Sky Phenomena

A Guide to Naked-eye Observation of the Stars

Norman Davidson

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Quick Look

This is an unusual and practical guide to the sky as we see it -- with the naked eye. Leads the reader from the stars to the Sun, Moon and various planets, to comets and meteors, and the Southern Hemisphere.

254 x 178 mm
Lindisfarne Books
Astronomy; Philosophy of the Natural World
180 b/w line drawings and diagrams
208 pages
Publication date:
01 Oct 2004
2nd edition


This is an unusual and practical guide to the sky as we see it -- with the naked eye. The author, an experienced teacher, leads the reader from the stars as seen from Earth, through observation of the Sun, Moon and various planets, to a deeper understanding of the Copernican revolution, comets and meteors, and to the sky of the Southern Hemisphere.

The text includes mythological and historical aspects of the subject and has numerous exercises for the student. The final chapter is a unique collection of poetry related to the stars from ancient India to modern times. Appendices include future astronomical events, technical data, materials and publications, and a comprehensive glossary of astronomical terms.

Table of Contents

The Stars — I
The Stars — II
The Sun
The Moon
The Planets
The Copernican Revolution
Comets and Meteors
The Southern Hemisphere Sky
The Stars in Poetry
Appendices: Astronomical Events * Technical Data * Astronomical Symbols * much more …


'An excellent introduction to the sky for the general public. The basic material is factually accurate, and the inclusion of descriptions of famous astronomers gives the book a special charm.'
-- Irwin Shapiro, Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

'It's an owners manual for the sky.'
-- E. C. Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

'With remarkable clarity and deft organisation, Norman Davidson leads us far along a path toward a renewed knowledge and intimacy with the stars and planets … an invaluable resource for teachers. I commend it heartily.'
-- Arthur Zajonc, Professor of Physics, Amherst College


Norman Davidson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1933. He was a journalist in the UK for ten years, writing on social and cultural events. He was a Waldorf school teacher for sixteen years, teaching astronomy, geometry, history, and literature. He has been director of Teacher Training at the Waldorf Institute of Sunbridge College in Chestnut Ridge, New York. He lectures on astronomy and cultural topics, and is the author of Astronomy and the Imagination, a companion to Sky Phenomena.

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