Thinking of doing some stargazing this summer? We’ve got a great selection of books about stars, planets, and other astronomical phenomena here at the OISE Library!
The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide and the Collins Stars & Planets are excellent stargazing starting points. Both books include detailed star charts, in-depth explanations of stargazing equipment like telescopes, and extensive descriptions of constellations, planets, and other phenomena you may observe while stargazing. For a similar book aimed at younger readers, check out The Kids Book of the Night Sky. This book contains star charts, stories about the different constellations, and a large selection of star-themed activities and crafts. Children interested in a general introductory book about space that covers everything from the Moon to comets to distant galaxies will also enjoy The Jumbo Book of Space.
Our own solar system in an excellent starting point for learning about space. The OISE Library has many books about the planets orbiting the Sun. The Planet Library series has a book about The Solar System as a whole – as well as books about the individual planets! On display are books about The Moon, Mercury and Venus, and Saturn. Books from this series about the other planets are listed in the library catalogue. For readers looking for a more detailed look at our home system, check out this in-depth guide to The Solar System.
We’ve also got books on phenomena from outside our solar system! Learn a little about objects found in The Galaxy, such as stars, comets, and meteors, or delve into the weird world of Black Holes and Other Bizarre Space Objects.
The night sky has been inspiring wonder in people since the beginning of time – and humanity has responded by telling stories about it. You can read some of these stories in Dot-to-Dot in the Sky: Stories in the Stars, Dot-to-Dot in the Sky: Stories of the Moon, and Dot-to-Dot in the Sky: Stories of the Planets. All the Stars in the Sky shares stories about the heavens drawn from seven different First Nations.
We’ve also got a selection picture books with space-themed stories available in our children’s literature collection. Be sure to check out Stars, How to Catch a Star, and Bright Star for delightful tales about – you guessed it – stars! Readers young and old will be enchanted by Galileo’s Universe, a pop-up book recounting the story of Galileo Galilei, the astronomer reknowned for proving that the Earth revolved around the Sun – and not the other way around. Night Wonders, meanwhile, provides a charming voyage through the universe through the medium of poetry!
There are also space-related activity kits available at the OISE Library. In the display case, you’ll find the Replogle Lunar Globe. Teachers will also find the Earth, Moon, and Stars kit to be a valuable resource for science classes about astronomy.
For a real-life stargazing experience, the Perseid meteor shower is visible this month! Although this meteor shower began in late July, interested stargazers will want to keep an eye out for these shooting stars at its peak on August 12th. For those of you able to get away from the city lights, you’ll want to look toward Cassiopeia in the north-east for one of the best meteor showers of the year.
Another exciting astronomical event coming up is this month’s solar eclipse! On August 21st, we’ll be experiencing a partial solar eclipse: Toronto will be getting 70% coverage. While you won’t be able to view the eclipse without special protective glasses, observatories in the area will be holding eclipse-viewing events.
These books can be found in the glass display case on the ground floor of the OISE Library. All of these books are available to be checked out – please speak to staff at the circulation and reference desks if you need any assistance.