101 Objects to See in the Night Sky
101 Objects to See in the Night Sky
101 Objects to See in the Night Sky 101 Objects to See in the Night Sky 101 Objects to See in the Night Sky

* Book Type:

Not Available Online
Publisher: Firefly Books

Author Statement: by Robin Scagell
Audience: Trade
Specs: 300 full color photographs and illustrations, diagrams and star maps, glossary, index
Pages: 224
Trim Size: 5 13/16" X 8 1/4" X 1/2"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20141023
Copyright Year: 2014
Price: Select Below


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101 Objects to See in the Night Sky

The perfect starter astronomy guide to night viewing.

101 Objects to See in the Night Sky is a fun and practical guide to identifying and observing 101 of the most fascinating and exciting sights in the northern night sky. Designed for newcomers to astronomy, the book explains what can be seen using the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

In the book, professional astronomer Robin Scagell shows the novice astronomer where to look in the sky to see a particular object, or group of objects or sights. They may be a planet, its rings or satellites, a series of lunar craters, a constellation, asteroids, meteors, a nebula, galaxy or star cluster, for example.

He describes the object in detail and gives observing tips to improve viewing skills. Informative "Where to find it" instructions and "What you'll see" explanations for each object give night sky viewers an extra hand.

A concise "fact file" is provided for each object, and readers can award themselves "points" for their skill in finding the object, with higher scores given for spotting the night sky's more elusive or hard-to-see features.

The book is organized by season -- winter, spring, summer, fall -- with an opening section on "things you need to know," such as marker objects (for example, Sirius, the brightest star in winter's night sky) and how to use them to search beyond. It also covers such topics as asteroids and dwarf planets, noctilucent clouds, northern lights, the International Space Station, sunspots, eclipses and much more.

101 Objects to See in the Night Sky is an ideal guide for astronomy novices and classrooms.


Robin Scagell is a long-serving vice president of Britain's Society for Popular Astronomy. A lifelong stargazer, he has worked as an observer and photographer, and as a journalist has edited a wide range of popular-interest magazines. Robin is the author of several popular astronomy books, and has contributed to many other publications. He often appears on television, commenting on events in space and astronomy, and runs an astronomical picture agency.



This book is really for young astronomers who want to find something to look at in the night sky every time they go out to observe. But one or two older astronomers might find it useful as well. Why 101? Well, it's a good number, and they should keep you going for ages.

There is a point score for each object you find. There are no prizes, so there's no advantage in cheating here. It's up to you to keep tally and gain as many points as you can. It helps you to check how far you are getting through the objects, and is a reminder of what you've seen.

As you record your points, make a note of the date when you got them. It's also a good idea to keep a separate notebook, or keep a list on your computer, of what you observed and when. You could make drawings of some of the objects as well. This is a great way of remembering what you've seen, better than taking photographs really. The fainter objects are quite tricky to photograph, whereas a pencil and paper are all you need to make a quick sketch.

Now I know the title says "101 Objects to See in the Night Sky" and yet we have the Sun in there, which of course you can't see at night. And if you count all the objects, there are far more than 101 of them. But you can't really have a book about astronomical things to view and not talk about the Sun, and while you are finding 101 objects you can see others at the same time.

All the objects can be seen from North America. Many can be seen with the naked eye. This is a term that sometimes causes hilarity among young astronomers, and it just means "by eye alone, not using any binoculars or telescope." It's a term that astronomers use all the time, though some books prefer to say "unaided eye" because it doesn't sound so rude. But in this book, we tell it like it is. Actually, you'd be mad not to wear a lot of clothes -- it gets very cold out there and you can concentrate much better when you're comfortable. So let's not have any complaints from parents that you caught a cold while using this book.

Most of the objects look better, or can only be seen, if you have binoculars or a telescope. These needn't cost very much, and you don't need anything grand to see any of them. Some are easier to see the farther south you live, and some are better the farther north you are. Some objects are really only visible if you are out in the country, so you may have to choose your moment. There are icons at the top of each object page to tell you what you need in order to observe each one.

This isn't a book about general astronomy, so to find out more about stars, galaxies and so on you may want to do some more background reading, or search online. Have fun observing, and if you see everything in the book you'll be well on the way to being an expert observer.



    Things you need to know

    The Solar System

      The Moon and its phases
      Mare Crisium
      Mare Fecunditatis
      Mare Tranquillitatis
      Mare Serenitatis
      Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina
      Mare Imbrium
      Sinus Iridum
      Mare Nubium and the Straight Wall
      Tycho and Clavius
      Oceanus Procellarum
      Jupiter's moons
      Saturn's rings
      Asteroids and dwarf planets
      Noctilucent clouds
      Northern Lights
      International Space Station
      Iridium flare
      Earth satellites
      Lunar eclipse
      The Sun
      Total solar eclipse
      Partial solar eclipse

    Objects to look for in winter

      Orion, the Hunter
      Taurus, the Bull
      The Hyades
      The Pleiades or Seven Sisters
      The Crab Nebula
      Auriga, the Charioteer
      M36, M37 and M38
      Canis Major, the Greater Dog
      Cancer, the Crab
      M44 and M67
      Gemini, the Twins
      The Eskimo Nebula

    Objects to look for in spring

      Leo, the Lion
      M65 and M66
      Ursa Major, the Great Bear
      M81 and M82
      The Owl Nebula, M97
      Virgo, the Virgin
      Virgo Cluster
      Boötes, the Herdsman
      Coma Berenices, Berenices' Hair
      Coma Star Cluster
      Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs
      The Whirlpool Galaxy, M51

    Objects to look for in summer

      Scorpius, the Scorpion
      Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer
      IC 4665
      M10 and M12
      M13 and M92
      Lyra, the Lyre
      Epsilon Lyrae
      The Ring Nebula, M57
      Cygnus, the Swan
      61 Cygni and Albireo
      The Veil Nebula
      The Great Rift
      The North America Nebula
      Aquila, the Eagle
      Eta Aquilae
      Sagitta, the Arrow
      Vulpecula, the Fox
      The Coathanger
      The Dumbbell Nebula, M27
      Scutum, the Shield
      Sagittarius, the Archer
      The Lagoon Nebula, M8
      The Trifid Nebula, M20
      The Swan Nebula, M17

    Objects to look for in autumn

      Capricornus, the Water Goat
      Alpha Capricorni and Beta Capricorni
      Pegasus, the Winged Horse
      Aquarius, the Water Carrier
      The Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula
      Pisces, the Fishes
      The Circlet
      Cetus, the Sea Monster
      Mira, the Wonder Star
      Aries, the Ram
      NGC 752
      The Andromeda Galaxy, M31
      Triangulum, the Trinagle
      NGC 663
      The E.T. Cluster, NGC 457
      The Alpha Persei Cluster
      The Double Cluster
      Mu Cephei and Delta Cephei
      Ursa Minor, the Litte Bear
      The Milky Way

    Star maps

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