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An extensive astronomy reference, beautifully illustrated and expertly written.
The Firefly Encyclopedia of Astronomy is organized A-Z with concise details on each topic. The pages are profusely illustrated with vivid computer graphics, photography and archival images. Included are accessible contributions by 650 world-leading astronomers covering:
- History from the Big Bang to present
- Famous astronomer bios
- Key space missions since the launch of Sputnik
- The work of observatories worldwide.
Backyard stargazing is a lot more fun when you understand what you're looking at. The Orion Nebula is pretty in any telescope, but the view is all the more inspiring when you know that the light you're seeing left the nebula as the Roman Empire fell and that new stars are continually forming from the glowing gas.
It's appropriate that professionals and amateurs should come together to produce such a work, because at the dawn of the twenty-first century the line between the two communities is becoming blurred. Technology is putting state-of-the-art capabilities into the hands of backyard observers, many of whom are now collaborating with professionals to study phenomena as diverse as Martian dust storms and bursts of energetic radiation from distant galaxies.
Wherever your astronomical interests take you, this encyclopedia will be a welcome and valuable companion.
Editor-in-Chief of Sky and Telescope magazine