Fascinating worlds await you in the sky on any clear night. Galaxies, clusters of stars, colorful double stars, wispy, faint nebulae — worlds inside our Milky Way Galaxy and many others — are visible with binoculars or a small telescope. Beyond the Solar System introduces you to the 100 best and most beautiful objects visible in backyard telescopes.
You’ll begin by sweeping through the spiral arms of our Galaxy, visiting giant star forming regions like the Orion Nebula, peering deep into clouds of dust like Barnard 72, watching stars as they orbit each other in pairs, and tracing the faint outlines marking the perimeters of supernova remnants like the Veil Nebula. You’ll also see stars clustered together, both in young groups orbiting the galactic center (like M41) and in aged spheres floating high above the Galaxy’s disk, like M13 in Hercules. Next, you’ll take a cosmic journey outside the Galaxy into the realm of nearby groups and clusters of galaxies. As you view galaxies like M31 in Andromeda and M101 in Ursa Major you’ll begin to appreciate that our Galaxy and its 200 billion stars constitutes but one star system in a universe composed of billions.
Beyond the Solar System introduces you to celestial sights that will become old friends in a hurry. It serves as a checklist for viewing the “greatest hits” of the night sky. Along with a telescope or pair of binoculars and a star atlas, Beyond the Solar System will open the sky to your personal visits.