Archive for January 1995

H. A. Rey’s book, “The Stars: A New Way To See Them.”

January 2, 1995

An excellent book for beginners. You can learn a little or a lot, depending on your preference. This book has been around for a while–Albert Einstein liked it, and wrote a cover blurb.

Starting in the 90s, I finally began studying the night sky in earnest, wishing to learn all the constellations I could see from New Hampshire, USA. I bought an excellent beginner’s book, H. A. Rey’s, The Stars: A New Way To See Them. Highly recommended–not only does it go through the sky in an easy-to-follow manner, but it also explains a fair amount of the underlying celestial mechanics in an easily understood, visual style. From there, I started learning the sky the way I’d always hoped to.

Starry Night planetarium software.

January 1, 1995

Starry Night software From version 1.x through the current version 4.5x, this has been a fun way to explore the sky. I first downloaded Starry Night 1.x as shareware sometime in the mid-nineties. It was surprisingly fast on what is now a pokey 300 MHz G3 Mac. Since then it has gotten better, faster, and offered more and more features. As of 2004, Starry Night Pro version 4.52 is my current workhorse, and I use it frequently. I especially like how it automatically updates comet, asteroid and satellite information, since I often use SNP outdoors to help me find these items. It’s fun to be outside, notice a satellite flying by, then using SNP to find out what it was. Or using it to spot the Hubble Space Telescope or the International Space Station as they fly overhead.