The Stargazing Year by Charles Laird Calia
A Backyard Astronomer's Journey Through the Seasons of the Night Sky

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In the winter of 2001, Charles Laird Calia lay down on the lawn in his front yard, looked up at the sky, and rediscovered a childhood passion. Part primer on the science and history of astronomy, part love poem to the night sky, The Stargazing Year is this amateur astronomer's memoir of a year spent gazing upward. In chapters spanning the twelve months of the night sky, the author invites readers to discover the mystery and beauty of stargazing.

Throughout the world, on any given night, thousands of people direct their telescopes to the heavens. Two centuries ago, an amateur observer was largely up against himself and his optics. Now, much of that has changed and, with the affordable equipment available today, amateur astronomers have made inroads in the study of variable stars, novas, and eclipsing binaries that have proven to be immensely valuable to scientists. Calia elegantly weaves the history of amateur astronomy and astronomers with his own personal story of how, one starlit evening when he was in his early forties, the galaxy opened its arms to him again. The Stargazing Year is a paean to the universe and its many mysteries.

About Charles Laird Calia

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Charles Laird Calia is the author of the novel The Unspeakable. A frequent contributor to Sky & Telescope magazine, he is a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers, and the British Astronomical Association.
Published April 20, 2006 by Tarcher. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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His excitement for the subject is contagious, and his humor in describing the mysteries of space is ebullient: the mighty constellation Ursa Major is “also a mother” because of little Ursa Minor tagging alongside, while the galaxies M81 and M82 are like Felix Unger and Oscar Madison of The Odd Co...

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For anyone who spent their childhood enraptured by the heavens, only to have that rapture interrupted by a career, family and social expectations, Calia's book provides new hope that their childhood joy can be rediscovered.

May 02 2005 | Read Full Review of The Stargazing Year: A Backya...

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