“Ian Ridpath is one of the most dedicated and prolific writers on astronomy. His works all have clarity and authority.”

Professor Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

ian ridpath

ian ridpath

Amateur astronomy

Constellation lore

Astro philately

UFO skepticism

Amateur astronomy

Constellation lore

Astro philately

UFO skepticism


DK Smithsonian Handbook Stars & Planets


DK Smithsonian Handbook

Monthly Sky Guide 10th edition


10th edition

Star Tales 2nd edition


2nd edition

Collins Stars & Planets 5th edition


5th edition

Philip's Astronomy Starter Pack


Philip's Star Chart


Amazon Ian Ridpath page
Ian Ridpath astronomy writer, broadcaster, lecturer

Photograph courtesy Tim Hodges ARPS

I have been interested in astronomy and space since childhood, and have been a full-time writer, editor, broadcaster, and lecturer on the subject since 1972.

My handbooks for observing the sky include the Collins Stars and Planets Guide (known in the US as the Princeton Field Guide to Stars and Planets), Collins Gem Stars, and The Monthly Sky Guide (all illustrated by Wil Tirion, the world’s foremost astronomical cartographer). These are all reprinted and updated regularly, and have been in print for over 30 years. Exploring Stars and Planets is a children’s book of mine that first appeared in 1992 under the title Atlas of Stars and Planets; its latest edition now forms part of the Philip’s Astronomy Starter Pack. Star Tales is a book about constellation history and mythology which, along with antique star atlases, is a particular interest of mine.

I am also the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and Norton’s Star Atlas. Norton’s, first published in 1910, is the longest-established star atlas in the world, and reputedly the best-known; I edited the last three editions (1989, 1998, and 2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy was first published in 1997; its latest edition appeared online in early 2018 and is updated regularly. For more about these and other titles, see my Book Support pages.

I collect astronomy-related stamps, both for interest and for illustrative purposes. You are welcome to browse my collection of all such issues from the British Isles. I am also a collector of antique star atlases.

I am interested in the way in which astronomical phenomena can give rise to UFO reports. Some common examples can be found in my article about astronomical causes of UFOs. I have investigated a number of UFO cases that have attracted my interest, most notably the celebrated Rendlesham Forest UFO case of 1980, sometimes known as the ‘British Roswell’. I produced the first full explanation of all the major aspects of this case, which are explained in detail on this website.

Click for a fuller CV. Click for a list of popular-level lectures.

Contact Ian Ridpath:  ian @ ianridpath.com