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A FIELD BOOK
OF
THE STARS



BY

WILLIAM TYLER OLCOTT


_Second Edition, revised and enlarged_


WITH FIFTY DIAGRAMS



G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
The Knickerbocker Press

COPYRIGHT, 1907
BY
WILLIAM TYLER OLCOTT
COPYRIGHT, 1914
BY
WILLIAM TYLER OLCOTT
(For Second Edition)

[Illustration: The Knickerbocker Press, New York]

_Printed in the United States of America_




INTRODUCTION.


Considering the ease with which a knowledge of the constellations can
be acquired, it seems a remarkable fact that so few are conversant
with these time-honored configurations of the heavens. Aside from a
knowledge of "the Dipper" and "the Pleiades," the constellations to
the vast majority, are utterly unknown.

To facilitate and popularize if possible this fascinating recreation
of star-gazing the author has designed this field-book. It is limited
in scope solely to that purpose, and all matter of a technical or
theoretical nature has been omitted.

The endeavor has been to include in these pages only such matter as
the reader can observe with the naked eye, or an opera-glass.
Simplicity and brevity have been aimed at, the main idea being that
whatever is bulky or verbose is a hindrance rather than a help when
actually engaged in the observation of the heavens.

The constellations embraced in this manual are only those visible from
the average latitude of the New England and Middle States, and owe
their place in the particular season in which they are found to the
fact that in that season they are favorably situated for observation.

With this brief explanatory note of the purpose and design of the
book, the author proceeds to outline the scheme of study.




SCHEME OF STUDY.


The table of contents shows the scheme of study to be pursued, and to
facilitate the work it is desirable that the student follow the
therein circumscribed order.

A knowledge on the part of the reader of Ursa Major, or "the Dipper"
as it is commonly called, and "the Pleiades," the well-known group in
Taurus, is presupposed by the author.

With this knowledge as a basis, the student is enabled in any season
to take up the study of the constellations. By following out the order
dictated, he will in a few nights of observation be enabled to
identify the various configurations making up the several
constellations that are set apart for study in that particular season.

A large plate, showing the appearance of the heavens at a designated
time on the first night of the quarter, is inserted before each
season's work. This should be consulted by the student before he makes
an observation, in order that he may obtain a comprehensive idea of
the relative position of the constellations, and also know in what
part of the heavens to locate the constellation which he wishes to
identify.

A knowledge of one constellation enables the student to determine the
position of the next in order. In this work, the identification of
each constellation depends on a knowledge of what precedes, always
bearing in mind the fact that each season starts as a new and distinct
part to be taken by itself, and has no bearing on that which comes
before.




CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION iii

SCHEME OF STUDY v


The Constellations of Spring.

MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., APRIL FIRST 3

1. URSA MAJOR 4

2. URSA MINOR 6
Located by the pointer stars in Ursa Major.

3. GEMINI 8
Located by a line drawn through designated stars
in Ursa Major.

4. AURIGA 10
Located in the same manner as Gemini.

5. CANCER 12
Located by a line drawn from Auriga to Gemini
and prolonged.

6. HYDRA 14
The head of Hydra is to be seen just below Cancer.

7. LEO 16
Located by a line drawn from Gemini to Cancer
and prolonged.

8. COMA BERENICES 18
Position indicated by drawing a line through
designated stars in Leo.

9. CANIS MINOR 20
Located by a line drawn from Auriga to Gemini
and prolonged.

10. CORVUS 22
Located by a line drawn from Ursa Minor through
Ursa Major and prolonged.

11. CRATER 24
Located south of Leo and just west of Corvus.

METEORIC SHOWERS, APRIL TO JULY 26


The Constellations of Summer.

MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., JULY FIRST 31

12. DRACO 32
Lies between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, coiling
about the latter.

13. LYRA 34
Vega, its brightest star, is 12° S.W. of the Dragon's
head.

14. CYGNUS 36
Deneb, its brightest star, is about 20° east of Vega.

15. AQUILA 38
Located by a line drawn from the Dragon's head
through Vega and prolonged.

16. DELPHINUS 40
Located about 10° northeast of Altair in Aquila.

17. SAGITTARIUS 42
Located by a line drawn from Cygnus to Aquila
and prolonged.

18. OPHIUCHUS AND SERPENS 44
Located by a line drawn from Delphinus to Aquila
and prolonged.

19. SCORPIUS 46
Located just under Ophiuchus, and west of Sagittarius.

20. LIBRA 48
Located about 15° west of the head of Scorpius.

21. CORONA BOREALIS 50
Located just above the head of Serpens.

22. HERCULES 52
Located by lines drawn from either Vega or Altair
to Corona.

23. BOÖTES 54
Located just west of the Crown. Arcturus, its
brightest star, is about 30° southeast of η Ursae
Majoris.

24. VIRGO 56
Spica, its brightest star, is located by a line drawn
from Antares in Scorpius through α in Libra and
prolonged about 20°.

25. CANES VENATICI 58
Cor Caroli, its brightest star, is about 17° south
of Alioth in Ursa Major.

METEORIC SHOWERS, JULY TO OCTOBER 60


The Constellations of Autumn.

MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., OCTOBER FIRST 65

26. CASSIOPEIA 66
Located by a line drawn from Ursa Major through
the Pole star, the position of which is indicated
by the pointer stars α and β Ursae Majoris.

27. CEPHEUS 68
Located by pointer stars in Cassiopeia.

28. PEGASUS 70
The great square of Pegasus is located by a line
drawn from Polaris to Cassiopeia and prolonged.

29. ANDROMEDA 72
The star Alpheratz in Andromeda is at the northeast
corner of the great square of Pegasus.

30. PERSEUS 74
Lies 9° east of γ Andromedae.

31. PISCES 76
The Circlet in Pisces is to be seen just below
Pegasus.

32. TRIANGULUM 78
A line drawn from Pegasus to Perseus passes through
β in Triangulum.

33. AQUARIUS 80
The position of the water jar of Aquarius is determined
by pointer stars in Pegasus.

34. CAPRICORNUS 82
The head of the Sea Goat is located by a line drawn
from α Pegasi through ζ and θ Pegasi and prolonged
about 25°.

35. ARIES 84
Lies just south of Triangulum. A line drawn
from γ Andromedae through β Trianguli points
out α Arietis.

36. CETUS 86
The head of Cetus lies about 20° southeast of
Aries.

37. MUSCA 88
Located between Triangulum and Aries.

METEORIC SHOWERS, OCTOBER TO JANUARY 90


The Constellations of Winter.

MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., JANUARY FIRST 95

38. TAURUS 96
Contains the celebrated and unmistakable group,
The Pleiades, to be seen almost overhead in
the early evening during the Winter months.

39. ORION 98
The tips of the horns of the Bull are pointer stars
to Betelgeuze, in Orion.

40. LEPUS 100
Located just below Orion.

41. COLUMBA 102
Located south of Lepus, close to the horizon.

42. CANIS MAJOR 104
Located by a line drawn from the stars forming
Orion's girdle.

43.



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