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The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla selects Sky to Space as one of her recommended space books for kids of all ages, 2017. Click here for the list!
Hear Steve in conversation with space journalist Rod Pyle on his podcast "Cool Space News" from KFI, Los Angeles. Click to listen!
Thinking about self-publishing, especially with a lot of artwork in your book? I made four short YouTube videos on how I put this one together. Watch part 1 here.
Sky to Space: Astronomy Beyond the Basics with Comparisons, Ratios and
...gets you started as a space explorer. This book shows you how to follow the clockwork motions of Earth’s sky, then how to predict what you would see from our moon, other planets and moons in our solar system and other solar systems.
You’ll get scientifically accurate results using pencil, paper and easier-than you-think math. An extensive chapter on eclipses explains the movements of the moon and its shadow and shows you how to predict eclipses using the Saros cycle. Additional moon chapters include “Giant Moon,” “Red Moon” and “Why Does the Moon Seem to Follow Your Car?”
This book contains many project ideas. With a pencil, a ruler, and two coins, accurately draw the phase (crescent, quarter, or gibbous) of any moon or planet as seen from anywhere in a solar system. Figure out how far you must fly from Earth for our home planet to appear as a point of light. Use real data to predict how big one of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets would appear in the sky of one of its neighbors.
Science students looking for project topics, homeschool and unschool families, amateur astronomers and model rocket flyers, lifelong learners and space cadets of all ages will find exciting new ideas in this book.
Sky to Space has over 100 pages of intriguing information and project ideas, plus two handy pages of frequently-needed data on sizes and orbits of planets and moons in our solar system.
Table of Contents
Solar Eclipses of the Near Future
CHAPTER 1: COMPARING
How to Compare
How to Compare Size and Distance
The Astronomical Unit or AU
How Far Can I Trust My Calculator?
CHAPTER 2: SEEING
How Do We See Things?
A “Ray” of Light
How Large Do Objects Appear?
Our Friend, the Skinny Triangle
Three Ways of Dividing a Circle
Sun and Moon in Space and in Our Sky
A Moon and the Sun from Jupiter
Exploring Space with Skinny Triangles
Which Facts Are Correct?
CHAPTER 3: PROPORTIONS
An Incredibly Powerful Way of Figuring Things Out
Watching the Moon and Sun as Earth Rotates
Watch the Moon Revolve Around the Earth
Watch Other Worlds Rotate
CHAPTER 4: AN ARTIST WHO TOOK US INTO SPACE
CHAPTER 5: OUR MOON
Half Moon and All That
Your Master Diagram of the Moon’s Phases
The Moon’s Phases as We See Them
Dark Sides, Shadows and Silhouettes
How to Draw Phases of the Moon
CHAPTER 6: MOON FAQ
Baffling Moonrise Photos
When Light Does Not Go in Straight Lines
Why Does the Moon Seem to Follow Your Car?
CHAPTER 7: AT HOME IN THE SKY
Frames of Reference
The Celestial Sphere
The Sun on the Celestial Sphere
What Did We Just Do?
Locating Things in the Sky
Sunset and Sunrise
Changing Directions of Sunset
CHAPTER 8: MOON AND MONTH
The Full Moon
Other Phases of the Moon
How the Moon Moves in Space
Two Kinds of Month
The First Thing About Lunar Geography
The Far Side
CHAPTER 9: ECLIPSES
Eclipses: What You See
Eclipses: Two Kinds
Umbra, Penumbra, Total, Partial
What Is Dangerous About Viewing a Solar Eclipse?
How to Predict Eclipses
The Moon’s True Path
Why Not An Eclipse Every Month?
The Moon’s Orbit: Extra Features
Why the Saros Cycle Works
Saros Series, or Families of Eclipses
How “Pointy” Is the Moon’s Shadow?
How Long Does It Take for the Moon’s Shadow to Cross the Earth?
How Fast Does the Shadow Sweep Over Earth’s Surface?
The Curving Path of Totality
How Long Can an Eclipse Take?
Projecting the Sun
CHAPTER 10: BEYOND
At What Distance Does Earth Appear as a Point of Light?
The Kepler-36 Exoplanet System
What Would We See from Proxima Centauri b?
Moon Phases with More than One Sun
Projects: The TRAPPIST-1 System
RULES OF THUMB AND DATA TABLES
Rules of Thumb
Useful Information and Data Tables