2/7/12

TOS Review: Celestial Almanack (February)

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I love astronomy.  I especially love looking at the stars and learning about the constellations.  I confess that, though I am fascinated by the concept of astrophysics, the math is beyond me but I can still appreciate the stars and how constellations have been used to track and mark seasons for centuries.

I remember being so excited to take my first astronomy class in college.  The prereqs clearly stated that I did NOT need to know physics.  Somebody forgot to tell the professor who took over the class.  I think he thought it was the astrophysics class.  I just wanted to study the movement of the stars and planets and be able to recognize what I saw in the sky.

When ever I gaze up at the night sky, I am in awe of the Creator. 

The heaves declare the glory of God; the firmament shows the creation of His hands. (Psalm 19:1)

Jay Ryan, of Classical Astronomy, has started a monthly almanac for novice stargazers.  The Classical Astronomy Celestial Almanack a Visual Representation of the Sky is a monthly publication available from Curriclick for just $3.  As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I’ve been given a copy of the Volume 1 Number 2 issue.. 

Even though I love astronomy and star gazing, I was really hesitant about this almanac by Jay Ryan.  Why?  Well I live in the Pacific Northwest and I was afraid that I would only be able to read about the cool things in the night sky and not actually get to witness them.  But we’ve had several days in a row with beautiful weather and clear night skies. But even if I had not been able to do some of the activities, this almanac is still worth taking the time to read.

This 21 page e-book is overflowing with information! I learned so much and I am so impressed with this inexpensive (but highly valuable) resource.  I think the most important thing I learned was that I am in love with classical astronomy.  I didn’t know there was a name for it!

Two of my daughters have been as delighted and fascinated by this Celestial Alamanack as I amThe three of us have been taking advantage of the rare clear skies here and were able to go out three nights in a row.  I love how Mr. Ryan has categorized things to find by 1 star, 2 star etc.  The higher the number of stars the more difficult it is to find with the naked eye.

I could keep going on and on about how much fun my daughters and I have had.  I could keep telling you how impressed I am.  But I think I want to tell you to just go buy it!  I know we’ll be wanting to purchase these every month.  We want to take the “Orion Challenge” and learn all 35 constellations in a year.

One last thought.  I just can’t resist.  I have to share how thrilled I was to see The Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple on the chart of page 4.   As a liturgical Christian, I just have to share this quote from page 3:

It is lesser known that February 2 is the The Feast of the Presentation of the LORD in the traditional liturgical calendar. This feast commemorates the dedication of the baby Jesus at the Temple, as recorded in Luke 2:22-40. This feast occurs 40 days after Christmas, to commemorate the period of the purification of Mary, as stipulated in the Law of Moses, according to Leviticus 12:1-4.
This is another aspect of how the traditional church calendar is designed to mark the seasons while commemorating events in the New Testament, with their correspondences to the Old Testament. In this way, the liturgical calendar dedicates large portions of the calendar year to remembering the narratives and other teachings of the Bible.

I wish that college professor had been able to use Jay Ryan’s materials!  I might have actually learned something back then!

I also highly recommend checking out Jay Ryan’s website especially the Sky this Month page.

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Click on the banner below to read what my fellow crew mates had to say about Celestial AlmanackPhotobucketAll information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

2 comments:

  1. OOooh, that's very cool.

    I wanted to be an astronomer when I was a kid, until I got to higher math. Sigh. I took a class in college, and while I did learn a lot, I was still in way over my head (pun intended) and the labs made my head hurt.

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  2. you make me wish I'd signed up for this review. I rarely take time to appreciate the stars but when I do I am always AWED by my Creator.

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