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Star Maps by Nick Kanas   Star Maps
History, Artistry, and Cartography

by Nick Kanas
563 pages, 2nd Edition, June 2012
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

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Description: From 1600 to 1800 a number of beautiful star atlases depicting the constellations according to ancient myths and tales were printed. In Europe, where the quality of celestial atlases was unmatched, classical Greek traditions prevailed and the constellations were given allegorical visual representations of heroes and heroines, real and imaginary animals, scientific instruments and artistic tools. These images were placed in celestial latitude and longitude coordinate systems that allowed the positions of the stars to be mapped in the sky and formed the backdrop for predictions of the location of the planets and other heavenly bodies throughout the year. These celestial atlases also contained diagrams of the solar system that reflected both contemporary and ancient cosmological systems, thus tracing the development of mans view of his place in the universe.

This book traces the history of celestial cartography and relates this history to the changing ideas of Man's place in the Universe and to advances in map-making. Over 200 photographs from actual antiquarian celestial atlases and prints, 76 of which are in color, enrich the text, and a legend accompanies each illustration to explain its astronomical and cartographic features. Also included in the book are discussions of non-European celestial maps and chapters on early American influences and celestial map-collecting.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: (1st Ed.) Star Maps is perhaps the most comprehensive book on astronomical cartography to be published in the last 50 years. It is an inch-thick mass of well-illustrated information and is worth its weight in gold just for the mini-biographies of astronomers spanning three millenia and four continents. Its content belies its very modest price. Star Maps will likely become the standard reference on astronomical cartography for many years to come. more»

  A Walk Through the Heavens
A Guide to Stars and Constellations and their Legends

by Milton D. Heifetz and Wil Tirion
96 pages, 3rd Edition, February 2004
Highly Recommended

Book Description: A Walk through the Heavens is a guide to the pathways of the night sky. Simplified maps of the constellations, together with instructions on how to gauge their sizes and the distances between them allow the reader to find the constellations easily, and make a journey by eye from one constellation to the next (view an example).

Ancient myths surrounding the constellations are retold. This book, magically illustrated by Wil Tirion, is an ideal introduction to launch a young astronomer on a journey across starlit skies.

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  They Dance in the Sky
Native American Star Myths

by Ray A. Williamson, Jean Guard Monroe, and Edgar Stewart
144 pages, July 2007
Level: Ages 10-14

Description: With tea leaves and in the night sky, people have always tried to impose patterns on seemingly random groupings. This well-researched, thoughtful collection brings together star myths from such Native American tribes as the Navajo, Pawnee, Shasta and Micmac. Coyote is a bungler who causes trouble on every front: in one story he peeks into a jar and scatters the stars (and then is sent to wander, unwanted, across the earth); in another, he shoots arrows into the sky, which he and five Wolf Brothers ascend but he descends alone. One of the stories about Pleiades tells of six wives who eat wild onions but are scorned by their husbands for the smell of their breath. They leave and climb a rope to the sky. Given the oral tradition of these tribes and the need to preserve the tales, this poetically rendered compilation is especially valuable. Text decorations show symbols, patterns, constellations and some of the many tricksters.

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  The New Patterns in the Sky
Myths and Legends of the Stars

by Julius D.W. Staal
300 pages, March 1988

Book Description: The New Patterns in the Sky -- a modern classic in the literature of sky lore -- is a comprehensive collection of myths, legends, and historical notes about each of the 88 constellations and the Sun, Moon, Milky Way, and shooting stars. Star maps depict the constellations with outline figures. Written for the non-specialist and widely respected by professional planetarians, this book provides a substantive review of the familiar star lore of classical Southwest Asian and Mediterranean civilizations as well as that of ancient China, South Asia, and traditional societies of northern Eurasia, North and South America, the Pacific Islands, and Australasia. This is one of the must-have books that should be in the library of every enthusiast of mankind's enchantment with the night sky.

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  The Starlore Handbook
An Essential Guide to the Night Sky

by Geoffrey Cornelius
176 pages, 1st Edition, February 1997

Book Description: This unique starwatcher's handbook combines a practicle guide to the night sky with fascinating accounts of the myths and symbols associated with each constellation.

  • Covers all 88 constellations each illustrated with an original pictoral star map-practical, evocative and appealing
  • Gives practical guidelines for identifying any constellations with the help of special signpost charts
  • Includes whole sky maps for instant reference, showing the changing positions of the stars at different times of the year
  • Covers the celestial myths and symbols of many cultures, from ancient Greece to China
  • Provides for each constellation a quick reference table of the most prominent stars, listing brightness, color and symbolic associations

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$10.17 (32% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  Star Myths
Of the Greeks and Romans

by Theony Condos
287 pages, 1st Edition, Septemer 1997

Book Description: Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans is the most comprehensive work ever published on the forty-eight classical constellations. Included in this handbook are the only surviving works on the constellation myths that have come down to us from antiquity: an epitome of The Constellations of Eratosthenes -- never before translated into English -- and The Poetic Astronomy of Hyginus. Also provided are accurate and detailed commentaries on each constellation myth, and complete references for those who wish to dig deeper. This book is a comprehensive sourcework for anyone interested in astronomy or mythology -- and an ideal resource for the occasional stargazer.

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$12.89 (32% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  Star Names
Their Lore and Meaning

by Richard Hinckley Allen
563 pages, Revised Edition, December 1963

Book Description: Star names, the zodiac, constellations; folklore and literature associated with heavens. The basic book of its field. Fascinating reading solidly based on years of thorough research into astronomical writings and observations of the ancient Chinese, Arabic, Euphrates, Hellenic and Roman civilizaitons.

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$12.71 (25% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  A Dictionary of Modern Star Names
A Short Guide to 254 Star Names And Their Derivations

by Paul Kunitzsch and Tim Smart
66 pages, 2nd Revised Edition, October 2006
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Description: Sirius, Algol, Castor and Pollux, Mizar and Alcor: these names are well known to stargazers. But others Rasalhague, Vindemiatrix, Zubenelgenubi are obscure tongue twisters. Have you ever wondered where all these exotic-sounding star names came from? In this revised edition of the venerable Short Guide to Modern Star Names and their Derivations, Paul Kunitzsch and Tim Smart track down the origin and meaning of 254 star names. This fascinating work, long out of print, is considered to be the most authoritative English-language treatment of star names in use today.

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$10.36 (20% off), Softcover Buy from Amazon

  The Box of Stars
A Practical Guide to the Night Sky and to its Myths and Legends

by Catherine Tennant
48 pages, October 1993

Description: The Box of Stars is a wonderfully simple guide to recognizing the constellations. It comes with 32 beautiful and easy-to-use cards which together form a complete guide to the stars in the night sky. Each card is pierced with holes which mark the stars of the constellation and which glitter when held up to the light. Maps of the hemispheres and a handbook show you how to locate the constellations, and the handbook describes the magical and intriguing myths and legends that lie behind them.

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$17.13 (34% off), Boxed Edition Buy from Amazon




Skymaps.com/store -- Recommended Books & Products for Skywatchers
New BooksStar AtlasesGetting StartedObserving GuidesPlanispheresTelescope BooksKids BooksSky Lore
DVDsSoftwareAstroPhotographyStar Map PostersTelescopes & BinocularsAstro Calendars 2017Digital Prints


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