Authors: Ian Ridpath & Wil Tirion
Paperback: 400 pages
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.