Yearbook of Astronomy 2021
By Brian Jones
I received a free copy of Yearbook of Astronomy 2021 from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Maintaining its appealing style and presentation, the Yearbook of Astronomy 2021 contains comprehensive jargon-free monthly sky notes and an authoritative set of sky charts to enable backyard astronomers and sky gazers everywhere to plan their viewing of the year’s eclipses, comets, meteor showers, and minor planets as well as detailing the phases of the moon and visibility and locations of the planets throughout the year. To supplement all this is a variety of entertaining and informative articles, a feature for which the Yearbook of Astronomy is known. In the 2021 edition the reader is presented with articles covering a wide range of topics including Male Family Mentors for Women in Astronomy, Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Her Work, Solar Observing, Obsolete Constellations, Lunar Volcanism, Pages From the Past: Collecting Vintage Astronomy Books, Māori Astronomy in Aotearoa-New Zealand and others.
In addition to the above is the first in a series of articles entitled “Mission to Mars: Countdown to Building a Brave New World” scheduled to appear in the Yearbook of Astronomy throughout the 2020s. These articles will keep the reader fully up to date with the ongoing investigations, research and preparations that are already underway, as well as those in the planning phase, all of which are geared towards sending a manned mission to Mars at or around the end of the decade. We are at the start of what promises to be an exciting journey.
The Yearbook of Astronomy made its first appearance way back in 1962, shortly after the dawning of the Space Age. Now well into its sixth decade of production, the Yearbook is rapidly heading for its Diamond Jubilee edition in 2022. It continues to be essential reading for anyone lured and fascinated by the magic of astronomy and who has a desire to extend their knowledge of the Universe and the wonders it hosts. The Yearbook of Astronomy is indeed an inspiration to amateur and professional astronomers alike, and warrants a place on the bookshelves of all stargazers and watchers of the Universe.
Summary from Goodreads.
I love space. For as long as I remember I have always looked towards the stars with awe and been mesmerised by it. The older I have gotten, the more intrigued I have become by it. I very clearly remember my first time seeing a star cluster through my brothers telescope. I honestly do not think that I will ever forget how I felt looking through that eyepiece to a distance part of our galaxy and being speechless.
For me, the Yearbook of Astronomy fits in perfectly with how I look towards space. I like to know when certain events are going to take place (and try and plan my days / nights around these) so knowing a year in advance of when everything is going to occur is a huge bonus for me.
From my perspective, the Yearbook of Astronomy 2021 is split into 2 seperate aspects. The first everyone will find something useful in. Included are the position of the stars throughout the year in both hemispheres, when meteor showers are at their the peak, as well as the best times of the years to view planets. This section is extremely well laid out, with a very logical sequence as to how it is put together.
The second portion of the Yearbook of Astronomy 2021 is aimed towards the astronomy scholar. A multitude of articles are included from many people about many different aspects of astronomy. From Māori Astronomy in Aotearoa-New Zealand to Solar Observing, a plethora of articles are included. I, unfortunately, found these to be very wordy and overall unnecessary to what I required from the Yearbook of Astronomy 2021.
While more aimed towards the avid stargazer, everyone who looks towards the stars will find one thing of use in this yearbook.
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