Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars was written to be a companion handbook for The Night Sky, serving as a general introduction to observational astronomy. It covers both what can be seen in the sky and the significance of what is seen. Although it was not written explicitly for children, it received honorable mention in the New York Academy of Sciences Children’s Science Book Awards (older children’s division). It is beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork by Don Davis, one of the leading space artists today. Besides being a starter book for beginners, it is used in a number of colleges as a textbook supplement for the first-week’s reading assignment!
The artwork of Don Davis, commissioned especially for this book, is not just an attempt to “approximate” photography: it represents what is seen to the eye better than a photograph can. Shown here is the subtle glow of the “North American Nebula” approximating very well what is actually seen in binoculars. This is one of the most challenging objects presented in the book, but a very satisfying object to see with ones own eyes. Photographs show this to be a spectacular nebula, but they can mislead a visual observer, especially a beginner. What can be perceived visually are subtle “variations in the blackness.”