Review: National Geographic’s Stargazer’s Atlas

About the book, Stargazer’s Atlas National Geographic Stargazer's Atlas

• Publisher: National Geographic (October 25, 2022)
• Hardcover: 432 pages

Richly illustrated with luminous photographs and informative maps and graphics, this expansive book is the perfect guide for everyone discovering the wonders of the night sky, from those just learning the constellations to dedicated telescope observers.

Combining science, exploration, and storytelling, National Geographic Stargazer’s Atlas invites readers to roam the night sky for constellations, planets and moons, eclipses, comets and meteor showers, auroras, and deep-sky treasures including nebulae and galaxies—many visible to the naked eye and all with binoculars or a backyard telescope.

Beginning with basic space science and including a complete set of night sky maps for all four seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, this fascinating book guides the reader toward the most rewarding observations. A unique chapter on astrotourism highlights ancient observatories, dark-sky preserves, and other global destinations for the sky-seeking traveler; a final chapter details current and future space missions and what they might discover.

Richly illustrated with awe-inspiring imagery—including photos from space missions and telescopes, science-based artists’ interpretations, and explanatory graphics—the book also contains 170 maps and charts of planets, moons, and constellations, from Earth’s moon to moons of Saturn. Practical advice throughout helps readers see what they have been reading about, building key observational skills such as “star hopping” from easy-to-find stars to fainter deep-sky objects and focusing on “deep sky treasures:” areas rich in observable phenomena.

Approachable and authoritative, gorgeous and fascinating, National Geographic Stargazer’s Atlas will intrigue all who love to gaze up in wonder at the night sky—and find themselves wanting to know more.

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My Thoughts MissMeliss

As with all National Geographic books, this coffee table-sized tome is a work of art, with gorgeous photographs and artist’s renderings. This book also includes one of my favorite features from the magazine: maps. In this case, they are maps of the night sky for each hemisphere in each season, so it’s really easy to go outside and compare your own starry night to the information provided.

The information in this book is well organized, and has tidbits of data that lead down wonderful rabbit holes of exploration. The astrotourism section was one of my favorites, but as a new telescope owner, I really loved being told where to go and how to point my device for the best results.

A young friend of mine leads star parties at his university, and I feel like this is a book he’d love to have in his personal library, but it’s by no means only for academics. Rather, it’s an easily accessible guide to the night sky, that presents science fact but leaves from for pure, unadulterated wonder. However, it should be noted that it’s sheer size makes it impractical as a field guide.

Goes well with: a clear night, an elevated location, and hard cider to toast with.


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