Cover of The Constellations: An Enthusiasts Guide To The Night Sky
Category: Reference
Publisher: Viking Studio
Pages: 411
ISBN: 9780385176002
Year: 1998

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Review

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.

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