STARS AND GALAXIES: ASTRONOMY’S GUIDE TO EXPLORING THE COSMOS
David J. Eicher, Editor
With contributions by Alan Goldstein, Phil Harrington, David Higgins, Richard W. Jakiel, Alister Ling, Steve Lucas, Rod Pommier, Max Radloff, Chris Schur, and Gregg D. Thompson
200 pp., hardcover, AstroMedia, Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1992, ISBN 0–913135–05–4
The shimmering twinkles from countless stars make a view of the night sky one of the prettiest images on Earth. Yet the inky blackness of space is far busier than our Earthbound view would suggest. Stars and Galaxies takes you on a tour of the greatest astronomical objects visible in our sky, including many mysterious inhabitants of the cosmos. Surprisingly, many of these objects are visible in binoculars or a backyard telescope. Stars and Galaxies shows you how to observe them, and exactly what they are.
The denizens of the universe you’ll meet in this book range from ordinary to bizarre. First and foremost are the varied citizens of the Milky Way Galaxy, the home island of stars in which we live. These consist of double stars, variable stars, open star clusters, globular star clusters, bright and dark nebulae, and planetary nebulae — the stuff that makes up all galaxies in the universe. These objects are concentrated along the plane of the Milky Way, the hazy band of light that runs across our night sky.
Away from the Milky Way lies the realm of the galaxies. These giant wheels or spheres of stars, gas, and dust constitute the basic building blocks of the universe, and hundreds are visible in backyard telescopes.
When you open Stars and Galaxies, you’ll be taken on a tour of 344 deep-sky objects. You’ll sample the galaxies in the remote constellation Sextans, observe huge spheres of old stars in other galaxies, study the fascinating details in the Orion Nebula, and take a trip to the southern skies to see the Magellanic Clouds. Tables, maps, and diagrams appear throughout the text to assist you in understanding the nature of the objects. More than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, all from the pages of Astronomy, the world’s leading astronomy publication, accompany the text.