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A Field Guide to Stars and Planets

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Overview


The fourth edition of this best-selling field guide has been completely revised and updated to include the latest information from leading astronomical sources. All the time-sensitive material is new and valid through 2017: solar eclipses, phases of the moon, positions of the planets, and more. Twenty-four Monthly Sky Maps, all newly revised and in color, show exactly what you'll see when facing north or south in the night sky. Fifty-two Atlas Charts, also revised and in color, cover the entire sky, including ...
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Overview


The fourth edition of this best-selling field guide has been completely revised and updated to include the latest information from leading astronomical sources. All the time-sensitive material is new and valid through 2017: solar eclipses, phases of the moon, positions of the planets, and more. Twenty-four Monthly Sky Maps, all newly revised and in color, show exactly what you'll see when facing north or south in the night sky. Fifty-two Atlas Charts, also revised and in color, cover the entire sky, including close-ups of areas of special interest such as the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula. The hundreds of thousands of devoted users of the previous editions of this guide have been eagerly awaiting this new volume so they can continue to enjoy their hobby in the coming decades.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Brimming with dazzling celestial photographs and timely astronomical information, the newly revised Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets is a must-have resource for any amateur stargazer." Country Living Gardener

"An excellent introduction to astronomy for beginners and a field guide for experts." St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395934319
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Series: Peterson Field Guides Series
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 171,778
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 7.25 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Jay M. Pasachoff is the Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Williams College. He is the author of the Peterson Field Guide to Stars and Planets, as well as numerous textbooks and trade books on astronomy, weather, and more.

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

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Read an Excerpt


The moon is often the most prominent object in the nighttime sky. The moon is somewhat more than one-quarter the diameter of the earth. This makes it the largest substantial satellite (moon) in the solar system in comparison to its parent planet. (Three moons of Jupiter and one each of Neptune and Saturn are physically larger than our moon; Pluto’s small moon Charon is nearly half Pluto’s size.) The moon orbits the earth every 271?3 days with respect to the stars. But during that time, the earth and moon have moved as a system about 1?12 of the way in their yearly orbit around the sun. So if the moon at a certain point in its orbit is directly between the earth and the sun, 271?3 days later it has not quite returned to that point directly between the earth and the sun. The moon must orbit the earth a bit farther to get back to the same place with respect to the line between the earth and the sun. The moon reaches this point in a couple of days, making the synodic period of the moon equal to 291?2 days. (The synodic period is the interval between two successive conjunctions — coming to the same celestial longitude — of two celestial bodies, in this case conjunctions of the moon and sun as observed from the earth.) It is the synodic months that are taken into account in lunar calendars.
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Table of Contents


Editor’s Note v Acknowledgments vi List of Tables and Appendixes x How to Use This Book 1

1. A First Look at the Sky 7 2. A Tour of the Sky 21 3. The Monthly Sky Maps 46 4. The Constellations 126 5. Stars, Nebulae, and Galaxies 144 6. Double and Variable Stars 194 7. Atlas of the Sky 209 8. The Moon 348 9. Finding the Planets 385 10. Observing the Planets 418 11. Comets 455 12. Asteroids 463 13. Meteors and Meteor Showers 467 14. Observing the Sun 474 15. Coordinates, Time, and Calendars 495 16. Telescopes and Binoculars 503

Appendixes 512 Glossary 548 Bibliography 557 Index 563

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2000

    Chock full of information.

    This little book has it all. While doing a research project, I discovered that this was one of the only resources that listed more than 50 of the brightest stars. It has a very complete listing of variable stars (both long and short period), multiple stars, nearst stars, proerties of spectral types, etc, etc... and that's just the appendix. The information is complete, and the format is and easy to understand. As an Intermediate Amateur Astronomer, I feel that if I could only own 1 guide to the stars, this would be it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    I love it

    I'm a student that thrives on knowledge of stars and this book is the ultamit guide to stars and planets. I got it last year and I use it pratically every day. I love the atlas charts on every constellation. Appendix 2 The Brightest stars provided tons of information on all of the brightest stars in the night sky.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    Beautiful

    Everything I know about the heavens above I learned from this book! I love it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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