The Observer’s Guide to the Southern Sky
This is the second edition of Astronomy of the Milky Way by Mike Inglis. This second edition has been updated with new science that has been found out about the objects in the book. This version of the book also benefits from a larger format with re-drawn maps and an increased number of images in colour.
A lot of the objects that are in the sky in the Southern hemisphere are objects that many of us in the northern hemisphere may never have the chance to observe with our own eyes. But we are lucky enough to be able to view a number of objects that appear in both the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere skies during the year and that’s the same for those living in the Southern hemisphere. This book covers some objects that you can’t see in either the Northern or Southern so there is something for everybody.
Astronomy of the Milky Way takes us through the highlights of the Southern hemisphere throughout the year. It starts what to see in January and February and then March and April and finally May and June. Why only half the year, well you have to read book 1 in order to get the other months, as the author admits they can’t all fit into one book.
Astronomy of the Milky Way looks at Monoceros, Canis Major and Hydra, Canis Major, Puppis, Lepus and Columba, Pyxis and Antila and Vela during January and February. March to April brings us Carina, Crux, Musca, Centaurus, Circinus, Volans, Octans, Chamaeleon and Telsecopium. May to June has us looking at Triangulum Australe, Apus, Lupus, Norma, Ara, Pavo, Libra, Scorpius, Ophiuchus and Corona Australis.
There are some great full colour images of celestial objects and some very clear constellation diagrams as well as lots of data about the objects including RA and Dec and magnitude.
Astronomy of the Milky Way is full of appendices, with 10 in total. These cover astronomical co-ordinate systems, magnitudes, stellar classifications, light filters, star clusters, double stars, star colours, books, magazine and astronomical organisations, the Greek alphabet and some popular astrophotography websites.
It’s nice to see books split up by month as they can be great for reference when you are planning your observing sessions throughout the year and you want to see what’s in the sky tonight to observe or image. Overall Astronomy of the Milky Way is a great book for those wanting to familiarise themselves with objects in the Southern hemisphere.