The Book of Constellations
This fascinating narrative recounts the history of astronomy and, with more than 100 full-color illustrations, it shows readers how to find the planets and constellations in the night sky. In ancient times, people thought that the Sun, Moon, and stars were gods. They recorded their movements and imagined that the stars made pictures in the sky. The Greeks and the Romans related these "pictures" of animals and men--or constellations--to their legends. They also identified planets and named them for their gods--Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Their observations marked the first step in the development of astronomy, which today is a sophisticated science. Modern astronomers have followed the tradition of naming heavenly bodies after ancient gods. For instance, the solar system's outer planets weren't identified until after the telescope's invention, but with their discoveries they were named after Uranus, a Greek god of the sky . . . Neptune, the Roman god of the sea . . . and Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld. The author recounts the legends connected with many constellations, including Aquarius, Aries, Cancer, Orion, and others. This beautifully illustrated book helps readers navigate their way around the night sky as they learn the significance of heavenly bodies' names. Color photos and illustrations throughout.