous editions. As always with revised editions of my books, I have replaced many photos with either more relevant or simply superior images. Other changes include a major rewrite of the section describing astrophotography, because of the digital-imaging revolution, and a thorough update of amateur-telescope equipment and accessories to reflect many new goodies that have become available since the previous edition in 1998. Where necessary, lists and tables are updated throughout. As before, prices throughout the book are in U.S. dollars. Although more people are now dabbling in recreational astronomy and the range and quality of equipment to pursue the hobby have never been better, a persistent foe of amateur astronomers is light pollution -- the glare spilled from street lamps, outdoor-sign illumination, parking-lot lights, building security lights and outdoor fixtures around private residences and public buildings. Any one of these sources can ruin your backyard view of the night sky. Even if your observing site is protected from direct interference, outdoor lighting in general produces giant glowing domes over our cities and towns that have beaten back the stars. Because the glow is visibly growing every year, those who seek the natural beauty of a dark night sky must flee ever farther into the country. For many aficionados, an evening of stargazing has become an expedition. But all is not gloom and doom. The dark cloud cast by light pollution has turned out to have an intriguing silver lining. Far from diminishing interest in astronomy, urban sky glow seems to have fueled it. When our grandparents were young, a view of the night sky strewn with stars and wrapped in the silky ribbon of the Milky Way could be seen from the front porch. Today, for most people, it is a relatively rare and exotic sight, something to be talked about and cherished as a memory. Many family vacations now include plans for dark-site star-gazing. Each year, thousands of astronomy enthusiasts gather at conventions and summer "star parties" far from city lights to share their interest. In previous editions of NightWatch, I predicted that as urban glow inexorably marches deeper into the countryside, the 21st century will see the emergence of dark-skypreserves -- areas intentionally set aside in state, provincial and national parks where there are no obtrusive lights and never will be. Well, it's already happening. At least half a dozen of these shrines to the glory of the starry night have been established (see "Astronomy Conventions and Star Parties" in Chapter 13), and many more will surely follow in the decades ahead. Terence Dickinson Yarker, Ontario May 2006 Read more ( javascript:void(0) )