In the winter of 2001, Charles Laird Calia lay down on the lawn in his front yard, looked up at the sky, and rediscovered a childhood passion. Part primer on the science and history of astronomy, part love poem to the night sky, The Stargazing Year is this amateur astronomer's memoir of a year spent gazing upward. In chapters spanning the twelve months of the night sky, the author invites readers to discover the mystery and beauty of stargazing.
Throughout the world, on any given night, thousands of people direct their telescopes to the heavens. Two centuries ago, an amateur observer was largely up against himself and his optics. Now, much of that has changed and, with the affordable equipment available today, amateur astronomers have made inroads in the study of variable stars, novas, and eclipsing binaries that have proven to be immensely valuable to scientists. Calia elegantly weaves the history of amateur astronomy and astronomers with his own personal story of how, one starlit evening when he was in his early forties, the galaxy opened its arms to him again. The Stargazing Year is a paean to the universe and its many mysteries.show more