A Field Book of the Stars/Introduction

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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.