The introduction presents the basics of astronomical observation while answering such questions as: How did constellations come to be? Do the stars within them have anything to do with one another? Do stars really flicker? Next comes the book's centerpiece: an excellent series of maps of the night sky from hemisphere to hemisphere, month to month and, above all, charts showing all 88 constellations, including some 5,000 stars. The text vividly relates the human history behind each constellation and notes their most prominent stars while offering sundry stimulating facts.
The second section focuses on the astrophysics behind stars, galaxies, the sun, the planets, comets and meteors, and more. Striking full-color photos, maps, and illustrations appear on almost every page. The guide concludes with helpful tips on the optical tools of the trade and on astrophotography. Astrophysicists and amateur skywatchers agree that Stars and Planets is simply the most user-friendly, compact source of celestial information available. No one should leave home at night without it.