What We See In The Stars by Kelsey Oseid (book review)

October 26, 2017 | By | Reply More

I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is for illustrator/writer Kelsey Oseid’s book, ‘What We See In The Stars’. The design and text does tend to suggest a teen audience.

What we have here is a short history of the skies and how it was down to one person, Claudius Ptolemy who was making sense of the night sky who named the star constellations that rotate over the Earth and hence all Greek sourced words often portraying Greek mythology. If you want to befuddle astrologers, ask them why the thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, never figures in their ‘calculations’ and ‘forecasts’.

For each of the original constellations, Oseid gives an account of their mythological backgrounds and what is really there and significant stars. Very occasionally, she will give some distances of the nearest stars. I did wish she’d had gone into the relative distances between the stars in their constellations as well showing that they weren’t really that close. Ptolemy only put them in groups because they stayed that way relative to Earth. It’s interesting seeing some stars with their common name like Sirius and its other name Alpha Canis Majoris and Antares aka Alpha Scorpil.

All the zodiac constellations lie around the equator and it wasn’t until 1930 when there were so many other constellations being observed that it was decided to create an official map of the skies and so there are a lot more new names and the International Astronomical Union added another 38 but this time based on people, scientific equipment and animals.

From stars, Oseid does a similar treatment of the planets. I did wonder why she left out the asteroid belt but it comes up in a separate section.

With so much interest in the stars these days, I suspect your sprogs will find this book a useful way to glean information, especially for the various meteor showers.

GF Willmetts

October 2017

(pub: Boxtree/Pan Macmillan. 156 page illustrated indexed square hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-7522-6651-0)

check out websites: www.panmacmillan.com and www.panmacmillan.com/imprint-publishers/boxtree

Category: Books, Science

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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