Book of the Month
November 2017

Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel

Galileo Galilei, the 17th century astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician, was the key figure in the history of observational astronomy. His use of telescopes brought us the phases of Venus, the four brightest moons of Jupiter, Saturn’s rings, and sunspots. Conflict with the Catholic church over his beliefs in Copernican theory resulted in his last years being spent under house arrest. The ongoing clash was described by Galileo in letters to his daughter Virginia, born in 1600 and whom her father placed in a convent. The letters between father and daughter are translated from Italian by Sobel and retell the tumultuous events in Galileo’s life and the love and support from his sequestered daughter.

The Lamplighter Library will not be accessible during the renovation of our usual meeting venue, the star theatre, but in the meantime a selection of books will be available outside the IMAX theatre before and after each meeting!

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
October 2017

Color and Light in Nature
by David Lynch and William Livingston

The apparition depicted in the right image: what is it?

A. Spectre of the Bergschrund
B. Spectre of the Baaken
C. Spectre of the Brocken
D. Spectre of the Berezan
E. Spectre of the Broken

Find the answer in David Lynch’s and William Livingston’s book Color and Light in Nature. The book describes numerous skyward phenomenon of day and night, including weird shadows, rainbows, halos, and spectacles familiar to astronomers, like the aurora and zodiacal light.

The Lamplighter Library will not be accessible during the renovation of our usual meeting venue, the star theatre, but in the meantime a selection of books will be available outside the IMAX theatre before and after each meeting!

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
September 2017

Exploring the Southern Sky
by Svend Laustsen, Claus Madsen, and Richard M. West

From our latitude at 53N we catch a small number of constellations that are in the southern celestial sky. One of the books in our Lamplighter Library, Exploring the Southern Sky: A Pictorial Atlas from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) by Svend Laustsen, Claus Madsen, and Richard M. West, introduces us to the deep sky wonders gracing the austral skies. Published fully 30 years ago, the book is replete with photos taken by ESO’s telescopes at La Silla, a 2400m high mountain in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. Included with the book is a poster, over a metre long, showing a panorama of the entire Milky Way as it appears to a nighttime observer.

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
June 2017

Observing Noctilucent Clouds
by Michael Gadsden and Pekka Parviainen

In 1995, noted noctilucent cloud researcher Michael Gadsden from Scotland and renowned Finnish sky photographer Pekka Parviainen got together and published this informative and easy-to-read guide on how to observe and photograph noctilucent clouds (NLC). The book details how to look for NLC, what details to record, and gives valuable tips on NLC photography. Interestingly, it was not long after 1995 that we had the advent of digital photography, so the instructions are somewhat dated, but the general information is of course still useful. The original bound version of the book contained actual prints by Parviainen carefully placed onto the pages. The quality of the photos is stunning and the pictures evoke the sense of wonder we have the opportunity of experiencing right here in Edmonton every June and July when NLC show up.

The bound version of Observing Noctilucent Clouds is no longer available, but the book can be accessed online. The International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy in 2006 published the web version, and the PDF can be downloaded by going to the IAGA website at http://www.iaga-aiga.org/data/uploads/pdf/guides/onc.pdf.

To see the original book in person, please do show up at the June Astro Café on Thursday, June 22nd at 8:30 p.m. at the Namao Community Hall.  Mike Noble and I will be talking about NLC, and if it’s clear that evening, it will be an opportunity to witness a peak-season NLC display!

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
May 2017

Deep-Sky Observing with Small Telescopes
by David Eicher and the Editors of Deep Sky

May’s Book of the Month, donated by Bruce McCurdy is Deep-Sky Observing with Small Telescopes by David Eicher, with individual chapters by editors of Deep Sky magazine. Though nearly 30 years old, the book is still a great introduction to the delights to be seen through your telescope. The first chapter is an intro to deep-sky observing, but is also a helpful guide to the various types of telescopes. Subsequent chapters highlight double and variable stars, open and globular clusters, planetary nebulae, bright and dark nebulae, and galaxies. There are numerous sketches that give a great idea of what the more prominent objects look like through a telescope. Comprehensive tables list multitudes of each type of object. Overall, this is a handy read that will aid beginning observers organize their observing sessions!

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
April 2017

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space and Space Exploration
Edited by Giles Sparrow, Judith John, and Chris McNab

This month’s featured book, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space and Space Exploration, is donated by Robin Campbell.  Editors Giles Sparrow, Judith John, and Chris McNab in 2014 put together a comprehensive volume describing each of the planets of the solar system, most aspects of the rest of our galaxy beyond, other galaxies, and in the final section, the history of space flight and exploration and an overview of both Russian and western delivery systems. Curiously, a couple of pages are devoted to man’s first space walk, which was by Alexei Leonov on the Voskhod 2 flight in March 1965, but there is scant mention of NASA’s first space walk, that by Ed White aboard Gemini 4 less than three months later. An inset on the Tunguska meteorite explosion of 1908 is titled simply as “Siberian Strike” with an intriguing photograph supposedly showing a 300kg meteorite. Hmm, were there otherwise only tiny spherules found in the fall zone? At over 500 pages with plenty of illustrations, the book is impressive. There’s even a list of all the various animals that have escaped Earth’s gravity well. The book will be added to the Lamplighter Library this month, the library being just off the main entrance to the star theatre.

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
March 2017

Annals of the Deep Sky Vol. 4 by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb

We now have available the latest volume of the Annals of the Deep Sky series by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb. Volume 4 courses its way through the “C” constellations, highlighting Canis Minor, Capricornus, Carina, and Cassiopeia. There is an extended section describing the massive luminous blue variable star Eta Carinae, which erupted in the year 1842 and briefly became the second brightest star in the entire sky. The book also delves in detail into the surrounding Eta Carinae nebula, the largest known star-forming region in the Milky Way. For Cassiopeia there is an interesting section about the supernova in 1572 and a brief biography about its discoverer, Tycho Brahe.

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian

Book of the Month
February 2017

3-D Star Maps by Richard Monkhouse and John Cox

When one gazes at the celestial vault in all its splendour, perhaps it is not readily apparent that the panoply of stars represents a significant range of stellar distances. A faint 5th magnitude star could be only tens of light years away; a blazing 1st magnitude star may be hundreds of light years distant. An effective way of comparing the distances of stars and deep sky objects is by using 3-D diagrams, which is just what Richard Monkhouse and John Cox accomplished in their book 3-D Star Maps. The book presents pairs of annotated maps with corresponding 3-D maps of every part of the sky. Put on the included 3-D glasses and gasp as your favourite constellations become contorted versions of their familiar two-dimensional selves. The book starts off with in-depth explanations of star colours, how distances are measured, and the various deep sky objects, which are also featured on dedicated 3-D maps.

Check out this book and hundreds of other books, at The Lamplighter Memorial Library, just off the entrance to the star theater.

Mark Zalcik
Librarian