Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks by Tyler Nordgren
Stars Above, Earth Below examines a range of astronomical topics in relation to the landscapes, processes and cultures which can be seen and experienced within US National Parks. The geological features readers can see are linked to the very latest NASA spacecraft discoveries on other planets and their moons.
Stars Above, Earth Below uses photographs and sky charts to form a connection between what is seen on the ground and in the sky, and looks at the deeper scientific meaning behind these sights. Nordgren describes other objects in the Solar System with features similar to those on Earth and links the geological features seen in the national parks to the very latest NASA spacecraft discoveries on other planets and their moons. Additionally, historical context is discussed to show why we humans (who have lived in and around our national parts for tens of thousands of years) have always been astronomers. The first book to make direct connections between astronomy and the landscapes, processes and cultures one experiences in the US National Parks Each chapter ties a specific astronomical phenomenon to a particular National Park or type of park and concludes with a "See for yourself" section that shows you how to see the planets, stars, nebulae, moons, etc. that are described within that chapter A personal guide showing the reader the astronomical phenomena that you can see for yourself when visiting the U.S. National Parks
About the Author: Dr. Nordgren is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Redlands. As an observational astronomer he has written over two dozen peer-reviewed papers on pulsars, the interstellar medium, star formation in galaxies, the distribution of dark matter in galaxies, and the atmospheres and pulsation of red giant stars. In addition, he has professional interests in archaeoastronomy, light pollution and science education. These interests were developed during positions held as an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory and then Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona. Both institutions have worked diligently and successfully with local governments to establish light pollution ordinances. Dr. Nordgren has designed and built sundials, including a two-story dial at the University of Redlands, and is one of seven scientists and artists that turned the NASA Mars Exploration Rover camera calibration targets into working Martian sundials. These Marsdials have become the most photographed objects of the Spirit and Opportunity Rover mission. In addition, while at the U.S. Naval Observatory and later University of Redlands, he worked with NPS park managers at Wupatki National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historic Park to photograph alignments of ancestral Puebloan kivas with respect to the North Star. In 2005 Dr. Nordgren began working with Chad Moore, leader of the National Park Service Night Sky Team who has developed a method of quantifying the amount of light pollution in the skies above the national parks. With his support, Dr. Nordgren is working with the U.S. National Park Service to spend his sabbatical during the 2007-2008 academic school year in the national parks writing the remainder of the book.
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