Although the night sky is an object of fascination for many people, astronomy can also be a daunting subject; Universe brings understanding within easy grasp. This fully revised and updated edition has 52 new pages of content, filled with recent discoveries and innovations in astronomy. The book opens with a chapter looking at the universe and astronomy as a whole. This includes pages on the nature of the universe, the objects within it, and cosmology (the scientific study of the beginning and end of the universe), as well as a section showing how the Earth's motion affects our view of the skies and the basic techniques of practical astronomy. This section now includes expanded coverage of modern telescopes and astrophotography. The core of the book is a tour of the cosmos in three chapters, covering the Solar System, the Milky Way, and galaxies beyond our own. Each chapter combines explanatory pages to introduce different celestial phenomena with catalogs profiling the most interesting and important examples. The final chapter consists of a comprehensive star atlas, with entries on each of the 88 constellations and notable celestial objects that lie within them, and a monthly sky guide showing the night sky as it appears throughout the year as viewed from both the northern and southern hemispheres. Text, images, and charts have been revised throughout the book to bring this groundbreaking encyclopedia thoroughly up to date.