Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography

Popular Science

Series: Springer Praxis Books: Popular Astronomy

By: Nick Kanas (Author)

563 pages, 91 colour & 171 b/w illustrations, tables


Paperback | Jul 2012 | Edition: 2 | #200462 | ISBN-13: 9781461409168
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx

About this book

Until the publication of the first edition of Star Maps, books were either general histories of astronomy using examples of antiquarian celestial maps as illustrations, or catalogs of celestial atlases that failed to trace the flow of sky map development over time. The second edition focuses on the development of contemporary views of the heavens and advances in map-making. It captures the beauty and awe of the heavens through images from antiquarian celestial prints and star atlases.

This book uniquely combines a number of features: 1) the history of celestial cartography is traced from ancient to modern times; 2) this development is integrated with contemporary cosmological systems; 3) the artistry of sky maps is shown using beautiful color images from actual celestial atlases and prints; 4) each illustration is accompanied by a legend explaining what is being shown; and 5) the text is written for the lay reader based on the author's experience with writing articles for amateur astronomy and map collector magazines.

This updated second edition of 'Star Maps' contains over 50 new pages of text and 44 images (16 in color), including completely new sections on celestial frontispieces, deep-sky objects, playing card maps, additional cartographers, and modern computerized star maps. There is also expanded material about celestial globes, volvelles, telescopes, and planets and asteroids.


Prefac to Second Edition
Foreword to First Edition
Preface to First Edition
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of abbreviations and acronyms

Chapter 1: What is a star map?
Chapter 2: Non-European cosmology and constellation development
Chapter 3: European Cosmology
Chapter 4: European constellation development
Chapter 5: Early European star maps
Chapter 6: The "Big Four" of the Golden Age of pictorial star maps
Chapter 7: Other important star maps of the Golden Age
Chapter 8: Special topics
Chapter 9: Mapping the stars in early America
Chapter 10: The transition to non-pictorial star maps
Chapter 11: Color Plate Gallery

Appendix A: Collecting celestial maps and prints
Appendix B: Supplementary reference catalog
Appendix C: Indices of major constellation atlases
Appendix D: The British Library "Kings's" edition
Appendix E: Glossary


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Dr. Nick Kanas is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco. He has been collecting antiquarian star maps for over 30 years. He is a member of several map collector societies and has lectured on the history of celestial cartography at scientific and non-scientific meetings of organizations such as the Adler Planetarium, the Lick Observatory, and the Sydney (Australia) Observatory, and annual meetings of the International Conference on the History of Cartography, the Society for the History of Astronomy, the Flamsteed Astronomical Society in Greenwich, U.K. and the California Map Society. He has written articles on this subject for a number of journals and magazines including Sky & Telescope and the Journal of the International Map Collector's Society. Nick is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (London). The first edition of his title Star Maps (Springer, 2007) was well-reviewed and went through two printings. He continues to write and lecture on antiquarian star maps for various groups, including professional conferences and meetings of amateur astronomers and map collectors.

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