'Encyclopedia of Stars' aimed at anyone who enjoys astronomy

Dec 11, 2006

An astronomy expert looking for in-depth research about stars can consult the same new reference book that an undergraduate freshman with a limited knowledge of astronomy might use.

"The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars," by James B. Kaler, a professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, covers topics from ancient to modern times.

According to Kaler, this 324-page, hardcover book – his 14th – is for anyone who enjoys astronomy. Undergraduates, graduates and professionals all can benefit from using it, he said.

Although not written in an encyclopedia-style, alphabetical format, the book does contain a myriad of information about stars that Kaler has been gathering throughout his entire career, and particularly during the past four years of researching for the book.

Cambridge University Press already had published other high-end encyclopedias on astronomy, including an encyclopedia of the sun and one about meteorites. Kaler met with a Cambridge editor and volunteered to take on the task of writing an encyclopedia about stars.

The new book contains detailed discussions on topics such as stars, constellations, magnitudes, locations, motion, double stars, star clusters and stellar evolution.

The book contains more than 230 images, including color photographs, graphs, tables and sidebars. The photographs were gathered from observatories and private photographers around the world.

In addition to using research tools and the Web, Kaler also discussed the topics with his colleagues – from the U. of I. and elsewhere – in the process of compiling information.

Each of the 14 chapters covers a different topic and stands alone. The book contains forward and backward referencing to connect information from different chapters. Kaler considers each chapter as important and interesting as the next.

"The one I was doing at the moment was always my favorite," Kaler said.

The book, completed this year, is now in bookstores and also may be found in libraries.

"It struck me that putting everything together would make a great resource," Kaler said.

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Explore further: Hubble view: Wolf-Rayet stars, intense and short-lived

Related Stories

Barnes & Noble names Sears Canada CEO for retail business

27 minutes ago

Barnes & Noble, which is splitting into two companies next month, named Sears Canada CEO Ronald Boire to lead its retail operations and said company CEO Michael Huseby will become executive chairman its educational wing.

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution

29 minutes ago

Mark Johnson, associate professor of biology, has joined a consortium of seven other researchers in four European countries to develop the fullest understanding yet of how fertilization evolved in flowering plants. The research, ...

Recommended for you

Hubble view: Wolf-Rayet stars, intense and short-lived

Jul 03, 2015

This NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope picture shows a galaxy named SBS 1415+437 (also called SDSS CGB 12067.1), located about 45 million light-years from Earth. SBS 1415+437 is a Wolf-Rayet ...

NASA image: Stellar sparklers that last

Jul 03, 2015

While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young ...

Light echo helps researchers map out parts of galaxy

Jul 03, 2015

Thousands of years before humans invented agriculture, a bright burst of X-rays left the dense neutron star Circinus X-1, located in the faint Southern constellation Circinus. A year and a half ago, those ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.