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A Field Book of the Stars by William Tyler Olcott

The transcription schemes for characters that could not be used in a plain text version of this text have been listed at the end of this file under the heading Transcriber's Notes.

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.


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