“First Magnitude” is an entry-level book for readers with brightly lit skies. Its purpose is to show them that all is not lost, that they can still enjoy personal astronomy and have an appreciation of the heavens no matter where they live. It concentrates on the Sun, Moon, the five bright planets, and on the 23 brightest stars, which are visible from just about anywhere. The book concludes with bright ephemeral phenomena: meteors, comets, and exploding stars. The concept is a platform for introducing the reader to the wonders of the nighttime and daytime skies and serves as an introduction to general astronomy.
James Kaler takes delight in sharing with us his extensive knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for the study of the skies. He further discusses his thoughts on the evolving field of astronomy and expresses his surprise at having an asteroid named after him in honor of his outreach activities.
Interview with James Kaler
Contents:Bright LightsThe Warming SunThe Changing MoonWandering PlanetsSparkling Stars: An Entr'acteBright StarThe Sky is FallingOnce and Future StarReadership: For undergraduates, amateur astronomers, and the interested public.