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The ninth edition of Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion's famous guide to the night sky is updated with planet positions and forthcoming eclipses to the end of the year 2017. It contains twelve chapters describing the main sights visible in each month of the year, providing an easy-to-use companion for anyone wanting to identify prominent stars, constellations, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies; to watch out for meteor showers ('shooting stars'); or to follow the movements of the four brightest planets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Most of the sights described are visible to the naked eye and all are within reach of binoculars or a small telescope. This revised and updated edition includes sections on observing the Moon and the planets, with a comprehensive Moon map. The Monthly Sky Guide offers a clear and simple introduction to the skies of the northern hemisphere for beginners of all ages.
Finding your way
Observing the planets
Observing the moon
Ian Ridpath is an astronomy writer and broadcaster, who is also editor of Norton's Star Atlas and the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy. Wil Tirion is a celestial carographer, widely regarded as the leading exponent of his art in the world.
Reviews from previous editions:
"Wil Tirion's charts are justly famous. With Ian Ridpath's words, the combination is hard to beat."
- Popular Astronomy
"'For those who want to learn about the constellations and bright stars, this book is all that they'll need."
- Astronomy Now
"[...] charts big and detailed enough to be used easily [...]"
- Sky Publishing Corporation
"'What adds greatly to the value of the Guide is the obvious enthusiasm of the authors and their ability to convey it."
- Journal of the British Astronomical Association
"'I have not seen a better first guide to amateur astronomy."
- Malcolm Gough, The Observatory
"'It is an excellent practical introduction to finding one's way around the sky; [...] I can recommend this book very strongly."
- Robert Connon Smith, The Observatory
"'This popular guide, the product of collaboration between a writer and a cartographer, is now so well known that just a short review of the latest (7th) edition will suffice. Now updated through to 2011, the monthly sky maps (as well as focussing upon selected seasonal constellations) have been improved by the addition of star colours, while the outline of the Milky Way has been represented more realistically than before. The stellar magnitude steps are now more refined, with increments of 0.5 mag. [...] The planetary and eclipse notes, again arranged month by month, will help even the deskbound astronomer to avoid missing any important event. [...] The Monthly Sky Guide is highly recommended, and remains good value for money."
- The Observatory