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Sky Above, Earth Below


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Table of Contents

Come see the Milky Way.- Black hole Sun.- Tides on a cosmic shore.- Worlds of fire and ice.- Red rock planet.- Glaciers and Goldilocks: a tale of three planets.- Autumn Moon.- Our cosmic connection.- Worlds without number.- Far away and long ago: the Universe before you.- Starry sky national park.

About the Author

Dr. Nordgren is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Redlands. As an observational astronomer he has written over two dozen peer-reviewed papers on pulsars, the interstellar medium, star formation in galaxies, the distribution of dark matter in galaxies, and the atmospheres and pulsation of red giant stars. In addition, he has professional interests in archaeoastronomy, light pollution and science education. These interests were developed during positions held as an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory and then Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona. Both institutions have worked diligently and successfully with local governments to establish light pollution ordinances. Dr. Nordgren has designed and built sundials, including a two-story dial at the University of Redlands, and is one of seven scientists and artists that turned the NASA Mars Exploration Rover camera calibration targets into working Martian sundials. These Marsdials have become the most photographed objects of the Spirit and Opportunity Rover mission. In addition, while at the U.S. Naval Observatory and later University of Redlands, he worked with NPS park managers at Wupatki National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historic Park to photograph alignments of ancestral Puebloan kivas with respect to the North Star. In 2005 Dr. Nordgren began working with Chad Moore, leader of the National Park Service Night Sky Team who has developed a method of quantifying the amount of light pollution in the skies above the national parks. With his support, Dr. Nordgren is working with the U.S. National Park Service to spend his sabbatical during the 2007-2008 academic school year in the national parks writing the remainder of the book.


From the reviews:"A photo essay on a years-long journey to see the natural wonders of dark skies over America's most beautiful landscapes ... and visions of future exploration of the planets -- Stars Above, Earth Below is all of these. ... Nordgren's text is accompanied by a truly exorbitant number of photos and diagrams ... . The book will delight space fans, but I think that it will do a greater public service by exposing those people who already love ... places seen throughout the Space Age." (Emily Lakdawalla, The Planetary Society Blog, December, 2010)"There are numerous field books on astronomy on the market, but this new book stands out. Astronomer Nordgren ... spent 14 months traveling across the US, visiting 12 national parks and contributing to their nighttime public outreach programs. The result is this beautiful diary of the author's experiences and account of the unique aspects of the night sky at each site. ... Most chapters are illustrated with beautiful color photos, many of them taken by Nordgren. ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (T. D. Oswalt, Choice, Vol. 48 (3), November, 2010)"Appeal to readers with a wider interest in wild landscapes. ... the book is an excellent example of the growing global trend of developing partnerships between astronomers and environmental managers. ... includes a good number of eye-catching images and illustrations to draw the reader into its themes. As a general introduction to astronomy the style is individual and idiosyncratic. The approach weaves together, for example, personal anecdotes, philosophical observations, and practical seasonal star-charts." (Dan Hillier, The Observatory, Vol. 131 (1222), June, 2011)

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