USEFUL STAR NAMES
WITH NEBULAS AND OTHER CELESTIAL FEATURES
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The following review appears in The Planetarian, the journal of the International Planetarium Society, December 2011, Vol. 40, No. 4, pages 62-63, written by the book review editor, April Whitt, of the Fernbank Planetarium in Atlanta, GA:Useful Star Names; With Nebulas and other Celestial FeaturesThomas Wm. Hamilton, strategic-book-group, Durham, Connecticut, 2011, ISBN 978-1-61204-614-3?I wanted to let you know about this volume with the descriptive title in time for stocking your gift shops and book stores for the new year. It is, indeed, full of useful star names. And not just the usual Greek letters or catalog numbers, either.The author introduces the work as derived from ?my experience of many years in the planetarium field.? Each of us has pointed out stars and constellations on the dome, in the night sky, or on a star map. We have all told stories of gods and heroes. Some of us have struggled with unfamiliar pronunciations, wondered where a particular story came from, or related the difference between Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. A few have even won ?constellation shoot-out? contests with that.The book is divided into four sections. An alphabetical listing of the 88 constellations and the meanings of their names is first. Second is a list of stars, nebulae and galaxies by constellation, with the accepted scientific designations for the named ones. This is the really useful section: a concise source for catalog listing, spectral class, distance in lightyears, R.A. and Dec., and apparent magnitude.Many of the Chinese names were new to me, and a delight to add to the night sky knowledge (although I will need help with pronunciation).An alphabetical listing of all names, the original language of each, and English translation and pronunciation is third. The last section lists entries from various catalogs cross listed to constellations.Recommend this book to your local astronomy club. Share it with a telescope user-beginner. Purchase a copy for your planetarium library. It really is full of useful star names, and other good information.?