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Field Guide to the Night Sky (National Audubon Society Field Guides) Turtleback – October 15, 1991
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From the Inside Flap
The perfect companion volume for Hale-Bopp watchers, this guide explores the fabulous mysteries above, from planets in our solar system to the constellations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, stars, galaxies (including the Milky Way), nebulae, astronomical bodies, objects, phenomena, and -- yes -- comets. Night Sky provides a concise guided tour of the heavens with 48 monthly sky charts of the northern sky and 88 constellation charts, each offering a detailed map of individual constellations. Essays on the universe, the solar system, and constellations introduce the reader to the wonders of the sky.
About the Author
The author, Mark R. Chartrand III, is the former chairman of the Hayden Planetarium and executive director of the National Space Institute.
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Top Customer Reviews
To me, the real value in the book is the collection of writeups covering both the solar system and the individual constellations. The constellation entries are a treasure trove of information containing the history of how the constellations' outlines were formed, as well as technical information on the stars, nebulae, clusters and galaxies within. The book magnificently breaks up the sky into manageable chunks for study.
***However, there is a big problem with this field guide, namely that it has gone too long without a major re-edit.*** Much of the information in the appendix covers planetary longitudes, eclipses, etc., and this changes from year to year. The edition being sold today covers 2008-2015. It's mid-2013 and I'm rather miffed that in 2 1/2 years the book will not be useful for these purposes. Yes, the information is on the internet, but try loading the internet from a dark sky location in the middle of nowhere.
Other changeable information is out of date. In the book, Jupiter has 17 moons. I just checked the internet, and the current count is 49. That's about 20 years out of date. Also, most of the photo plates were taken 25 years ago with film, which is fine, but there are dazzling Hubble photos with free licenses that would make great replacements. Use them!
So, once Knopf gets off their rear and edits this book, it will again be the premiere astronomical field reference.