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Dark Skies is a fascinating book. Like really. Eve though I received an ARC copy so all the pictures are in black and not colour, I felt so inspired. I want to go visit some of these places and see the skies they portray. Valerie Stimac has put together a wonderful guide to AstroTourism.
What I am Reviewing
Space, AstroTourism, travel guide, exploration,
Witnessing the sweep of the Milky Way, the remains of comets burning up in our atmosphere, or the shimmering aurora, we better understand the universe and our place in it. Lonely Planet’s Dark Skies, the first world’s guide to astrotourism, can help you experience all of this and more first-hand.
Meticulously researched by dark sky expert Valerie Stimac, this comprehensive companion includes guides to 35 dark-sky sites and national parks, whereto see the aurora, the next decade of total solar eclipses and how to view rocket launches, plus the lowdown on commercial space flight, observatories and meteor showers.
The Details of Dark Skies
Dark Skies is divided into sections to help you plan your dark sky tour:
- Stargazing focuses on the basics of appreciating the dark sky, with an overview on how to stargaze and what types of objects to look for, as well as tips for the urban stargazer.
- Dark Places is devoted to 35 of the best places around the globe for stargazing and experiencing the night sky, including sites designated by the Dark Sky Association.
- Astronomy in Action features some of the world’s top research facilities and observatories,where you can get a closer look at space science.
- Meteor Showers has everything you need to know aboutthe most consistent and impressive meteor showers that happen annually.
- Aurora is divided into two parts, one focusing on the aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere and the other on the aurora australis in the southern hemisphere.
- Eclipses follows the schedule of total solar eclipses over the next decade. If you’ve never experienced totality, here is your definitive guide to planning your trip.
- Launches helps you experience a different side of astrotourism: rocket launches and the countries that allow you to travel to see them.
- Space Tourism discusses the future of humans in space – including you! The major players in the evolving space tourism market are detailed, plus the world’s most common destinations and experiences.
Not only are we invited into several different aspects of astrotourism, but we an education is received into all things astrotouristy. 🙂 I know, it’s not a word, but seriously this is a tantalizing book. Don’t you think it would be cool to see a meteor shower? How about visiting the McDonald Observatory? Or what about going out to the Chilean Desert?
Parks from all around the world where sky phenomena can be observed. Parks like Mt Bromo in Indonesia where an active volcano creates spectacular sky displays, whose mountain top provides opportunity to see The Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy and more.
Learn all the great countries to visit like Sweden, Russia, Norway and more. What time of the year is best for viewing the night skies. Just a well-rounded, highly informative book that has turned my attention to the night skies. Now…. give me a quiet night with no clouds and let me gaze above.
I imagine the the final copy will be filled with colour, and if so, that you will be all the more inspired to gaze up into a clear night sky. Once you have your fill of where you are, that you will then want to travel and see even more wondrous sites. Wouldn’t it be neat to see The Milky Way in person? Can you imagine seeing the Auroras? The whole world is waiting for you.
This book would be an excellent addition to any study of the stars, or as part of an astronomy unit. It could be used to plot out a trip around the world as an astrotourist, or give some grounding into the observatories from around the world. Therefore my conclusion that Dark Skies is a great book. Go out and borrow a copy, or buy your own. You won’t regret it.