One of the oldest sciences known to man, Astronomy is absolutely fascinating. Looking up at the night sky to see the twinkle of a star in the distance can evoke the need to learn more. What is it that we can see with our naked eye? What can we see if we had the equipment and what equipment do we need? What else is out there? This of course in turn can lead to questions about the profession of stargazing itself. What is in deep space? Are there other dimensions? Is there life on other distant planets? Is the truth out there? Okay ignore the last one, I put that in for the X Files fans. All of these questions and more are looked at in the fabulous book by Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE -The Knowledge, Stargazing.
Maggie starts off by taking a look at the history of stargazing, or Archaeoastronomy. Strolling through time as far back as the 4th century BC when some of the earliest records were made by the Chinese. Everything is simple to read and enjoyable, not overloaded with overly complicated terms and jargon.
The rest of the book is divided into chapters that look at how to get started in astronomy and explaining the mechanics of our universe. The most valuable content is the advice about what to expect depending on the type of astronomy you are working with – the naked eye, binoculars and choosing your first telescope.
There is a fantastic chapter that explores what you need to do should you wish to get set up for Astrophotography. It would be amazing to capture images of distant planets and stars, exploring and recording your finds.
Maggie’s Top Tips – Keep an eye out through the book for Maggie’s tips with regard to what exciting objects there are to see in the night sky and how to find the perfect spot for stargazing!
All in all The Knowledge. Stargazing is a fantastic book that will have you feeling confident about your choices in perusing your astronomy hobby. Easy to read, it is not filled with pointless jargon, but rather tells the reader what they need to know and in the simplest way. The perfect book for anyone who has an interest in the night sky and seeing just what is out there.