Stars and Planets

Author: Ian Ridpath

The Book is divided into four parts: general introduction to astronomy; a detailed guide to the Solar System; an alphabetical catalogue of the constellations; a month-by month companion to the night sky. Sample pages from three main sections (excluding the Introduction). Further explanation appears at the start of each section.
Introduction (PP.6-24) General information on astronomy.
The Solar System (PP.25-62) This section contains descriptions of the nine planets, Sun and Moon, and the more significant smaller bodies. It also includes advice on how and where to find them.
The Constellations (PP.63-141) Entries on the 88 constellations are arranged alphabetically by name. Collectively, the charts in this section form a complete atlas of the sky. The text describes the origins of the constellations and selected features of interest.
Monthly Sky Guide (PP.142-215) An introduction to each month, with easy-to-use charts and descriptions of what to look out for, is followed by more detailed charts of the night sky as seen from northern and southern latitudes.

Discover the Night Sky

Author: Robin Kerrod

This four-part introduction to star watching is the work of astronomer Robin Kerrod. It consists of a planisphere, two 128-page spiral-bound books and a torch, all packed into a sturdy case. The planisphere is two rotating discs fixed one above the other. It shows the constellations at different times during each night of the year and is designed to work best at latitude 35 degrees south. The first of the two manuals, Mapping the Skies, expands on whats shown on the planisphere. It has an introduction to the main constellations of each hemisphere as well as a chapter dedicated to the regular celestial patterns that coincide with each month of the year. Within each chapter are more star maps, photographs of key features and information about the constellations. The second book, The Star Guide, covers some of the more fundamental principles of astronomy and describes the different types of telescopes used to view our skies. It also looks at the stars and the planets of our solar system (and our exploration of it) in more detail; includes helpful tips for people interested in buying a telescope; and lists the 88 visible constellations and important dates in the history of astronomy. Discover the Night Sky is a simple, practical introduction to astronomy for beginning enthusiasts. It contains lots of good reading, and the planisphere will help newcomers orientation. Its readers will probably next find themselves investing in a decent telescope – and batteries for the torch.

Collins – Stars and Planets

Authors: Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion


Previously entitled ‘Collins Pocket Guide Stars and Planets’, this classic guide to the night sky enters its fourth edition as part of the authoritative ‘Collins Guide’ series.
A comprehensive guide to all the stars and celestial objects visible with the use of binoculars or an average-sized telescope, this fully revised edition features updated and extended text, improved sky charts, and new diagrams and photographs.Includes:
* Unique yearly planetary data, available as a downloadable web resource
* Monthly sky maps of the northern and southern hemispheres, so you can identify constellations and bright stars from various latitudes throughout the year
* Descriptions of all the 88 constellations and their stars opposite a specially prepared chart showing the constellation in relation to the surrounding skies
* Detailed information on stars, nebulae, galaxies, the Moon and the Solar System
* Practical advice on choosing and using binoculars and telescopes
* In addition to the charts and diagrams, the text is accompanied by many photographs throughout, making this the most practical and comprehensive guide to the night sky.

Capturing the Stars

Author: Robert Gendler

To gaze at the stars is one thing; to capture that gaze in photographs is something else, a tantalizing scientific art that many attempt and few master. That rare mastery is on full display in this beautiful volume of space photography from thirty of the most accomplished astrophotographers in the world, both professional and amateur. Galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and other deep-sky treasures fill the pages. Along with the marvels of the night sky–the Andromeda and Whirlpool galaxies, the Pleiades and the Praesepe, the Orion and Crab nebulae, and many more–each section features a profile of the photographer’s work, techniques, philosophy, and experiences. Compiled by the world’s leading amateur astrophotographer, with an introduction to the history of space photography, this spectacular volume is an essential for every stargazer’s bookshelf

The Planets

Author: Giles Sparrow

With nearly 200 spectacular images, The Planets follows the tracks of robotic rovers over Mars, plunges through Titan’s atmosphere on the back of the Hugyens probe, smashes into a comet with Deep Impact, and discovers the frozen planets that lurk at the edge of our solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune

The Planets: A Journey Through the Solar System by Giles Sparrow
For millennia the planets have fascinated mankind. But only in the last 40 years have those wandering points of light in the night sky been revealed in all their glory, unmasked by a fleet of satellites and interplanetary probes: Cassini, Deep Space I, Galileo, Hubble Space Telescope, Magellan, Mariner, Mars Global Surveyor, NEAR Shoemaker, Stardust, SOHO, TRACE, Viking, and Voyagers I & II, to name but a few. And the closer we look, the more wonderful they are: Venus’ clouds are laced with sulphuric acid; water once flowed over Mars’ deserts; on Jupiter wind speeds reach 10,000 kph (6,000 mph) and storms rage for centuries; Saturn is surrounded by a swarm of 34 moons; and diamonds rain from Neptune’s skies. Moving out from the Sun, every planet and moon is visited in a journey that takes us a full light year out into space, to the very fringes of the solar system where the Sun is no longer the brightest star in the sky. With nearly 200 spectacular images, The Planets follows the tracks of robotic rovers over Mars, plunges through Titan’s atmosphere on the back of the Hugyens probe, smashes into a comet with Deep Impact, and discovers the frozen planets that lurk at the edge of our solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune.


Chief Consultant: Professor Fred Watson

Astronomica Galaxies • Planets • Stars Constellation Maps • Space Exploration Astronomica combines the knowledge of astronomy experts with the very latest images to present an in-depth look at the universe and the celestial bodies that abound in the intriguing realm of the night sky. Written in an engaging and accessible format, Astronomica is an invaluable reference book that covers a wide range of astronomy topics. There are comprehensive profiles of each of the planets in our solar system, the major stars, the dwarf planets, and other astronomical bodies. The galaxies, including the Milky Way and the local and distant galaxies, are examined. Successful skywatching is covered in the chapter on observing the stars, which includes detailed charts of each of the 88 recognized constellations, helpful monthly sky charts, and information on equipment and materials to maximize viewing potential. The history of astronomy turns the spotlight on the advances that have been made through the centuries, up to the latest in cutting-edge technology. The chapter on space exploration discusses the successes and failures, the results and disappointments; the role of space stations; and the long-distance spacecraft sent out to the far reaches of the solar system. Discover all you need to know about the cosmos and its fascinating features. Stunning photographs, detailed illustrations and charts, fact files, and timelines enhance the informative text, as Astronomica brings the cosmic world within easy reach.