Synopses & Reviews
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 the world
- 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
"The handy size, copious illustrations, maps and charts, as well as the latest in astrophotography throughout . . . practically beg[s] astronomers to take [Stars and Planets
] along to star parties."--Astronomy
The handy size, copious illustrations, maps and charts, as well as the latest in astrophotography throughout . . . practically beg[s] astronomers to take  along to star parties.
"[A] rich resource for advanced amateurs, but novices will also like the star charts (both Northern and Southern hemispheres) and abundant explanatory text detailing each of the 88 constellations and the stars within them, as well as the sun, moon, planets, and Milky Way."--Library Journal
"This marvelously dense field guide tells you everything you need to know to find your way around the sky, whether you are an eager novice who is just looking around or a serious observer using binoculars or a telescope."--Discover
"[A] first-class pocket field guide to the sky.... The charts, by Wil Tirion, are what we would expect of this master of celestial cartography; they are uncluttered, easy to read, and compress many (but not too many!) objects in a small space.... [A] very nicely produced book."--John Mosley, Planetarian
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.
A concise and beautifully illustrated guide to the sky's best sights, and to the science behind them.
"For those who gaze at the night sky, seeking the familiar patterns known to sailors and shepherds, this field guide will be an invaluable companion."--Bruce E. Fleury, Science Books and Films
"[C]omprehensive yet compact.... This beautiful guide is suitable for amateurs and novices as well as stargazers more acquainted with navigating their night skies."--Irene Wanner, Seattle Times
"Though I'm not in a position to assess the title's proclamation of being the most complete guide, I will say that it is the best one that I've read. With Ian Ridpath's text and Wil Tirion's illustrations, the Princeton Field Guides Stars and Planets
is a wonderful guide to the stars, planets, galaxies, and our own solar system. It will help in getting that elusive target into the finder and onto the eagerly awaiting eye."--Mark Mortimer, Universe Today
"A concise and beautifully illustrated guide to the sky's best sights, and to the science behind them."--Mitchell Begelman, author of Turn Right at Orion: Travels through the Cosmos
"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."--David H. Levy, author of Shoemaker by Levy (Princeton) and co-discoverer of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
Table of Contents
The Star Charts 19
Northern and Southern Hemisphere Skies 20
Monthly Skies Throughout the Year 24
The 88 Constellations 72
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
Five-year positions for Mars, Jupiter and Saturn 356
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto 375
Comets and Meteors 379
Asteroids and Meteorites 383
Astronomical Instruments and Observing 385
Basic Astrophotography 393