The skies between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River bring out natures best. From the lowest clouds, stratus, to the highest clouds that we can see, cirrus, to the planets and the stars and the entire universe, we can experience just about everything right here in the heartland of the United States.
In this book, well show you fantastic photographs of what the universe offers the naked eye and some of what you can see only with optical help. Well tell you whats going on in those images for instance, what cloud formations mean. Did you know that you can forecast the weather with some accuracy just by looking at the sky?
Youll see sunrises and clouds and the sun close up, and awesome storms over the plains. Youll see splendid scenes in the night sky out there in what seems like darkness beyond the earths atmosphere. Ever since age 5, Ive been interested in the sky. The first small cumulus cloud I remember seeing filled me with excitement. Soon, I realized that those small clouds changed shapes and often began to grow. Now, I know that an approaching cold front or the days heat may deliver enough energy to produce hail, squalls, lightning and maybe even a tornado. All that can occur within hours of the time you first spot that little cumulus cloud. And in a matter of minutes the thunderstorm can wither as downdrafts take over and the violence fades away. Then the sky clears and just a few clouds are left to create a beautiful sunset.
As the sky turns dark, the stars appear. Do you know what the Milky Way is? Have you seen it?
Well show you the vast array of the night sky. If youre an amateur astronomer, a weather enthusiast, or a professional or if youve ever simply marveled at the stars and the clouds and the moon and the planets this book will open your eyes. You and your friends and your family will return often to the daily spectacle in the skies above the heartland.
Gary Lezak / 2002
(C) 2002 BY VIC WINTER / JEN WINTER / GARY LEZAK AND KANSAS CITY STAR BOOKS.