Monday, February 6, 2012

Celestial Almanack (TOS Review)

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I love to look at the stars at night, but I really don’t know much about them. I can find the Big Dipper, but that’s about it! Emily is interested in astronomy, but until now, I haven’t had much knowledge to share with her. The Celestial Almanack series, available at Currclick for only $3 an issue, is a month-by-month guide to the skies. I just had the opportunity to try out the February issue:  Celestial Almanack, Vol 2.  This 19 page guide is packed with both information and beautiful drawings. Some of the topics in the February issue include:

  • a study on the history and science of leap year
  • why February only has 28 days 
  • maps of the daytime and nighttime skies during February that illustrate the placement of constellations, planets, and the moon
  • phases of the moon for each day in February
  • how to find both Venus and Jupiter as their paths converge toward the end of the month. Mars and Saturn are also both visible in the February night sky.

Unfortunately, we’ve had a series of rainy and cloudy nights, so we haven’t been able to use the star charts yet. I’m hoping that tonight will be clear so we can go stargazing! The charts are so clear that I think it will be easy to locate many different constellations.

Celestial Almanack is useful for a range of ages. Some of the information, frankly went over my head! It would be very beneficial for a high school student studying astronomy. Some of the information and the star charts, however is very informative and helpful for elementary aged students. The author, Jay Ryan, has a love for astronomy that shows through in this e-book. This guide is no textbook treatment of the subject!

2012 will be a big year for exciting sky events. Here are some that you will learn about in different editions of the Celestial Almanack.

1) the Jupiter-Venus conjunction on March 15 (once every 24 years);
2) the annular solar eclipse on May 20 (once every 18 years); and
3) the transit of Venus on June 5 (last one til 2117!)

To read more reviews of Celestial Almanack, Vol 2, please visit the TOS Crew blog.

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free download of Celestial Almanack for this review. All opinions are my own.

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