Terrence Dickinson’s guide to stargazing, “NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Watching the Universe,” celebrates its historic 40th anniversary this year and to celebrate the occasion for amateur and professional astronomers alike, Firefly Books is releasing a newly updated fifth edition of the seminal book. Spiral-bound tool on September 7, 2023.
It’s been 17 years since NightWatch 4 was published, and since then there have been some amazing technological leaps and discoveries in the field of astronomy, thanks in part to multibillion-dollar projects like the landmark James Webb Space Telescope. One year anniversary of the observatory’s first stunning images this summer.
In preparation for the reformulated volume, Dickinson has teamed up with respected colleagues to undertake an overhaul of this trusted reference that will keep it deeply relevant for the twenty-first century.
Related: Night sky September 2023: What you can see tonight (maps)
With a change overseen by veteran astronomy writer and skygazer Ken Hewitt-White, a major addition to this revamped edition is improved unique seasonal star charts that offer a 360-degree simulation of the night sky on a single page and quick reference. Tables of identification of stars and constellations on opposite page.
Here is the official summary:
Much has happened in this popular pastime since the publication of the revised fourth edition of NightWatch in 2006. In response, the text has been significantly revised and updated throughout all thirteen chapters. Furthermore, the book has been completely redesigned and most of its contents have been replaced with many images. A standout feature is the variety of exquisite astronomical images of star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and other celestial phenomena taken by accomplished amateur astronomers.The generously illustrated sections on the Moon and planets will inspire novice observers of the solar system.
To accommodate the extensive revisions, the page count of NightWatch has increased from 192 pages to 208 pages. With the release of the fifth edition, we are also launching a new website, NightWatchBook com, which will provide links to additional resources and will be updated regularly with information on new celestial events and equipment. Dickinson’s clear, jargon-free language continues to inspire hundreds of thousands of people around the world to take up recreational astronomy.”
This fifth edition from People at Firefly Books comes complete with a comprehensive all-season guide to the night sky; planetary charts covering the northern and southern hemisphere skies; tips on choosing binoculars and telescopes and taking astronomical photographs; highlights key features on the moon to guide the budding lunar explorer; Strict lists of solar and lunar eclipses, planetary positions and best conjunctions of the moon and planets through the year 2035.
“NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Watching the Universe” arrives September 7.