The New Atlas of the Stars: Constellations, Stars and Celestial Objects

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9781554071029: The New Atlas of the Stars: Constellations, Stars and Celestial Objects

The ultimate guide for stargazing, anywhere in the world

The scope of The New Atlas of the Stars is remarkably comprehensive. Astronomy buffs and skywatchers will find this abundantly illustrated reference book useful anywhere in the world.

Star charts depict the night sky, and this atlas is arranged so that one section of the sky is shown and described on each double-page spread. The two polar regions have their own individual pages. There are 30 charts covering the whole sky, and each chart has a plastic overlay depicting the names of the important stars.

The first section of the book is a general overview of astronomy and includes:

  • Stars and constellations
  • Historical star charts
  • The motion of the heavens
  • Star trails
  • The Milky Way

The other three sections feature galaxies and constellations found in the Northern Hemisphere, Equatorial Region and Southern Hemisphere.

The final section covers the basics of astrophotography and digital imaging as well as practical and useful viewing tips.

The New Atlas of the Stars is the ultimate reference for the astronomer.

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About the Author:

Axel Mellinger is one of the world's foremost astrophotographers.

Susanne M. Hoffman is a writer and lecturer specializing in astronomy.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Foreword

Attempts to document the starry sky may be traced back to antiquity. In ancient Babylon they took the form of tables of figures that recorded the motions of the planets. Eventually the Greeks and Romans began to make depictions of the sky. The arrival of the telescope in the 17th century led to the desire to plot the fainter stars and other celestial objects, causing dedicated astronomers to spend years observing the skies. Soon amateur astronomers began to do the same -- including William Herschel, later to become famous as the discoverer of Uranus. He systematically scrutinized the sky while his sister Caroline carefully recorded all the observations. The introduction of astrophotography had much the same effect as the invention of the telescope. It also led to expansion of astronomy's horizons, and again the star charts had to be fundamentally revised. Astrophotography soon became popular in amateur astronomy, and photographs of the sky became all the rage for amateurs.

In recent years astrophotography has undergone a fundamental change. Traditional darkroom work has been replaced by digital manipulation of images on a computer. With the increasing power of computers, the information contained in the raw images may be shown to better advantage. E-mail and Web sites make it possible to make images available to a wide circle of interested like-minded people whose constructive criticism leads to still further improvements.

However, despite extensive digital processing, one thing has to be actually experienced: the fascination of a brilliantly clear starry night, far from city lights. The awesome effect of the pitch-black heavens surrounding Earth with thousands of sparkling stars was perhaps the original inspiration for astronomy. Thousands of years ago, and even today, contemplation of the stars affords us a form of awareness of our existence. Like the ancient philosophers, most modern scientists feel that what Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) so aptly put into words is true: "Natural phenomena are... so diverse and the treasures hidden in the sky are so rich that the human spirit will never lack fresh nourishment."

Even though with all this research the uplifting feeling inspired by the heavens often falls a little by the wayside, it remains a natural human response. And it is also probably why amateur astronomy is such a popular leisure pursuit.

The authors would like to thank the Tri-Valley Stargazers Club from Livermore, California, with whose support the panoramic image of the sky on page 12 was obtained in the Californian Sierra Nevada mountains. Debbie Dykes generous loan of her telescope equipment enabled a second series of images to be obtained from the same area. Conrad Jung of the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California, with his many years of experience in astrophotography, provided valuable assistance. Finally we would like to thank the members of the Cederberg Observatory in South Africa for their warm hospitality, without which the images of the southern sky would not have appeared in their current form.

Potsdam, January 2002
Axel Mellinger
Susanne M. Hoffmann

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Mellinger, Axel, Hoffman, Susanne
Editorial: Firefly Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 155407102X ISBN 13: 9781554071029
Nuevos Cantidad: 1
Librería
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Firefly Books, 2005. Spiral-bound. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P11155407102X

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