DK Smithsonian Handbook of Stars and Planets

This book is produced by the UK publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK) and first appeared in 1998 as part of their Eyewitness Handbook series. A second edition was published in 2000, when the series name was changed simply to Dorling Kindersley Handbooks, with the word ‘Eyewitness’ dropped. Updated reprints appeared in 2002, 2005, and 2010. 

A completely revised and updated version was released in 2022 as part of the DK Smithsonian Handbooks series of nature guides under the title DK Smithsonian Handbook of Stars & Planets.

The book has an introductory section on stars and planets followed by constellation charts and descriptions of objects of interest, ending with a tour of the sky on a seasonal basis with all-sky charts. The base maps for the star charts were computer-plotted at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, then overdrawn and labelled by DK’s artists.

It is a good starter book and should not be confused with the more in-depth Collins/Princeton Stars & Planets Guide.