I was thrilled a few weeks ago to open up holiday gift and find myself with a shiny new 2012 calendar! You may be thinking, “Oh, big deal, yawn.” But this was no ordinary calendar. I was suddenly the owner of Astronomy 2012, published by Firefly Books and edited/compiled by Terence Dickinson, the illustrious author of the classic stargazing guide, NightWatch.
This beautiful daily guide to the stars not only provides you with a feast of gorgeous astro images, but features monthly viewing tips and facts, under such headings as “Identifying Planets” and “City of Stars”(not to be confused with City of SARS, which I assumed to be Toronto until I came across this film).
There are two other things I really love about this calendar. Firstly, it goes far above and beyond the old Full Moon/First Quarter descriptions by not only listing viewing placement, dates and times for lovely Luna, but by adding the editor’s feelings on the subject to the mix: “Crescent Moon above Venus at dusk – beautiful!” Now I’ll definitely know which dates to circle for best viewings. Secondly, it provides really interesting nuggets of space exploration history. For example, did you know that this day in 2005, Huygens spacecraft made its first landing on Titan, Saturn’s moon? Thanks, space calendar! Wait a second – the first landing? Thanks doubly, calendar, for leading me to question that tidbit, which takes me into the world of the future Titan Saturn System Mission.
It now being the middle of January, you couldn’t ask for a better time for calendar sales, so get yours today and nail outer space to your wall. Or better yet, get inspired and make your own space calendar.