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

December 2, 2020

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!

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

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).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

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


GPO Holiday Gift Guide: Publications for the Aspiring Astronaut

December 12, 2019

Welcome back, our trusty readers! Is it just us, or is each day that passes leading up to the holidays just a little more stressful than the last? Don’t worry. GPO is here to help. Now put down that tub of treats from your latest cookie exchange, and let’s get to work! Today we’re covering publications perfect for the aspiring astronaut or astronomer … or really just anyone interested in space.

Since President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958, to create NASA, the agency has worked to achieve a wide array of spectacular accomplishments for mankind, including sending a man to the moon, successfully landing a man-made object on Mars, and creating the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, just to name a few. The agency has allowed humans to see their planet from a perspective they never had before. NASA’s First 50 Years covers these accomplishments. But it also remembers tragedies such as the Apollo fire and the Columbia and Challenger accidents.

Earth 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 you love to travel, flipping through this book will inspire several unique ideas for your next destination. 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.”

When reading through this book, you will start to view Earth as NASA does. That is, a system, with various cycles and processes that are not mutually exclusive, but rather dynamic and intersecting. It can be overwhelming to think about. Even NASA admits that it still has much to learn and explore on our own planet.

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most well-known names in space. And for a good reason! This spacecraft looks at the sky from beyond Earth’s atmosphere. It has the capability of seeing and snapping shots of stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies with complete detail. The telescope provided conclusive evidence that hubs of most galaxies do indeed have substantial black holes with millions or even billions of stars. The Hubble is fast. No we mean really fast. In fact, it circles the entire Earth every 96 minutes. Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble has traveled about 2.83 billion miles. Hubble: An Overview of the Space Telescope provides an overview of the historic space telescope with sections on its history, design, operations, and cultural impact. Explore images of the telescope’s fascinating findings – like its image of the heart of the Lagoon Nebula 4,000 light-years away from Earth, its shot of four of Saturn’s moons passing in front of the planet, and its views of the galaxy M84.

Exploring the Unknown from NASA includes a selection of expert essays and key official documents about the evolution of U.S. human spaceflight programs Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.  This publication emphasizes the most important documents or long-out-of-print essays or articles and material from the private recollections of important actors in shaping human spaceflight in the United States. It includes documents relating to aerodynamics and man-in-space research and proposals, program budgets and costs, procurement of materials and support services, lunar orbits and landing selection, astronaut selection, roles and debriefings, statements for foreign countries about missions, and even what activities the lunar vehicle should do and what symbolic items should be brought for the First Lunar Landing (such as the iconic American flag planted on the moon).

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States from 1959 through 1963. Although its two primary goals were to put a human in orbit around the Earth, and to do so prior to the Soviet Union, the Soviets achieved this a month before Mercury.

This New Ocean offers a detailed history of Project Mercury, from the impetus caused by Soviet Cold War rocketry and Sputnik, to the early research on G-forces and human factors of manned space flight, to actual rocket design, development, astronaut selection, the space race, launch and more.

A quote from President John F. Kennedy from the end of the Mercury program appears on the book cover and sums up the national sentiment about the legacy of the project, while simultaneously providing the inspiration for the title of this book:

“We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of preeminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new, terrifying theater of war.” – John F. Kennedy, Rice University Stadium, Houston, Texas; September 12, 1962

Looking to really give an out-of-this-world gift? Pair any of these publications with a telescope, a star named after your space lover, a trip to the Planetarium, or even a ticket to space camp. Now that’s what we call an otherworldly gift … literally!

Alright, now that you’ve got some good gift ideas, you may proceed to eating all the holiday cookies! We’ll see you back here next time for some more helpful gift ideas.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

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).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

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


NASA’s “Earth” Proves To Us All: There’s No Place Like Home

April 19, 2019

The very first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970. Growing evidence that pollution was leading to developmental delays in children had led to concern and anger in many citizens. Millions of people gathered to protest the negative environmental impact of 150 years of industrial development. That year, Congress and President Nixon worked together to found the Environmental Protection Agency and pass environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. According to earthday.org, around 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in Earth Day each year on April 22nd.

Which environmental issue hits home for you? Figure out what it is, and go out and make a difference this Earth Day. Maybe you organize a group of friends to plant trees or pick up trash. Or, perhaps you just want to start by getting educated about this awe-inspiring place we call Earth. If that’s the case, then keep on reading!

NASA’s new book “Earth” 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 you love to travel, flipping through this book will inspire several unique ideas for your next destination. 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.

Click on image to enlarge.

“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.”

When reading through this book, you will start to view Earth as NASA does. That is, a system, with various cycles and processes that are not mutually exclusive, but rather dynamic and intersecting. It can be overwhelming to think about. Even NASA admits that it still has much to learn and explore on our own planet.

Though it’s fun to dream about our planetary neighbors and space travel, the reality is that Earth is the only place most of us will ever call home. To really care about the Earth, we first have to understand how it works. While we have relied on it for so long, and always will, our Earth needs us now more than ever. Happy Earth Day!

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

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).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

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


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