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HALF-HOURS WITH THE STARS:
A PLAIN AND EASY GUIDE
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONSTELLATIONS,
SHOWING, IN 12 MAPS, THE POSITION OF THE PRINCIPAL
AND A SEPARATE EXPLANATION OF EACH MAP.
TRUE FOR EVERY YEAR.
RICHARD A. PROCTOR, B.A., F.R.A.S.
LATE SCHOLAR OF ST. John's COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, AND MATHEMATICAL SCHOLAR OF KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON :
'SUNVIEWS OF THE EARTH,' ETC. ETC.
184. h. 21.
THE OBJECT which I have proposed to myself in the preparation of this work has been to teach the beginner the stars in a manner which there can be no misunderstanding. I had the same object in view in preparing my Constellation-Seasons; but experience has shown me that to attain that object it is necessary to consult the beginner himself. I found on doing this that my Constellation-Seasons were not so well suited to the purpose I had in view as I had expected. Meridians and parallels, equator, ecliptic, and tropics, which had seemed to be absolutely necessary to the completeness of the maps, tended only to confuse the beginner. So also did the introduction of
rs and the less important constellations. Other features of those maps, also, while increasing their utility (I think) to the more advanced student, rendered their meaning less obvious than is desirable for the beginner. In these maps I have discarded everything which could by any possibility be confusing. In place of letters indicating the points of the compass, the words eastern horizon, north-eastern horizon, &c. are written in full, and natural features round each map indicate the fact that the circumference of the map really corresponds to the horizon of the observer. The word “overhead' is put on the centre of each map in place of zenith. The hours to which each map corresponds for different days are written in according to the simplest mode of expressing them. And, lastly, the days proper for the use of each map will be found to run without interruption from the beginning of the year in Map I., to the end of the year in Map XII. ; the interval between successive dates never exceeding four days.
I believe I am not claiming too much for these maps in saying that they are the first series ever published, which the beginner could not possibly misinterpret, even if he paid no attention to the accompanying letterpress.