Written by journalist Howard Schneider and science writer Patricia Daniels, "Backyard Guide to the Night Sky" contains ten comprehensive chapters that will place readers on solid astronomical ground. Concise, approachable text covers everything a novice will need to know: from the layers of the Earth's atmosphere and how they affect what we see; to the objects in our solar system - the Sun, Moon, and planets; to more distant objects - the stars, constellations, meteors, and comets. Whether gazing with the naked eye or through the lens of a telescope, readers will learn the basics - from constellation identification, to the best times and techniques to see meteor showers and eclipses, to troubleshooting problems such as light pollution. Full-color photography and illustrations enhance the text, giving readers a visual guide to help them know what it is they're looking at. Throughout the book, star charts and tables present key facts and important data in an easy-to-understand format. A wealth of sidebars give readers more fun facts on the science behind the stars, the fascinating history of astronomy space exploration, and the key scientists and astronomers who paved the way.