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Her favored medium, gouache, is ideal for the milky and ethereal depictions of the constellations, stars, and figures.

The animal paintings are particularly charming (Lupus, the Wolf, is adorable, as is Ursa Minor, the Little Bear), but all have a distinctive style and grace.

Kelsey Oseid’s is a delightful introduction to the night sky.

As the title suggests, the book’s narrative is shaped by skylore and the cultural history of finding patterns in the stars.

A paragraph or two of text accompanies each figure, offering an origin story for each constellation as well as a few pertinent scientific facts about the brightest stars in the pattern.

These entries make for interesting reading, but what really shines here is Oseid’s artwork.

Once you dig into it, though, you’ll see that Comet fits with the series’ mandate to “trace the historical significance and cultural history of natural phenomena and resources” in an accessible way.

The content is geographically and temporally wide-ranging, representing almost every part of the populated world, with some works dating back to 16,500 BC. The editors made liberal use of NASA, Hubble Space Telescope, JPL-Caltech, and ESA images, as well as the work of well-known photographers and space artists.

It brings together the spectra for the main stellar classes, as well as spectra from stars at various stages of development (from protostars all the way through the stellar life cycle to their transformation into planetary nebulae, supernovae, or white dwarfs). Trypsteen and Richard Walker’s showcases a diverse collection of astrophotographs, scientific drawings, space souvenirs, and artworks selected by an international panel of experts.

The atlas also includes documents and spectra for star clusters, extragalactic objects, and emission nebulae. About one third of the book’s 300 illustrations come from the world of art, offering a fresh perspective on our place in the world.

Most amateur astronomers have some general sense of the importance of spectroscopy in the history of astronomy; the measurement of the electromagnetic spectrum (think emission line or absorption line spectra) has helped scientists analyze the composition and structure of a universe not observable in visible light.

Most of these spectroscopic studies have been completed in the realm of professional astronomy, but with the development of CCD cameras and (relatively) affordable spectrographs, more and more amateur astronomers have become involved spectroscopy.

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