Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook

Norton’s Star Atlas and Reference Handbook

And Reference Handbook, 20th Edition

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780131451643
  • 208 Pages
  • Dutton
  • Adult


The most famous guide to the stars is now the most accessible! Generations of amateur astronomers have called it simply Norton’s: the most famous star atlas in the world. Now in a beautifully redesigned, two-color landmark 20th edition, this combination star atlas and reference guide has no match in the field.

First published in 1910, coinciding with the first of two appearances by Halley’s Comet last century, Norton’s owes much of its legendary success to its unique maps, arranged in slices or gores, each covering approximately one-fifth of the sky. Apart from being presented more accessibly than ever before, the text and tables have been revised and updated to account for the new and exciting developments in our observation of the cosmos. The star maps themselves were plotted using advanced computer techniques yielding outstanding accuracy and legibility. Every heavenly object visible to the naked eye is included–stars to magnitude 6, star clusters, and galaxies, as well as other celestial objects. Presented with an authority that has stood for generations, observation hints, technical explanations, and pointers to specialized information sources make this the only essential guide to the night sky.

The updated and revised hardcover 20th edition also has new moon maps, clearer tables, new diagrams and a section on the latest computer driven telescopes–today’s perfect home reference for curious minds from beginners to dedicated star gazers!

What are people saying? … “The unique and time-honored projection used in the Norton’s star charts is particularly handy and has always been my favorite.” –Professor Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“Once in a blue moon a book appears to dramatically and forever change its subject; in short, the work becomes an indispensable resource for generations. Norton’s Star Atlas is such a work.” –Leif J. Robinson, Editor Emeritus, Sky and Telescope

“Ian Ridpath is one of the most dedicated and prolific writers on astronomy. His works all have clarity and authority, and he is ideally suited to infuse new life into a classic.” –Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, University of Cambridge, author of Our Final Hour

Table of Contents

Foreword by Leif J. Robinson.


1. Position and Time.

The Heavens Above. Position. Date and Time.

2. Practical Astronomy.

Observing. Astronomical Instruments. Astronomical Imaging.

3. The Solar System.

The Sun. The Moon. The Planets and Their Satellites. Mercury. Venus. Mars. Jupiter. Saturn. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Minor Planets. Comets. Meteors. Eclipses. Occultations. Aurorae, Noctilucent Clouds and the Zodiacal Light. Artificial Satellites.

4. Stars, Nebulae and Galaxies.

The Stars — Constellations and Nomenclature. Radiation, Magnitude and Luminosity. Distances, Motions and Physical Parameters. Spectral Classification. Stellar Evolution. Double Stars. Variable Stars. Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies.

5. Star Charts.


Units and Notation. Astronomical Constants. Symbols and Abbreviations. Useful Addresses.