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Astronomical Calendar 2009
Astronomical Calendar 2009

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Product Code: AC09

The Astronomical Calendar has been published continuously since 1974, and is now used by about thousands of amateurs, telescope-owners, clubs, teachers, planetariums, libraries, and just people that enjoy the sky in over 100 countries. An introduction explains how to use the various components of the book and, if you are a beginner, what to select at first (since there are so many levels of information). For each month there is a large map of the evening sky; facing it, a diary of 40 or so events, many with paragraph-long descriptions. Other features on the monthly pages are diagrams of where the planets are in their orbits, "Constellation Clues," "Telescopic Tour" (coordinates of selected objects findable in the month), "Observer's Highlights," and sketches of the most striking sky scenes.

Supplementary sections include Highlights of the Year, The Sun, The Moon, Special Moons, Young Moon and Old Moon, Eclipses, Occultations, Conjunctions, each of the planets, Meteors, Asteroids, Comets, Spaceflight, Deep-Sky Profiles, Light Pollution, Glossary, Magnitude and Elongation, Rising and Setting, Quick Reference, and a colored centerfold all-sky map. Some features are contributed by experts Fred Schaaf, Clifford Cunningham, Alastair McBeath, Alan Hale, Joe Rao, and Richard Nugent.

2009 is a special year in several ways. It has been declared (by the United Nations) International Year of Astronomy, because in 1609 the newly invented telescope was first turned on the sky, leading to a rush of discoveries that revolutionized mankind's idea of the cosmos and began the modern age of astronomy. Greatest of the celestial events of 2009 is the longest total eclipse of the Sun in the 21st century.

There are many other unusual ones, such as Saturn's rings edge-on, the closest approach to Earth of Ceres (the first asteroid) between 1857 and 4164, a rare "Jupiter Without Satellites" occasion, a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune, a chance to see Venus on the same day both left and right of the Sun.

The cover painting for 2009 is of Galileo and his telescope in 1609. The cover picture story is more than twice as long as usual, describing the events of those heady and dangerous times.

11 x 15 in., 84 pages, color painting on cover, many illustrations.
ISBN 978-0-934546-54-6.

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