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Seeing in the Dark

Seeing in the Dark

How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe

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In Seeing in the Dark, a poetic love letter to science and to the skies, Timothy Ferris invites us all to become stargazers. He recounts his own experiences as an enthralled lifelong amateur astronomer and reports from around the globe -- from England and Italy to the Florida Keys and the Chilean Andes -- on the revolution that's putting millions in touch with the night sky. In addition, Ferris offers an authoritative and engaging report on what's out there to be seen -- what Saturn, the Ring nebula, the Silver Coin galaxy, and the Virgo supercluster really are and how to find them. The appendix includes star charts, observing lists, and a guide on how to get involved in astronomy.
Ferris takes us inside a major revolution sweeping astronomy, as lone amateur astronomers, in global networks linked by the Internet, make important discoveries that are the envy of the professionals. His ability to describe the wonders of the universe is simply magical, and his enthusiasm for his subject is irresistible.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684865805 | 
  • July 2003
List Price $24.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Beginnings

Poor boy -- leaves

moon-viewing

for rice-grinding.

-- Basho

When you see a drop of water,

you see the nature of all the waters of the universe.

-- Huang-Po

At dawn on a deserted Florida beach in 1954, the first rays of the Sun sent my father's long shadow and my shorter one rippling like kite tails across the rumpled sands. We were out early to see what had washed up during the night. In the past we'd found a gleaming conch shell that whispered surf sounds like betrayed secrets; a dark, ancient wine bottle, stout and heavy as a stonecutter's mallet; and... see more

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