You don’t need a telescope to become a stargazer — with the help of your eyes and even your fingers, you can enjoy the constellations, planets, nebulas and satellites that crisscross the sky each night.
Regas teaches readers how to use their fingers — a pinkie, which represents about one degree of sky, three fingers, which represent about five, a fist, which represents about 10 — to make rough estimates of the star’s angles. Using those measurements, you can locate celestial bodies and identify constellations.
There’s navigational help in the sky, too. Polaris, also known as the North Star, can help lead the way. So can Merak and Dubhe, stars Regas dubs the “ultimate pointer stars” for their ability to point not just to Polaris, but a variety of other constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
The book is packed with star maps, quotes and photos. But according to Regas, “The best teacher of astronomy is the sky itself.” Investing some time into stargazing will yield not just a better understanding of Earth’s relationship to its galactic surroundings, but a bit of perspective in unsettling times. As the world roils, the stars spin on.