The thing about Cherry's works is that she did mostly use real stars (even if she was a bit off on where they were sometimes). I had an interesting conversation with her brother, David Cherry, about the time they put together a map of Union/Alliance space that ended up getting used in a boardgame by Mayfair Games (I have that game, too!)
I have a copy of that map on my personal laptop, but it's in the shop with a busted power switch at the moment. (Good thing I have my iLiad to play with!) I think it appears in several of the books, anyway.