Free stargazing guide in this weekend's Telegraph

February 7th, 2013 by Dexter Findley

Something for all our budding Physicists and Mathematicians (and anyone else interested in astronomy!):

This weekend's edition of the Telegraph will please astronomy enthusiasts everywhere: they're giving away a free stargazing guide, created in association with the team behind the renowned Sky and Night programme.

It comes in two parts, one for each day of the weekend. It'll be packed with info for stargazers young and old; for those with high-end telescopes and those who prefer to experience the stars au naturale with the naked eye.

As far as we can tell, the core content will be details on the must-see astronomical events of 2013: eclipses, meteor showers and planetary alignments. We hope it'll also contain information on the comet event of the century, the passing of comet ISON later this year.

ISON is projected to pass Earth during December, and to be fifteen times brighter than the moon. It's going to be passing within 40 million miles of us, which is under half the Earth's distance from the Sun. Astronomers think it'll put on a show as grand as the famed Comet of 1680, which was visible during daytime and enabled Isaac Newton to prove Kepler's planetary laws.

The guide will also contain charts and guides on how to see all the old stellar favourites: the Pleiades star cluster, for example; or the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion nebula and the rings of Saturn, things that look great even through binoculars.

If you've never tried astronomy, this would be a great time to start. It is a 'humbling and character building experience', as the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan once said. It certainly has the awe factor, and the ability to make the heavily theoretical subjects of Mathematics and Physics come alive in a spectacular fashion.

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