An Astronomer's Tale

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A Bricklayer's Guide to the Galaxy . . .

The inspirational memoir of a former brickie who followed his passion for the stars and built his own observatory.

Perfect for readers of Robert Macfarlane, Helen Macdonald and James Rebanks - as well as fans of Brian Cox and the BBC’s Sky at Night

Gary Fildes left school at sixteen, got a trade like most of his mates and was soon married with four kids. His life seemed set. But he had a secret. Something he only practised late at night with a few like-minded friends. Then one day, middle age approaching alarmingly, he acted on his lifelong passion. He finally came out. As an astronomer.

Today, Gary is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder Observatory, one of the top ten stargazing sites in the world, which he also helped to build. Situated in the beautiful forests of Kielder, Northumberland, within Europe’s largest protected dark sky park, it offers some of the UK's most spectacular views of stars, planets and galaxies.

An Astronomer’s Tale is Gary’s inspirational story: part memoir, part nature writing, part seasonal guide to the night sky. It is a book brimming with passion; and at a time when the world is captivated by space, it will leave you ready to get out there and explore the wonders of the skies for yourself.

Auteur(s): Gary Fildes, ... Taal: Engels. Pagina's: 320. Uitgave: 2017. Penguin books.


An Astronomer's Tale Recensie door M.V.ADCOCK
An example to many of what can be achieved from humble beginnings, given the right nurturing of a childhood interest. The geographic setting of this book was of personal interest to me, as my mother's family were all from the Sunderland area. The author's description of his working class northeast background is so redolent of that of many of my family. The interspersed astronomy chapters in this autobiographical story would make this book a gentle introductory guide to anyone keen to develop their 'beginner' astronomy interests further. I can understand how Gary's talent for story telling must enthuse visitors to the Kielder observatory . (Geplaatst op 15-12-2016)
An Astronomer's Tale Recensie door Matthew Culley
I loved this book. It is unusual in that it interweaves autobiographical detail with a observation guide throughout the year. Gary Fildes is a fascinating, likeable and intelligent chap. He grew up in 1970's and 80's Sunderland, a city in the North East of England. It was not an easy time, since the old industries that dominated the city had reduced considerably or disappeared completely. Somewhat paradoxically then, Gary was still expected to leave school and follow a trade. Eventually, he found bricklaying, and became skilful at this. However, Gary had another passion: Astronomy. In the somewhat masculine and tough environment of his youth, it was difficult for him to develop this interest (and indeed talent). But he persevered, learning how to use telescopes and make observations.

As well as being a great astronomer, Gary also has a talent for inspiring and organising people. The ultimate result of this is the construction of the observatory at Kielder, in one the UK's dark skies sites. This is a fantastic facility for educating and inspiring the public. What we learn from the book is that Gary is an excellent scientist, not impeded at all by his lack of formal education. Amateur science is very important.

The writing style is very easy going but also very informative. We are part of the universe: this book will help you understand it a bit more. In context, there is more valuable information in this book than in the entire scriptural output of all the world's religions. (Geplaatst op 15-12-2016)

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