The Constellations – An Enthusiasts Guide to the Night Sky
This well-written book contains a wealth of information as to popular constellations as they appear in the heavens. We begin with the concept of the earth’s position in relation to our views of the sky with chapters of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) and Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). We continue with other circumpolar sky figures including Draco, the Dragon, Cassiopeia the Queen, Cepheus the King, Camelopardus the Giraffe, and so forth. Interesting objects within are Herschel Garnet Star, Variable Stars, S and U Cephei, selected clusters and galaxies. The book touches on classical mythology and several historical plates can be found of Hercules and other popular characters.
The next Chapters break down the sky in terms of the four seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall with subsections of the well-known constellations within. Orion and his surrounding stick figures, for example, are an extremely rich in interstellar deletes. The authors take full advantage in reviewing the conflicting names of the stars Saiph, the eclipsing binaries of Mintaka and the Super red giant Betelgeuse, Rigel. Belt and sword stars are presented in some detail as well as the Horsehead, the Great Nebula M-42 and Trapezium. The format of interesting objects, as well as a certain amount of history with an occasional amount of mythology, is replicated throughout the book.
Benefits the amateur astronomer who can already identify the well known constellations but whats to understand the most popular objects within each.
Very tastefully done this edition would be a welcome to any deep-sky observer.
Table of Contents
Looking at the Stars- (Introduction page) by Isaac Asimov
How Sky Pictures Were Born
Charting The Heavens
Stars for All Seasons
One Two Bears and A Dragon
Two Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
Three Other Polar Pictures
Four The Hunter (Orion)
Five Completing the Orion Scene
Six More Animals
Seven Two Damsels and a Herdsman
Eight Three Tragic Myths
Nine More Tales of Man and Beast
Ten Reserved For Great Birds
Eleven A Watery Domain
Twelve A Royal Rescue
The Southern Skies
Thirteen Mythical and Modern Creations – Centaurus to Grus
Fourteen Phoenix to Antlia
Fifteen South Circumpolar Constellations