Stories of the Constellations collects 40 classic myths and legends of the night sky. Aries may be a ram, but why can it be found among the stars? How can you find the Big Dipper? What are the stories behind Cancer the Crab, Sagittarius the Centaur and Hydra the serpent?
Explained in this book are the stories behind the 12 star signs (such as the Gemini twins, the Taurus bull), along with more than 25 other characters from mythology who also have a place in the heavens, such as Perseus carrying Medusa’s head of snakes, three-headed dog Cerberus and hero Hercules fighting the dragon Draco.
Stories of the Constellations is illustrated throughout with outstanding new artworks for each character, showing how the constellation fits the character. There are also colour illustrations of one of the stories about each character and locator maps that allow the reader to find the constellations in the night sky. As well as explanations of how to read the sky at night, the story behind each featured character is explained and there are easy-to-read ‘Did you know?’ factboxes.
Packed with educational and fun information on both classical mythology and astronomy, Stories of the Constellations is a colourful and exciting read.
When the Apollo astronauts walked on the Moon in 1969, many people imagined Mars would be next. However NASA’s Viking 1, which landed in 1976, was just a robot. The much-anticipated crewed mission failed to materialise, defeated by a combination of technological and political challenges.
Four decades after Viking and almost half a century after Apollo technology has improved beyond recognition – as has politics. As private ventures like SpaceX seize centre stage from NASA, Mars has undergone a seismic shift – it’s become the prime destination for future human expansion and colonisation.
But what’s it really like on Mars, and why should anyone want to go there? How do you get there and what are the risks? Astrophysicist and science writer Andrew May answers these questions and more, as he traces the history of our fascination with the Red Planet.