2022 Yearbook Of Astronomy edited by Brian Jones (book review).

December 6, 2021 | By | Reply More

For any budding or experienced amateur astronomer or anywhere in-between, the ‘2022 Yearbook Of Astronomy’ should be on their Christmas list. It has been edited by Brian Jones and brings together everything you need to know in 2022 along with 14 articles, 3 sections on interesting things and 4 miscellaneous sections. This compendium of astronomy related information is 349 pages in a paperback format.

 The book starts with a 6-page ‘Editors Forward’ by Brian Jones is well worth reading. It introduces the other sections while interweaving with observations and facts. I should also point out that this edition is the Special 60th Anniversary Edition.

Following the ‘Editors Forward’, there is a preface where the reader is directed to other sources of information on particular topics. I do think this is one of the books strengths and why any amateur astronomer should have a copy. Links to external websites are scattered throughout the book and provide a valuable resource.

Just to make sure we all have the same understanding there’s a one page section on time with a brief history of how we got Greenwich Mean Time. This is followed by a chapter helpfully titled ‘Using The Yearbook Of Astronomy As An Observing Guide’. It contains notes on the Monthly Star Charts, Planetary Apparition Diagrams and on selecting the correct charts. That last point is important as the book contains monthly star charts for north and south hemispheres.

Lynne Marie Stockman provides a paragraph on each of the Solar System’s planets (which doesn’t include the dwarf planet Pluto) and the Moon. It describes where the planets can be found in the night sky during 2022. Stockman uses wonderful prose to describe the planets antics as observed from Earth. For example, ‘Neptune spends the year zigzagging between Aquarius and Pisces.’

A large portion of the book is given to the section titles ‘Monthly Sky Notes And Articles’ which contain some real gems. To illustrate this, I will start with January which has a wonderful full page diagram of the morning apparition of Venus showing the position of Venus as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres. The diagram shows where to find Venus on the 1st of the month running from January to October.

There is also a detailed information to help you find the planets during January and a bonus diagram of Mars track across the constellations from January to June 2022.

The January Sky Notes are followed by a fascinating article on Joseph Thomas Ward known as the Shepherd Astronomer of New Zealand. It’s an interesting tale of how he came to New Zealand and became interested in astronomy. While possessing many talents astronomy was something which he excelled at. He was one of the driving forces to set up the Whangani Astronomical Society and was promptly elected as president.

This is the format for the remaining months with each having a description of the planets for that month and an article. Following on after December, there are sections by Neil Normanproviding information on what comets, meteor showers and the minor planets will be doing in 2022.

This is followed by the main articles section which are generally longer and more in-depth articles. Some are historical while others are future looking. I don’t really have the space here to discuss all the articles but I found them all to be informative and entertaining. As I mentioned earlier, there are numerous links to other resources if you wanted to continue to research the topic of the article.

Perhaps I should also mention that there are three sections titled ‘Some interesting….’, with the … being Variable Stars, Double Stars and Nebulae, Clusters and Galaxies respectively. Each section has information to guide you to the right bit of the sky to find them.

I will end this review as I started it by recommending this book as a Christmas present to any amateur astronomer. It is packed with information while providing notes for each month of 2022.

Andy Whitaker

December 2021

(pub: White Owl/pen & Sword 349 Pages Paperback. Price: £20.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-52679-005-7)

check out websites: www.whiteowlbooks.co.uk and www.yearbookofastronomy.com


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Category: Books, MEDIA, Science

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About AndyWhitaker

I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties.

My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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