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The Mythology of the Night Sky

by David E. Falkner

Part of the The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series Series

The Mythology of the Night Sky Synopsis

The Mythology of the Night Sky is intended primarily for amateur astronomers who would like to know the mythology behind the names of constellations and planets. It deals with the 48 constellations identified by the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy, as well as all the planets of our solar system and their moons, which are named after Roman gods. To assist practical observers the book gives the location and description of each constellation, including named stars and deep-sky objects. Readers are encouraged to observe and image the constellations for themselves, and there is a lot of practical information in this book to help them along the way. In addition to providing a detailed (and mostly Greek) mythology of the constellations and the vast soap opera that was part of the Ancient Greek pantheon, this book also addresses the planets of the Solar System, which are named after the Roman - not Greek - gods.

The Mythology of the Night Sky Press Reviews

From the reviews: If you have ever wondered why exactly are there such oddly named constellations as Perseus and Cepheus or why are there several fishes and a sea-monster in the sky, then 'The Mythology of the Night Sky', is the book to turn to. ... there are also star charts, so you can find the constellations, also written instructions on how to find it, and also tables of named stars in the constellation and deep sky objects. ... I found this book quite interesting ... . (Kadri Tinn,, September, 2013) Characters from ancient Greek mythology live on among the patterns of the constellations ... and many bright stars have names that originated with the Arabs over a millennium ago. Anyone who has ever wondered about the stories behind these names will want to take a look at this book by David Falkner ... . The myths and legends of the constellations are a good way to introduce newcomers to the sky. Falkner's book serves a useful purpose and I wish it success. (Ian Ridpath, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1228), June, 2012) Organised by seasons, the book tackles each of Ptolemy's 48 constellations in turn, with individual chapters dedicated to the legends of Jason and the Argonauts, Hercules, Perseus and the planets. Each legend is preceded by a brief description of the constellation, a star chart and, in some cases, a photo taken by the author with imaging details should the reader wish to photograph the constellations using a digital camera. I enjoyed reading the book ... . (Emily Baldwin, Astronomy Now, January, 2012)

Book Information

ISBN: 9781461401360
Publication date: 31st August 2011
Author: David E. Falkner
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 238 pages
Categories: Popular astronomy & space,

About David E. Falkner

David Falkner first became interested in astronomy as a pre-teen when his father took him to a show at the Holcolm Planetarium in Indianapolis, IN. He became hooke and has loved astronomy ever since. When he was a teenager he inherited a homemade Newtonian telescope that needed the primary mirror. He ground a 6 mirror and completed his first telescope, which gave him years of pleasure observing the heavens. In 1973 he joined the U.S. Navy and became an officer in 1980. In 1986 as a Naval Officer stationed in Monterey, California, he became involved with the Friends of MIRA (Monterey Institute for ...

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