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

Book of the Month
January 2017

Full Moon by Michael Light

The book Full Moon was first published in 1999 and is a selection of beautiful and compelling photographs taken from the Apollo Moon missions.  In total there were some 32 000 pictures.  Of these, NASA released 900 master negatives and Hasselblad 70mm transparencies, and from these author Michael Light composed his book.  Many aspects of the missions are revealed in the photos, but perhaps the most stunning are the sharp landscape shots from the surface of the Moon, including five gatefold panoramas.  Some of the photos are black-and-white, and many are mostly black-and-white until you note a splash of colour provided by a piece of hardware or an astronaut’s spacesuit.  A separate section of the book divulges comprehensive facts on all the Gemini and Apollo missions.

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
December 2016

Annals of the Deep Sky Vol. 3 by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb

201612-annals_ds_vol3We are pleased to report that the newest volume of the Annals of the Deep Sky series by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb has arrived! Volume 3 covers the constellations Camelopardalis, Cancer, Canes Venatici, and Canis Major. For each constellation, the history is explained (example: the illustration of Canis Major shown here), as well as the brightest stars, variable stars, and especially the deep sky objects contained in the constellation. There is a nice passage describing Kemble’s Cascade, a curious grouping of stars pointed out by Lucian Kemble, the amateur astronomer whose nickname is the inspiration for the name of our library, the Lamplighter Library.

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
November 2016

Night Sky Atlas by Robin Scagell

201611-nightskyatlasThis book was donated by Ala Borowska as a door prize to this year’s Northern Prairie Star Party and it will now take its place in our library!  Written for kids Grade 5 and up, this spiral-bound book is an introduction to astronomy and skygazing. An interesting feature are pictures of prominent constellations, each with a transparent overlay showing the outlines of the constellation as well as a drawing of, for example, the bear in Ursa Major. The book is laid out month by month showing the part of the sky best observed each month in both the northern and southern hemisphere. There are numerous sidebars with information on such things as biographies of famous astronomers. The included CD-ROM is an atlas that explains how to see and read the night sky.

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 2016

cosmic-companyCosmic Company: The Search for Life in the Universe
by Seth Shostak and Alex Barnett

In the book Cosmic Company: The Search for Life in the Universe, Seth Shostak and Alex Barnett delve into the possibilities of life elsewhere in our cosmic neighborhood. Topics include: what types of planets that could be habitable, what aliens may look like, and how we may get in touch with distant worlds. This easy-to-read book, by two experienced writers of popular astronomy, is suitable for anyone who ever wondered whether there’s anybody out there.

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 2016

library_levy_observing_variable_starsObserving Variable Stars
by David Levy

Looking for a fun astronomical activity that needs only binoculars or even the naked eye?  How about observing variable stars? These intriguing stars change in brightness over a period of time, some predictably, others very unpredictably; some, over a period of a few days, others, hundreds of days; some remaining easily visible in binoculars, others plunging to cavernous levels of faintness.  In his book Observing Variable Stars: A Guide for the Beginner, David Levy, the keynote speaker at this month’s Northern Prairie Star Party, describes the various kinds of variable stars and how to measure their brightness.  The last section of the book is a handy guide, constellation by constellation, describing selected variable stars that can be seen during each of the four seasons. The author explains, “Quite aside from being objects of interest, the cyclic patterns are fun to watch. We observe variables for science, but also for sport. After a night of variable star observing we feel good…we have looked at the sky, and taken its pulse”.

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

Mark Zalcik
Librarian