About this book
"l hope that people all around the world never forget what a wonderful thing it is to lie on your back and look up at the stars" Pete Seeger What is the fascination that constellations hold for people? There are probably as many different answers to that question as there are people. For many, though, the constella tions are the stepping-off point into the fabulous, mind-bending discoveries and concepts of modern astronomy. For others it is their long and intriguing history that beckons. For some people the constellations provide the means for navigation and orientation over the surface of the Earth, and of course there are the millions who place some faith in horo scopes. But for most people the patterns in the sky are a beautiful part of their environ ment to be treasured alongside the forests, fields and rivers that make life worth living. However just as we are losing our green environment to pollution, so we are losing our sky. The glow from cities across the world swamps the stars in the night sky. Astronomers have had to retreat to remote mountain tops to escape that light pollution. The rest of us must make do with what is available. From the centre of a city, or any other brightly lit area, probably no stars at all will be visible even on the clearest of nights. From the suburbs, the brighter stars should normally be seen.