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for astronomy with the unaided-eye

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Stars and Constellations
  • See the highly recommended sources in Starting Points.
  • Library
    • Donald H. Menzel and Jay M. Pasachoff, A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets, Peterson Field Guide Series (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1983).
      • Location: Bizzell Library reference collection (noncirculating), QB 64 .M4.
      • Contains monthly star charts (by Wil Tirion), photographs, illustrations, and chapter introductions to a variety of celestial phenomena. This guide, plus Raymo's 365 Starry Nights and a few nights each month outdoors, are all you need to become familiar with the nighttime sky.
    • Robert Burnham, Burnham's Celestial Handbook (New York, Dover, 1978), 3 vols.
      • Location: History of Science Collections, Holl Collection (non-circulating).
      • This three-volume labor of love is like Raymo's 365 Starry Nights cubed: an indispensable treasure-trove of constellation lore, star types and positions, and helpful descriptions of every kind. It is available in paperback from Astronomics, 680 S.W. 24th Ave., Norman, OK, 1-800-422-7876.
    • Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names and Their Meanings (New York: G.E. Stechert, 1899, reprinted 1936).
      • Location: Bizzell Library, 523.89 A154s (Deck 4; ask at reference desk for directions).
      • Although dated, this book remains a standard reference on the myths, legends and stories behind the names of stars. It is still in print as Star Names: Their Lore and Their Meaning (Dover Press, 1963).
  • Internet
  • Game
    • Constellation Station. A game for 1 to 4 players (more if you play in teams), great for rainy-night skywatch parties or to help families become familiar with the names and features of the 88 constellations. Multi-skill levels enable knowledgable and novice players, or parents and children of different ages, to play together with equal chances of winning. NOVA science game manufactured by Aristoplay. (Not available in the OU library system.)


Calendars and Time-keeping

  • Library
    • Bonnie J. Blackburn, The Oxford Companion to the Year (Oxford University Press, 1999).
      • Location: Bizzell Library reference collection (noncirculating), CE 73 .B553.
  • Internet
    • Today's Calendar and Clock Page. Extensive list of web links mainted by Will Linden, including web utilities to convert between various current and historical calendars (Gregorian, Julian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Chinese, French Revolutionary, etc.).
    • USNO Master Clock. Animated clocks convert from Universal Time and other time methods to local time zone.

General astronomy Internet sites:


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Kerry Magruder

Created 16 July 2003; revised 21 July 2003