Originally from MacBeth's Opinion website.
(Most links are to Amazon...you know the drill. Links are for convenience. Most books are available in the library. Some are available on Kindle! If you buy a book, Amazon gives me a tiny bit of dough towards books for my homeschool--no pressure, ever).
"And behold, the star that they had seen in the East went before them, until it came and stood over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly." (Matthew 2:9)
"At the dead of night, two noble planets, Tarva and Alambil, will pass within one degree of each other. Such a conjunction has not occurred for two hundred years." --Dr. Cornelius in Prince Caspian
"Dear old leopard." --Lucy in Prince Caspian, admiring the Narnian constellations
As a spine: Astronomy: A Self-teaching Guide
365 Starry Nights : An Introduction to Astronomy for Every Night of the Year by Chet Raymo (astronomy lessons night by night) .
For the more advanced astronomy student:
With a good back yard telescope, and not too much effort, this is one fun book: The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide : With Complete Maps, Charts and Tips to Guide You to Enjoying the Most Famous List of Deep-Sky Objects by H. C. Pennington (whew!) The Messier objects (about 100 of them) were catalogued in the 1700's by Charles Messier, a comet hunter who was annoyed by "fuzzy objects" that were not comets in the sky. He catalogued them to get them out of the way! His list includes star clusters and galaxies, all fairly easy to find (even with 1700's technology).
Need information about tonight's sky??
Online, Sky and Telescope magazine is the best source for finding out what planets can be seen from your location and when they rise and set. It also includes meteor showers, comets, etc.
And some good theory books for high school and beyond?
- Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist by Guy Consolmagno This is such a great book! Find out just why the Vatican keeps an astronomer in this Jesuit's biography. Journey with him to Antarctica to hunt for meteorites. Enlightening! Also by Brother Consolmagno: Turn Left at Orion will help the back-yard astronomer find 100 objects in the night sky through the year 2006.
- Seeing in the Dark The truth is out! Most great astronomical discoveries are made by amateur astronomers! Be inspired to join their ranks!Diversions for discussion:
- God and the Astronomers by Robert Jastrow delves into the design of the universe.
- The Sun in the Church : Cathedrals As Solar Observatories by J. L. Heilbron
- Star Names Their Lore and Their Meaning by Richard AllenCheck out NASA's Photo of the Day!