The Astronomical Companion
A general guide to astronomy; some say it should be called the
Astronomical Treasury. Same large page-size as the Astronomical
Calendar. Begins with an Overview of Astronomyand
pictures that almost force you to understand coordinate systems
and orientation in space.
A strand running through the book is the series of 30 ten-inch-diameter
diagrams showing expanding spheres of space, from the Moon's orbit
and the domains of planets and comets out through the nearest stars,
the brightest stars, the neighboring regions of our Milky Way galaxy,
the whole galaxy, the Local Group of galaxies, the Virgo Supercluster,
the domain of the quasars, and on to the eerie limit of the universe.
Among many other features are a map and catalogue of star names
with their derivations; the seasons (including their linking with
traditional dates such as Beltane, Hallowe'en, St. Lucy's Day);
the world's calendars; precession and its many consequences; Moonlightand
Earthlightand Moon as Signpost; comparative
distances; a comprehensive Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (the graph
that relates all the kinds of star by color and brightness); and
pages on constellations, meteor showers, double stars, variable
stars. . .
This is a NEW EDITION of the book first published in 1979 and
reprinted 18 times. The major illustrations (including covers)
are redone with clearer plotting and modern data. Distances are
expressed in light-years (as well as the more technical parsecs).
Besides overall updatings and corrections, some added features are
timeline-tables of nearly 200 astronomers, charts of some coming
eclipses, a new chronology of space exploration (by Clifford
Cunningham), and a full index.
11 x 15 in., 73 pages, illustrations. 2010. ISBN
The author has an unusual knack for thinking
in three dimensions. It is one of the most inspired non-textbook
introductions to the cosmos that have ever appeared. Sky
A gold mine of information. A large variety
of topics is covered and made clear with unique illustrations
Baltimore Astronomical Society
In careful projection we view the place
in which we live on the grand scale . . . The three dimensions are
vivid; it is not a page we are inspecting but a spatial volume .
. . an atlas of the glowing furniture of space . . . The text is
excellent, full and clear, with almost no formal mathematics . .
. The tough geometry is here and there allayed by a poet's image
. . . The entire work is a tour de force, the product of understanding
and taste Philip Morrison in Scientific American
We get a characteristic 'Now I see it!'
overview of how the universe fits together . . . The generous size
of the pages permits far more detail to be included in the diagrams
. . . Standard astronomy texts contain nothing akin to the graphics
in this work Sky & Telescope