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Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook: And Reference Handbook, 20th Edition

Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook: And Reference Handbook, 20th Edition
Author: Ian Ridpath
ISBN 13: 9780131451643
ISBN 10: 131451642
Edition: 20
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: 2003-10-07
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 208
List Price: $35.00

Generations of amateur astronomers have called it simply Norton's: the most famous star atlas in the world. Now in a superbly redesigned, two-color landmark 20th edition, the first of a new century, this combination star atlas and reference work has no match in the field.

First published in 1910, coinciding with the first of two appearances by Halley's Comet during the book's life, Norton's owes much of its legendary success to its unique maps, arranged in slices known as gores, each covering approximately one-fifth of the sky. Every star visible to the naked eye under the clearest skies—down to magnitude 6.5—is charted along with star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Extensive tables of data on interesting objects for observation accompany each of the precision drawn maps. Preceding the maps is the unique and authoritative reference handbook covering timekeeping and positional measurements on the celestial sphere; the Sun, Moon and other bodies of the Solar System; telescopes and other equipment for observing and imaging the sky; and stars, nebulae and galaxies. Throughout, succinct fundamental principles and practical tips guide the reader into the night sky. The appendices Units and Notation, Astronomical Constants, Symbols and Abbreviations, and Useful Addresses complete what has long been the only essential reference for the stargazer.

Now presented more accessibly than ever before, the text and tables of the 20th edition have been revised and updated to take account of the new and exciting developments in our observation of the cosmos. The redesignedstar maps offer outstanding legibility, in the living room or under a red light in the dark outdoors.

Presented with an authority that has stood for generations, Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook remains the indispensable companion for all who gaze at the night sky. For use with your first pair of binoculars, in choosing your first telescope, and as a trustworthy companion no matter how far your interest takes you, this elegant edition launches Norton's into a new century as the classic reference in astronomy.

Praise for the landmark 20th edition of the classic star atlas

"Once in a blue moon a book appears to dramatically and forever change its subject; in short, the work becomes an indispensable resource for generations. Norton's Star Atlas is such a work."

—Leif J. Robinson, Editor Emeritus,Sky & Telescope (from the Foreword)

"The new edition of Norton's Star Atlas should be a real winner: once again, the amateur astronomer's indispensable companion."

—Stephen P. Maran, author ofAstronomy for Dummies, and editor ofThe Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia

"This beautiful edition is a superb redesign and authoritative update of the classic star atlas."

—Greg Laughlin, Astronomy Department,University of California, Santa Cruz,co-author of The Five Ages of the Universe

"The unique and time-honored projection used in the Norton's star charts is particularly handy and has always been my favorite."

—Owen Gingerich, Harvard-SmithsonianCenter for Astrophysics,author of The Eye of Heaven

"Ian Ridpath is one of the most dedicated and prolific writers on astronomy. His works all have clarity and authority, and he is ideally suited to infuse new life into a classic."

—Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal,University of Cambridge,author of Our Final Hour

"The 20th edition is a great event. Pi Press is republishing this book with such style. It may not help people to find new stars, but it will remind them of how we came to know so much."

—Sir John Maddox, Editor Emeritus Nature,author of What Remains To Be Discovered

Library Journal

Since it was first published in 1910, this has been an essential reference for anyone who spends time studying the night sky. In the preface, internationally renowned editor Ridpath, who is also the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and has three other observing guides to his credit, chronicles the atlas's history and explains its star charts. In this 20th edition, star maps and charts have been updated for the new millennium. The text and tables have also been revised to reflect advances in the field of astronomy since the 19th edition was published in 1998. The four Moon and three Mars maps are new, as are the sections on computer-controlled telescopes and CCD (electronic) imaging. The book assumes little background knowledge and provides brief but thorough explanations of some basic principles before it segues to much more in-depth topics. Text on celestial objects-including planets, comets, occultations, meteor showers, eclipses, nebulae, and stars-explains what to look for and when. Coordinates and magnitudes are listed in the tables accompanying the 18 sky charts. Two-color tables and graphics are beautifully done and easy to read. Glitzier star atlases are available, with full-color and false-color images of night sky objects that are not seen here, but Norton's is still the standard by which others are judged. This is not the volume for the casual backyard observer who just wants to learn the constellations; it is serious astronomy presented in a way that's clear enough for neophytes yet still challenging for the much more experienced. A highly recommended addition to the reference collections of public and academic libraries of all sizes.-Denise Hamilton, Heritage Christian Sch., Rindge, NH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.