GPO Holiday Gift Guide: Books for the Starry-Eyed Astronomer

It’s the greatest time of year! And while this year has most certainly been a tough one, at least we still have the ability to put a smile on a loved one’s face by picking out the perfect gift for them. This holiday season, GPO is bringing you a guide to unexpected gifts for everyone in your life, from the ultimate outdoorsman to the recreational mariner. And we’re starting with publications for the starry-eyed astronomer! Grab a cup of hot cocoa, top it with whipped cream, and cozy up as we help you become the ultimate gift giver this year.

Astronomical Phenomena for the Year 2021 offers far-out (no pun intended) material preprinted from The Astronomical Almanac. It is published jointly by the U.S. Naval Observatory and Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office two years in advance of its date. It includes such things as:

  • Dates for Solar equinoxes, solstices, phases of the Moon
  • Eclipse maps
  • Dates for various planetary phenomena
  • Visibility and magnitudes of the planets
  • The equation of time and declination of the Sun
  • Sunrise/sunset and moonrise/set times
  • The position of Polaris, the star in the end of the Little Dipper handle

This is the perfect publication for anyone with an interest in our solar system and all its mysteries.

Next, take a trip through the atmosphere in NASA’s book Earth, which tells the story of a 4.5-billion-year-old planet that offers so much to admire. Through rare satellite images, the book shows off Earth’s land, wind, water, ice and air from above. Explore waves off the coast of Mauritania, Coral Cocos of the Indian Ocean, colorful faults of Xinjiang China, and the North Patagonian Icefield in South America. You will be blown away by what you learn about the intersection amongst Earth and its people, like the Moken people of Southeast Asia, whose hunter-gatherer lifestyle and small population have helped preserve and protect the high density of plants and animals in the Mergui Archipelago. Side note – if the person you need a gift for also loves to travel, flipping through this book will inspire unique ideas for trips when we can travel again safely. Be dazzled by descriptions and images of the phenomenon known as glory (which looks similar to a rainbow but is formed differently), undular bores, active stratovolcanoes, fallstreak holes (formed by ice crystals that literally fall out of the sky), and milky green water from a boom of phytoplankton.

“The spectacular images in this book remind us of the majestic beauty of our world,” said Lawrence Friedl, program director for the Applied Sciences Program in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science Division in Washington. “We hope these images inspire everyone to explore, understand, and appreciate the planet we call home.”

Stock up on that hot chocolate because we’ve got more gift guides coming your way. We’ll see you next time, and until then, turn on some holiday music and enjoy the season!

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Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.

One Response to GPO Holiday Gift Guide: Books for the Starry-Eyed Astronomer

  1. Alex Reman says:

    Wow! What great important information for Astronomers. Thanks for posting.


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