Smithsonian Handbooks: Stars & Planets

Overview

In this new edition of their classic guide, Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion bring the night sky down to earth with brand new sky charts, diagrams, and photos that enrich the clear, engaging text. Stars and Planets will delight both latent astronomers who have yet to touch a telescope and the more star-savvy who have spent many a night outside craning their necks behind a lens.

The introduction presents the basics of astronomical observation while answering such questions as: How did ...

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Overview

In this new edition of their classic guide, Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion bring the night sky down to earth with brand new sky charts, diagrams, and photos that enrich the clear, engaging text. Stars and Planets will delight both latent astronomers who have yet to touch a telescope and the more star-savvy who have spent many a night outside craning their necks behind a lens.

The introduction presents the basics of astronomical observation while answering such questions as: How did constellations come to be? Do the stars within them have anything to do with one another? Do stars really flicker? Next comes the book's centerpiece: an excellent series of maps of the night sky from hemisphere to hemisphere, month to month and, above all, charts showing all 88 constellations, including some 5,000 stars. The text vividly relates the human history behind each constellation and notes their most prominent stars while offering sundry stimulating facts.

The second section focuses on the astrophysics behind stars, galaxies, the sun, the planets, comets and meteors, and more. Striking full-color photos, maps, and illustrations appear on almost every page. The guide concludes with helpful tips on the optical tools of the trade and on astrophotography. Astrophysicists and amateur skywatchers agree that Stars and Planets is simply the most user-friendly, compact source of celestial information available. No one should leave home at night without it.












  • Up-to-date full-color photos and data, including recent planetary images






  • Monthly maps of the night sky as seen from latitudes throughout theworld






  • Charts of all 88 constellations, with data and notes on bright stars and other objects of interest






  • Illustrated introduction to stars, nebulae, galaxies, and the solar system






  • Advice on choosing and using binoculars and telescopes









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What People Are Saying

Mitchell Begelman
A concise and beautifully illustrated guide to the sky's best sights,and to the science behind them.
David H. Levy
Ridpath and Tirion are an unbeatable team. Ridpath writes concisely and movingly about the sky,and Tirion's charts are beautifully done and easy to follow. This is a superb guide to the night sky.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789489883
  • Publisher: DK
  • Publication date: 9/5/2002
  • Series: Smithsonian Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 284,034
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Section I
Introduction 4
The Star Charts 19
Northern and Southern Hemisphere Skies 20
Monthly Skies Throughout the Year 24
The 88 Constellations 72
Section II
Stars 263
Double and Multiple Stars 278
Variable Stars 279
Milky Way, Galaxies and the Universe 283
The Sun 292
The Solar System 298
The Moon 302
Moon Maps 313
Eclipses of the Sun and Moon 334
Mercury 338
Venus 342
Mars 347
Five-year positions for Mars, Jupiter and Saturn 356
Jupiter 366
Saturn 371
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto 375
Comets and Meteors 379
Asteroids and Meteorites 383
Astronomical Instruments and Observing 385
Basic Astrophotography 393
Index 395
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2007

    Amazing!

    A wonderful reference for peering at the vast regions of space. I, myself, have used it to look and take pictures of the Orion nebula, Jupiter, and other celestial bodies. A must have for every astronomer!

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