A new book by Stephen James O'Meara

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Diamonds in the Sky is a terrific beginner's guide by Astronomy columnist Stephen James O'Meara. // image courtesy of the author
Diamonds in the Sky: Discover the Stars Over Botswana, is the latest book from famed observer and Astronomy columnist Stephen James O’Meara. And despite “Botswana” being part of the title, this Kindle e-book is a great introduction to what’s up at night.

Steve wrote this book as a “first step” guide, meaning that it’s filled with basic information to help you learn your way around the night sky in a casual manner. He designed it to be used any time of year between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (when guests are most likely to be out under the stars at safari camps).

The layout is well thought out. Chapter 1, “Before You Begin: Some Important Things to Know” introduces many basic concepts. Then the fun begins. Chapter 2, “Discover the Stars (Month by Month)” helps you do just that. You’ll get to know the Pleiades and Algol in January, Sirius and Orion in February, and so on. The final chapter, Chapter 3, “Welcome to Our Solar System,” is a guide to the Sun, the Moon, the planets, comets, meteor showers, and more.

Not only did he write this book, but, except for a few NASA photos and one chart, he took all the photos and generated all the sky charts. That’s impressive!

Let me use Steve’s words to sum up: “This truly is a beginner’s guide, as it was created under my research permit here to create book largely for the safari guides who take people into the wilderness. They know so much about the natural world around them but just some basics about the stars. So I created it largely for them to help educate visitors. But of course, as the tourism industry is so large here, now tourists can get this book too.”

Diamonds in the Sky is a bargain — only $5.98. A couple of notes, if I may. First, if you don’t have an Amazon account, you’ll need to open one. It’s free. Second, don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle reader. Whatever type of reader you have (iPad, Android tablet, smart phone), you can get a Kindle app for it. Also free. Third, and most important, head to Amazon.com and buy it.

 

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