Book Reviews; January 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Philip Morrison; 6 Page(s)
The celestial action we all perceive with unaided eye is at its liveliest around sunset and sunrise, and it plays close to those decisive directions as they march seasonally along your horizon. Watch there every day you can, and follow the moon and really bright points up into the vault of the night sky, too.
The shepherd tending his flocks needed no schedule to draw his attention, but we who dwell indoors do. For some years now, the astronomer-artists at the Abrams Planetarium have made an extremely useful aide memoire, simple enough for tyros yet helpful to the experienced, including those who use binoculars or small telescopes. It has been noticed here on more than one January past. Their calendar offers a box for every day of the year, a month of boxes placed on a single page. Each box holds a small scaled drawing of just what sights to look for and when, clear weather assumed at the horizon (meant for viewers in middle northern latitudes). On the reverse of each page a neatly simplifed star map for the month urges your gaze up from the horizon and into the night hours. Text in the margins offers more data and much context. All you need to know is the time of day and the directions of east and west.