A Guide to the Constellations

A Guide to the Constellations

A Guide to the Constellations

A Guide to the Constellations


As a new printing of this book has become necessary, advantage is taken of this opportunity to revise the text slightly to make it conform with our present knowledge. A new planet, Pluto, was discovered in 1930, for example, and many of the distances cited have been more accurately determined.


December 15, 1934.


This book has been prepared to meet the requirements of those who desire to become familiar with the constellations. Many are prevented from doing so by the lack of suitable material and instruction. Good charts are very necessary for this purpose; but their preparation is so difficult, and their size so much larger than the book page of ordinary dimensions that the constellations are often inadequately treated, if at all, in textbooks on astronomy. Such charts, globes, planispheres, and so forth as exist are not usually accompanied by sufficient explanatory and descriptive text to make them as useful as they should be. It is hoped that the present book, devoted exclusively to naked-eye observational astronomy, may serve this purpose and also be a valuable supplement to the regular textbooks on astronomy. It is written for the beginner but should prove to be a valuable reference book for all who are interested in the constellations.

Work on the charts was begun about six years ago and has continued intermittently from that time until their completion recently. The details of the method of constructing them will not be discussed, as they are technical and would probably interest few. The plotting has been based upon the most reliable data and has been done without reference to other charts except that the charts of Heis and of Gould have been consulted in respect to the Milky Way and the constellation boundary lines. Great pains have been taken to secure accuracy.

A very large number of books have been examined in the course of the preparation of the text. Special acknowledgment is made of the aid afforded by "Star-Names and Their Meanings," by R. H. Allen.

A copious index is given which the reader is advised to use freely. The authors desire to be notified of any errors, however trifling, which may be detected in the charts or in the text. They will also welcome criticism.




January, 1928.

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