320 pages, 300 illustrations
Step outside on a clear night, and the number of stars in the night sky can be overwhelming. Take a pair of binoculars or a small telescope with you, and a celestial vista of star clusters and clouds, knots of gas and dust, nearby planets and distant galaxies is revealed. Since ancient times, stargazers have made sense of the night sky by grouping its stars into constellations – star patterns that often have symbolic or mythological meanings. Constellations is a guide to the night sky that focuses on these 88 distinctive patterns, revealing their often intriguing stories – their origins, mythology, present-day significance – and the multitude of wondrous objects they contain. Complete with many of the best astronomical images ever captured, a comprehensive introduction to the stars and other celestial phenomena, and a series of newly commissioned, state-of-the-art maps showing the stars that are visible from populated latitudes in both hemispheres throughout the year, this magnificent guide has all you need to know to become an expert stargazer.
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Giles Sparrow studied Astronomy at University College London, and Science Communication at Imperial College, before embarking on a career in publishing. He has acted as author, consultant and contributor on numerous bestselling astronomy and popular science books, including Cosmos, The Stargazer's Handbook and Hubble: Window on the Universe for Quercus.