Item description for A Dictionary of Modern Star Names: A Short Guide to 254 Star Names and Their Derivations by Paul Kunitzsch & Tim Smart...
Sirius, Algol, Castor and Pollux, Mizar and Alcor: these names are well known to stargazers. But others ? Rasalhague, Vindemiatrix, Zubenelgenubi ? are obscure tongue twisters. Have you ever wondered where all these exotic-sounding star names came from? In this second, revised edition of Short Guide to Modern Star Names and their Derivations, Paul Kunitzsch and Tim Smart track down the origin and meaning of 254 star names. This fascinating work, long out of print, is considered to be the most authoritative English-language treatment of star names in use today.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2007
Publisher Sky Publishing
ISBN 1931559449 ISBN13 9781931559447
Reviews - What do customers think about A Dictionary of Modern Star Names: A Short Guide to 254 Star Names and Their Derivations?
Below average Jun 12, 2007
This book makes an attempt to explain the origin of star names. A much better treatment is Star Names: Their Lore and Meanings by Richard Hinckley Allen (Dover Publications).
A Dictionary of Modern Star Names Feb 9, 2007
A Dictionary of Modern Star Names by Paul Kunitzsh & Tim Smart Sky Publishing, 2006, 2nd edition, soft cover, 5 ¼" x 8 1/8", 68 pages
Originally published in 1986 as Short Guide to Modern Star Names and Their Derivations in Germany, this guide has an Old World look and feel to it. The paper stock has an almost newsprint quality to it using an antique-like type face. It is like a read through the 101 Arabian Nights with all the references to Arabic and Greek origins and mythologies.
The introduction explains the correct pronunciation, derivations and origins of the names used for the 254 named stars in the book. It also gives a brief a time line broken into historical periods and how the names were changed or reinterpreted to conform to that period in history. Charts on how each language pronounces its vowels assist you as you read through the book.
The main section of the book is broken down by constellations and the major stars alphabetically with their corresponding Greek letter. The star names only are also listed alphabetically in the index at the end of the book.
Under each chapter, the stars listed have their pronunciation (sometimes multiple) to the right of the name, with a paragraph or two giving you the historical significance and the derivation (if any) of the star plus any other interesting fact about the star.
This book is not intended to further your general astronomical knowledge, but to educate you on the specific topic on the name origins of these celestial lights. It is a nice reference source and the information can be entertaining should the topic of stars come up in you next conversation.