Guidebook to the Constellations

Telescopic Sights, Tales, and Myths

  • Phil Simpson

Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Phil Simpson
    Pages 1-4
  3. Phil Simpson
    Pages 5-36
  4. Phil Simpson
    Pages 37-104
  5. Phil Simpson
    Pages 105-144
  6. Phil Simpson
    Pages 145-196
  7. Phil Simpson
    Pages 197-277
  8. Phil Simpson
    Pages 279-343
  9. Phil Simpson
    Pages 345-371
  10. Phil Simpson
    Pages 373-399
  11. Phil Simpson
    Pages 401-451
  12. Phil Simpson
    Pages 453-476
  13. Phil Simpson
    Pages 477-506
  14. Phil Simpson
    Pages 507-545
  15. Phil Simpson
    Pages 547-558
  16. Phil Simpson
    Pages 559-597
  17. Phil Simpson
    Pages 677-722
  18. Phil Simpson
    Pages 723-807
  19. Back Matter
    Pages 809-863

About this book


This handbook is a guide to exploring the night sky and its wonderful telescopic sights. All eighty-eight officially recognized constellations in both hemispheres are presented in natural groups, related by their origin and location. The author, a former astronomy instructor and planetarium director, has for over thirty-five years, researched myths from all over the world to identify the most memorable stories which link multiple constellations in a single story. Thus, the interested observer may discover that it will be easier to use already known constellations to locate and remember new constellations. The author has found that showing each constellation figure with a simple line drawing is helpful for remembering each constellation. He includes photographs of many of the brighter celestial objects, as well as many accompanying drawings which illustrate how the telescopic views differ from the photographs.

One way to use this handbook, which is useful to beginners as well as experienced astronomers, is to read the myth or story that explains the constellation of interest, view the corresponding photograph, finder and detailed charts, and then go outside and find it! This method was successfully used with groups ranging from third graders to college astronomy classes. An index and seven appendices help the user find specific objects or subjects of interest. Other helpful features of this comprehensive guidebook include:

  • Specific instructions for finding each constellation
  • A list of the named stars in each constellation with the correct spelling, pronunciation, and origin of the star names
  • Finder charts showing each constellation with a large area of the sky around it
  • Detailed charts showing the location of the celestial objects in each constellation
  • Constellation photographs
  • Pointer stars and special star groups which can be used as aids in finding specific constellations


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Authors and affiliations

  • Phil Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.CloudcroftUSA

Bibliographic information