Katharupi Khagolshastra by Leena Damale
From ancient times, the glittering stars in the heavens have intrigued man. After years of observation and study, he has tried to relate their shapes to different animals and objects and name them accordingly. The advanced studies in science and technology have since improved our understanding of these heavenly bodies. The book describes different types of stars and variable stars, novae, supernovae, nebulae, etc. It explains the precession of earth in detail. Sun and moon try to maintain the Earth upright with their gravitational pull on its small equatorial bulge. The pull gives Earth`s axis a wobble called precession (Paranchan Gati in Sanskrit.) Because of Earth`s precession, our so called stationary pole star will no more be our pole star after a few thousand years. When the Egyptian pyramids were being built, the star Thuban from the constellation Draco was our pole star. The star Vega from the constellation Lyra near Sygnus will be our future pole star. Most of the western books written so far on astronomy refer to stories from the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Khalidian and Arabic mythologies. However, what sets this book apart is the innumerable citations it contains from the Hindu mythology. The author has tried to explain different constellations and their names through mythological stories from different civilizations. Also, the unique conversational style of the book should keep the reader engaged throughout.