Terence Dickinson

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Terence Dickinson CM (born 10 November 1943 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian amateur astronomer and accomplished astrophotographer who lives near Yarker, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of 14 astronomy books for both adults and children. He is the founder and former editor of SkyNews magazine. Dickinson has been an astronomy commentator for Discovery Channel Canada and taught at St. Lawrence College. He has made appearances at such places as the Ontario Science Centre. In 1994, the International Astronomical Union committee on Minor Planet Nomenclature named asteroids 272 Dickinson and 5272 Dickinson in honour of his “ability to explain the universe in everyday language.”


Dickinson became interested in astronomy at age five after seeing a bright meteor. When he was 14 he received a 60 mm telescope as a Christmas present, the first of nearly 20 telescopes he has owned. Past occupations include editor of Astronomy magazine and planetarium instructor. He became a full-time science writer in 1976. He received the 1998 Industry Canada's Michael Smith Award for Public Promotion of Science, the 1993 Canadian Science Writers' Association Award First Place for Science and Technology writing, and the Royal Canadian Institute's Sandford Fleming Medal in 1992. In 1995 Dickinson was made a Member of the Order of Canada,[1] which is the nation's highest civilian achievement award. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific awarded him the Klumpke-Roberts Award in 1996. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Queen's University in 2019.

In 1983, Dickinson published Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. The book includes star charts, tables of future solar and lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions, planet locations, and other illustrations. The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society called NightWatch the essential star-watching guide for amateur astronomers of all levels of experience.[2]


  • Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
  • The Backyard Astronomer's Guide
  • Exploring the Night Sky
  • Exploring the Sky by Day
  • From the Big Bang to Planet X
  • Splendors of the Universe
  • Summer Stargazing
  • The Universe and Beyond
  • Extraterrestrials: A Field Guide for Earthlings
  • Hubble's Universe


  1. ^ "Order of Canada - Terence Dickinson, C.M." Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2009-01-10.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 93 (1): 243–44. 1999. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

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