The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series

The Mythology of the Night Sky

An Amateur Astronomer's Guide to the Ancient Greek and Roman Legends

Authors: Falkner, David E.

  • Stands as a unique single-source reference, for astronomers and for anyone interested in classical literature
  • Organized by season for convenient practical observations
  • Gives practical observation data for stellar and deep-sky features, as well as observing and imaging tips
  • Serves as a great resource for astronomy lectures and star parties
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eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-0137-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-0136-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
About this book

Every amateur astronomer can easily recognize most of the constellations, but how many of us know the story behind them? What myths did the Ancient Greeks weave around the mighty hunter Orion that places him so prominently in the sky? Did you know that this mythical being was said to have been killed by Diana, herself a hunter, while he was exhausted by his fight with Scorpius? The constellation of Scorpius, the giant scorpion, is dominated by the red supergiant Antares and hangs in the sky opposite Orion. Yet there is no constellation of Diana to be found!

The Mythology of the Night Sky strikes a balance between backyard astronomy and ancient mythology. Organized by seasons, this book describes Ptolemy's 48 constellations with location and description in detail, while also telling the mythological tales in full. Along with the named constellations, this title also incorporates the lore behind the christening of the planets and their satellites. Readers discover the importance of the ancient characters, why they were immortalized in the sky, how several constellations are all woven into the same story and how satellite names are related to their planets.

About the authors

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 Research in Astronomy) where he conducted outreach to local schools associated with the return of Halley's Comet. He retired from the navy in 1993 and settled in Minnesota Astronomical Society.

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, AstroMadness.com, 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)


Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Astrophotography Using a Compact Digital Camera

    Falkner, David E.

    Pages 1-8

  • An Introduction to Greco-Roman Mythology

    Falkner, David E.

    Pages 9-17

  • The Winter Constellations

    Falkner, David E.

    Pages 19-56

  • The Legend of Jason and the Argonauts

    Falkner, David E.

    Pages 57-67

  • The Spring Constellations

    Falkner, David E.

    Pages 69-94

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-0137-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-0136-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mythology of the Night Sky
Book Subtitle
An Amateur Astronomer's Guide to the Ancient Greek and Roman Legends
Authors
Series Title
The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-0137-7
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-0137-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4614-0136-0
Series ISSN
1431-9756
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 238
Number of Illustrations and Tables
9 b/w illustrations, 62 illustrations in colour
Topics