Giveaway: Win a Copy of “Astrophotography” by Thierry Legault

A newly published English version of the book, “Astrophotography” by Thierry Legault provides detailed, step-by-step instructions of how to start or improve your photography of astronomical objects. But this is not just a dry manual: Legault tells stories and explains details in a manner that seems like he is talking directly to you, and he shares the expertise he has garnered from over 20 years of amateur astrophotography.

You can read our full review of the book here.

Universe Today is proud to announce we have several copies of this engaging book to give away, and two ways to win.

NOTE: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for everyone’s participation!

The first way to win a copy is our usual “giveaway” process where we have two copies available to winners. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, September 22, 2014. We’ll send you a confirmation email, so you’ll need to click that to be entered into the drawing. If you’ve entered our giveaways before you should also receive an email with a link on how to enter.

The second way to win is through Facebook. Again, two copies are available through this avenue. Please see our Facebook post for this giveaway, then we ask you to “like” the Rocky Nook Publishing Facebook page. Your “like” to Rocky Nook will be considered an entry to the contest. From there, a winner will be chosen and the winners will be notified through Facebook.

The publisher has specified that for this contest, winners chosen from the US will be sent a copy of the book, while winners chosen from other countries will receive an ebook.

Continue reading “Giveaway: Win a Copy of “Astrophotography” by Thierry Legault”

Book Review and Giveaway: Earthrise: My Adventures As An Apollo 14 Astronaut by Edgar Mitchell

Book review by David Freiberg: Universe Today Book Reviewer

Most of us get up in the morning, shower, eat breakfast and sleepily make our way to work. Whether we work in an office, outdoors, with the public or in any number of exciting Earth-based careers, our daily commute can hardly compare to that of a moon astronaut! In Earthrise: My Adventures As An Apollo 14 Astronaut, Edgar Mitchell shares his personal story of how he came to share a career with a scarce 11 other people in history.

This new book tells the story Mitchell’s life; he started out as a farm boy from a small town in New Mexico who grew up in a normal family and lived a normal life but he worked hard enough and got lucky enough to go to the Moon. He wasn’t born into it, and he wasn’t so supremely gifted that he aced everything he tried in his life. He had the willpower to work through years of training, and he had the courage to get into a gigantic rocket that would launch him a quarter of a million miles through space, even though the last people who had tried to go to the Moon were lucky to get back alive.

And, being a real person doing an extraordinary thing, he came back changed by the experience.

Despite the trials and tribulations of training, of flying there, of a close call with a malfunctioning “abort” button, and of the moonwalk itself, Edgar details how the ride home was the most life-changing part of the entire journey. As he saw the Earth shining in front of him, he described a sensation he called metanoia that was to shape the rest of his life. He’d explored as much of outer space as current technology would allow: now he wanted to do the opposite and explore the mind. Though he’d always been interested in topics like ESP (he even conducted his own ESP experiment with a few doctors on Earth during the mission), it was easy to see how it changed his perspective on everything. And, from his descriptions, he’s not the only Apollo astronaut to have a different perspective on life after the mission: they were real people, after all, and if you went to the Moon, you’d probably be changed as well.

That’s where “Earthrise” really shines: you get the idea that you too could do the same thing if you were willing to work for it. This book is strongly recommended for all children who are interested in space; as Edgar Mitchell was inspired by stories of Roswell and of Buck Rogers when he was young, perhaps a child who reads this very book will someday fly around the Moon and watch the Earth come up.

About the authors: Dr. Edgar Mitchell was a pilot in the historic 1971 Apollo 14 mission and the sixth man to ever walk on the Moon. He is the author of “Paradigm Shift,” “The Space Less Traveled,” and “The Way of the Explorer,” and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, three NASA Group Achievement Awards and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. He is the founder of the renowned Institute of Noetic Sciences and lives in Lake Worth, Florida. Ellen Mahoney has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering and produced radio features for the BBC Science in Action show. She is an instructor of journalism at Metro State University of Denver and lives in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Brian Cox is a professor of particle physics at the University of Manchester School of Physics and Astronomy, Manchester, England. He presents space and science programs on BBC radio and television, including “Wonders of the Universe.”

Universe Today and Chicago Review Press are pleased to be able to offer three free copies of “Earthrise: My Adventures as An Apollo 14 Astronaut” to our readers. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Wednesday, April 30, 2014. If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

If you are not lucky enough to win one of our three free copies, or if you don’t want to wait, you can purchase the book from Amazon.com.

Book Review and Giveaway: Max Goes To the Space Station – Children’s Books

Book review by David L. Hamilton

Jeffery Bennett’s Max Goes to the Space Station is the newest addition to the series A Science Adventure with Max the Dog. This series introduces children ages 4 to 12 to the exciting world of scientific thinking through adventurous story telling featuring a lovable and intelligent dog named Max. Max Goes to the Space Station also includes age appropriate suggested activities spanning grades 1 through 8.

This book uses words and illustrations to tell the exciting tale of Max the dog and his journey to the International Space Station, his adventures while on the station and his return home to his family. The main story is written so that younger children can follow along with Max and his adventures while also providing a “Big Kid Box” on each page for the older children. A “Big Kid Box” is a text box on each page that has more in-depth information for older children. At the back of the book are suggested activities for children in the first grade through the eighth grade. Max Goes to the Space Station is one of the many books included in the Stories from Space program. In this program, astronauts read a book from space while on the International Space Station. This year; 2014, astronauts are scheduled to read this book as well as other books from the series.

Universe Today and Big Kid Science are pleased to be able to offer two free copies of Max Goes to the Space Station to our readers. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Tuesday, March 24th. If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

Max Goes to the Space Station and other books in this series are available on Amazon.com.

Max Goes to the Space Station A Science Adventure with Max the Dog [Hardcover] by Jeffery Bennett Illustrated. 32 Pages. Big Kid Science

About the author and illustrator:

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist and educator who proposed the idea for and helped develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System—the first science-oriented exhibit approved for permanent installation on the National Mall in Washington, DC. In addition to writing the Science Adventures with Max the Dog series, he is the lead author of best selling college textbooks in astronomy, mathematics, statistics and astrobiology, as well as of critically acclaimed books for the general public. He lives with his family in Boulder, Colorado. Michael Carroll is a renowned space artist, a fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, and a recipient of the Lucien Rudaux award for lifetime achievement in the astronomical arts. His work has been featured at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Air and Space Museum; in National GeographicSmithsonian and Time; and on NOVA. He is also the illustrator of Max Goes to Jupiter. He lives in Littleton, Colorado.

About the reviewer:

David and his wife live in Conway, Arkansas. They are amateur astronomers that love spending nights stargazing and their days working in Higher Education. David graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Master of Education degree.

Book Review and Giveaway: Flags of the Night Sky by Andre G. Bordeleau

It’s a reasonable assumption that most Universe Today website visitors are, at the very least, intrigued by the night sky. This Universe Today reader, someone who always enjoys learning something new, was surprised to discover yet another cultural association with the wonders of the world around us. Vexillology is the scientific study of flags and apparently has a connection with Astronomy. If you’re looking for a highly informational book mashing up Astronomy and Vexillogy, Flags of the Night Sky, When Astronomy Meets National Pride, by Andre G. Bordeleau is a great resource.

In the United States of America we’re familiar with our country’s flag. We may also know our state’s flag. But, do we know what the colors and patterns stand for? Think about the gathering of the world at the Olympics. There’s something magical about the opening ceremonies of the Games. Talented athletes with a lifetime of hard work and dedication to their sport proudly march behind the honored flag bearer of their nation. As the flags and their teams walk through the arena, the world tunes in to watch centuries of national pride. All of these flags are not pure decoration, they have profound thought and meaning behind them. Flags of the world are displayed on an international Olympic stage; many portraying interesting connections to the night sky.

Bordeleau begins his book with a look at an internationally recognized flag – Brazil’s. Although its history dates back to 1889, its most recent incarnation is the most well known. According to Bordeleau, “The current flag of Brazil is akin to a star atlas featuring 9 different constellations and 27 stars.” The stars are not purely decorative; they correlate to specific states and to the capital. The Astronomy connection is fantastic.

With chapters ranging from sun-bearing flags, moon-bearing flags, and one titled “Starry Flags: Here’s Stars in Your Eyes”, Flags of the Night Sky covers it all. If you’re looking for in depth insight into national cultures displayed through their flags and their connections tied to the heavens above, this is a well organized, great resource.

Flags of the Night Sky is available for purchase or download at Amazon.com

Universe Today and Springer are pleased to be able to offer three free copies of Flags of the Night Sky to our readers. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, March 10. If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

Book Review and Giveaway: Women in Space by Karen Bush Gibson

On July 23rd, 2012, Sally Ride died. As the first American woman in space and a true icon of the modern scientific era, her loss was felt all over the world. President Barack Obama said, “Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars.” Ride’s, well, ride into space was wonderfully inspiring, but how many Americans ever read of Kathryn D. Sullivan, Anna Lee Fisher, or the dozens of other American women in space? Outside of space enthusiasts, few people know that the first woman in space was actually a Russian cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, who visited the cosmos nearly 20 years before Ride! While Mae Jemison has reached international fame as a physician and the first African American women in space, few know of the African American women who came after her.

Thanks to our natural, but foolish, inclination to focus on “firsts” and benchmarks as if collecting trivia, it’s elusively easy to believe that these two or three women mentioned in our high-school science texts are the definitive ‘women of space’ and that’s that.

Hardly.

As accomplished author Karen Bush Gibson shows in her latest book, Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures, space is certainly not an all boy’s club. Throughout the just over 200-page book, Gibson relates the successes and setbacks of nearly two dozen women from ten different countries who made history and forged a path for countless females to follow. Gibson’s book features photographs and nods to access additional learning resources, valuable for any interested reader in showing that this book is truly only just scratching the surface of women’s enormous impact on spaceflight.

Studies seem to pour in almost daily stating that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields are increasingly male-dominated, so it’s refreshing to read about the women who overcame the stereotypes and prejudices and dared to go where so few had gone before. Gibson’s book offers an informative, introductory overview of a group of unfortunately under-appreciated heroes – as well as an exhilarating perspective which emphasizes that there is so much more to come.

You can buy a copy of Women in Space from Amazon.com or visit the Chicago Review Press.

Universe Today and Chicago Review Press are pleased to be able to offer two free copies of Women in Space to our readers. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Wednesday. February 26. If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

Still Need a 2014 Calendar? Win “The Year in Space” Wall Calendar

If a 2014 calendar wasn’t in your holiday space stocking, here’s the perfect solution: this year’s edition of Steve Cariddi’s wonderful Year in Space Wall Calendar. It’s not too late to get your own copy, as 99% of 2014 is still remaining! Universe Today readers get a 24% to 41% discount and pay only $12.95 or less (using the current discount at this link), with free U.S. shipping and discounted international shipping.

But here’s your chance to win a copy! We’ve had two giveaways of this amazing calendar in the past month, but thanks to Steve, Universe Today now has an additional 5 copies to give away. To be entered into the drawing for our giveaway, just put your email address into the box below (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, January 6, 2014.

Wall-calendar-blurb_2014_A

This calendar is full of amazing color images, daily space facts, historical references, and it even shows you where you can look in the sky for all the best astronomical sights. It also has in-depth info on human space flight, planetary exploration, and deep sky wonders. This calendar is huge — much larger than a traditional wall calendar — and is the perfect way to start the new year.

Find out more about the Year in Space calendar here, and our thanks again to Steve for providing this wonderful calendar for our readers.

If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway from Universe Today, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

Book Giveaway: Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

Annalee Newitz, Science editior, Science Fiction author and Editor-in-chief of IO9 is offering one, free, autographed copy of her book, ‘Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans will Survive a Mass Extinction.”

Now, I like post apocalyptic disaster porn as much as the next guy, but this book offers something that most of the other books, shows or movies do not to the hungry reader: hope. If human folly is one of the potential causes of the downfall of our civilization, then human ingenuity can be its saviour. This book describes both on planet, and off planet ideas that can make sure man (as a species, not a gender :)) lives to see another millennium.

 

About Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz is the founder and editor-in-chief of io9. Read more about her here.

Scatter, Adapt and Remember is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Universe Today and Annalee Newitz are offering one free copy to win. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Tuesday, December 31st, 2013. We’ll send you a confirmation email, so you’ll need to click that to be entered into the drawing.

 

Book Review and Giveaway: Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science


Book review by David L. Hamilton

Tom Jackson’s Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science is an enjoyable read for anyone who is fascinated by the world in which we live and curious about how the world works. Reading and comprehension of the material does not require one to have a background in physics or science. Jackson takes 100 important events that occurred throughout different periods in our history and presents them in such a way that they can be understood and enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Each event covers about a page and each page has beautiful illustrations and diagrams of the various tools of the trade that the physicists used in each of the 100 breakthroughs.

The book is divided into five sections ranging from antiquity to modern physics. The first section, The Dawn of Science, covers the important figures that set the stage for scientific inquiry for the next several centuries, such as Thales, Democritus, and Aristotle.

The second section, The Scientific Revolution, introduces us to Newton and his Laws of Motionand Theories of Light, John Dalton and his investigations into the characteristics of gases, and Thomas Seebeck and his discovery of the thermoelectric effect.The third section of Jackson’s book examines the Doppler effect, Absolute Temperature, and the discovery of X-Rays, all extremely important discoveries that are still relevant in the various branches of science today, such as astronomy and medicine.

The fourth section brings the reader into the subatomic age where contributions from Titians such as Max Planck and his Constant, Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity, and Dane Niels Bohr who gave us Bohr’s Model of an atom.

The fifth and final section of the book covers modern physics. Jackson does a great job of explaining how Slipher, Hubble, and Georges Lemaitre used Einstein’s theory of relativity to show that our universe is not static and eternal but an expanding, changing and evolving universe that had a beginning. In this final section, the reader will also learn about Quarks, Neutrinos, Dark matter and energy, and the famous Higgs boson.

Another great feature about this book is that it includes a foldout timeline that puts the people and their discoveries into the larger contexts of World events so that the reader can see the big picture more easily.

Universe Today and Shelter Harbour Press is offering free copies to two lucky winners. In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Thursday, December 26th, 2013. We’ll send you a confirmation email, so you’ll need to click that to be entered into the drawing.

David and his wife live in Conway, Arkansas. They are amateur astronomers that love spending nights stargazing and their days working in Higher Education. David graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Master of Education degree.

Win the Perfect Holiday Gift: The Year in Space Calendar

What’s the perfect holiday gift for any space fan? It’s the 2014 version of Steve Cariddi’s wonderful Year in Space Wall Calendar, which is now available to order, and thanks to Steve, Universe Today has another 5 copies to give away! This calendar is full of amazing color images, daily space facts, historical references, and it even shows you where you can look in the sky for all the best astronomical sights.

This is a gorgeous wall calendar that has over 120 beautiful photos of space, as well as in-depth info on human space flight, planetary exploration, and deep sky wonders. This calendar is huge — much larger than a traditional wall calendar — and last year it was named “Science Geek Gift of the Year” at Alan Boyle’s NBC “Cosmic Log” website.

For our giveaway, to be entered into the drawing, just put your email address into the box below (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, December 16, 2013.

Update: This giveaway is now closed.

Wall-calendar-blurb_2014_A

These calendars normally sell for $16.95, but Universe Today readers can buy the calendar for only $12.95 or less (using the “Internet” discount), and get free U.S. shipping and discounted international shipping.

There’s also the 144-Page Desk Calendar at a similar discounts.

You can preview the entire calendar at the Year in Space Calendar website.

It’s published in cooperation with The Planetary Society, with an introduction by Bill Nye. Our thanks to Steve Cariddi for providing this giveaway opportunity for our readers!

Other features of this calendar:
– Background info and fun facts
– A sky summary of where to find naked-eye planets
– Space history dates
– Major holidays (U.S. and Canada)
– Daily Moon phases
– A mini-biography of famous astronomer, scientist, or astronaut each month

If this is the first time you’re registering for a giveaway from Universe Today, you’ll receive a confirmation email immediately where you’ll need to click a link to be entered into the drawing. For those who have registered previously, you’ll receive an email later where you can enter this drawing.

Book Review and Giveaway: The Constellation Observing Atlas

Here is another giveaway just in time for the holidays: The Constellation Observing Atlas by Grant Privett and Kevin Jones. Springer and Universe Today are giving away free copies to two lucky Universe Today readers.

Review by: Evan Gough

The night sky is vast and full of wonders, and binoculars or a telescope can bring these wonders into view. The planets and the moon are easy to find, but after that, the rest of the objects in the night sky can be challenging to locate. “The Constellation Observing Atlas,” by Grant Privett and Kevin Jones, will guide you around the night sky, and help you find the most interesting objects.

This atlas uses the patterns of the constellations to cut the sky up into bite-sized pieces, giving the amateur observer an easy to use method for exploring the night sky. “The Constellation Observing Atlas” has a section for each one of the eighty-eight constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union, from Andromeda to Vulpecula.

General information about each constellation is included, followed by the history of its name and mapping, any notable double and variable stars are mentioned and any deep sky objects that reside in or near the constellation are listed. Along with some nice images, “The Constellation Observing Atlas” also has detailed maps of each constellation which helps make the observing process straightforward.

The book is well laid out, and the amount of information for each constellation is just right. The maps are detailed and helpful and I found the history sections very interesting and amusing. The authors don’t mind having a little fun at the ancient’s expense for some of their comical constellation choices and the convoluted myths behind them, and who can blame them? Many of the constellations are just vague clumps and arrangements of stars in which the ancients somehow saw their most powerful gods, mythical creatures, and heroes.

Like many Universe Today readers, I’m interested in all things astronomy and space, but I’m far from an expert observer. “The Constellation Observing Atlas” tries to make the night sky accessible for amateurs like myself, and it works. You simply locate a constellation in the sky, check the book for interesting viewing targets, point your ‘scope around, and have some fun. Some of the stars and deep sky objects will be challenging to find, and the authors give detailed information for finding these elusive targets.

In my part of the world, winter has come and I’m in store for some clear, cold, crisp nights. There should be some great observing conditions ahead, with Orion prominent in the night sky. I’m looking forward to using “The Constellation Observing Atlas” to expand my observing. The authors have done a good job of being informative and fun, and I highly recommend this book to amateur and novice observers. It makes the wonders of the night sky accessible, one constellation at a time.

In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, December 16th, 2013. We’ll send you a confirmation email, so you’ll need to click that to be entered into the drawing.

Don’t want to wait to see if you won? Get your copy in time for Christmas from Amazon.com