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21. The Amateur Astronomer's Catalog
22. The Amateur Astronomer: An Observer's
23. Introduction to Astronomy: A Complete
24. Sun and the Amateur Astronomer
25. Pleasures of the Telescope: An
26. The amateur astronomer
27. The Amateur Astronomers Handbook:
28. Through the Telescope: A Guide
29. Sky Watcher's Handbook: The Expert
30. Eight Easy Observing Projects
31. The Amateur Astronomer's Pathfinder
32. Math for Amateur Astronomers
33. The Observational Amateur Astronomer
34. Skyshooting: Photography for Amateur
35. Scientific American The Amateur
36. Amateur Astronomy.
37. Seeing in the Dark : How Amateur
38. The Amateur Astronomer (Patrick
39. Star Watch: The Amateur Astronomer's
40. Star Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's

21. The Amateur Astronomer's Catalog of 500 Deep-Sky Objects
by Ronald J. Morales
Paperback: Pages (1986-08)
list price: US$12.50
Isbn: 0894040766
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An easy way to get started in deep-sky atronomy
This book provides an excellent means for a beginner in astronomy to get started in deep-sky astronomy. The book is useful for the beginning astronomer who wants to advance to the intermediate level. This book is a useful step to beginning to use more advanced and detailed star atlases.

The book includes lists for NGC and Messier object, as well as nebulas and different types of clusters. The author includes his descriptions of most of the NGC objects, and what equipment is required to view them. The book contains useful field observation notes, and viewing hints. ... Read more

22. The Amateur Astronomer: An Observer's Guide to the Universe
by Antonin Rukl
 Hardcover: 192 Pages (1985-08)
list price: US$9.98
Isbn: 0831702958
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23. Introduction to Astronomy: A Complete Guide for the Amateur Astronomer
by Rick Shaffer
 Hardcover: 176 Pages (1999-09-14)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517206412
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For anyone who has tried—and failed—to find the Big Dipper or Orion's Belt, this information-filled reference guide is the perfect introduction to discovering the wonders of the sky.Includes computer-generated maps that simplify identification, a mini-almanac to pinpoint the planets each month as well as advice on buying and using binoculars or a telescope, even a table that explains when to watch for meteor showers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners NOT FOR KIDS!
Bought this for my daughter because the reviews said good for beginners... JEEZ! Not for kids though! I wish there were astronomy books for beginner KIDS!

This book uses terms maybe not so easy for younger people. A bit dry, even for me.

It's on the bookshelf and hasn't come off.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Introduction
This is a good introduction of astronomy's techniques for beginers, It is well explained and concise. Including humor and acurate data, it will make you a good amateur astronomer. It works even if you are latin-american. ... Read more

24. Sun and the Amateur Astronomer
by William Morley Baxter
 Hardcover: 208 Pages (1973-01-11)

Isbn: 0715356291
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25. Pleasures of the Telescope: An Illustrated Guide for Amateur Astronomers and a Popular Description of the Chief Wonders of the Heavens for General Readers
by Garrett Putman Serviss
Paperback: 218 Pages (2010-03-08)
list price: US$24.75 -- used & new: US$15.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1146910851
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

26. The amateur astronomer
by Gideon Riegler
Paperback: 326 Pages (2010-08-23)
list price: US$30.75 -- used & new: US$19.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177623471
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Publisher: London, T. Fisher UnwinPublication date: 1910Subjects: AstronomyNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

27. The Amateur Astronomers Handbook: A Guide to Exploring the Heavens
by James Muirden
 Paperback: 480 Pages (1987-09)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060914262
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28. Through the Telescope: A Guide for the Amateur Astronomer, Revised Edition
by Patricia Barnes-Svarney, Michael Porcellino
Paperback: 309 Pages (1999-11-26)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071348042
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the ten years since this award-winning book was originally written by Michael Porcellino, the field of astronomy and its discoveries has grown by leaps and bounds. From the astounding images sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope, to the bright comet Hale-Bopp from the fleet of Martian probes, to the long-distance explorations of the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn--the universe has become more accessible than ever. And thanks to this revised and thoroughly updated new edition by astronomer and science writer, Patricia Barnes-Svarney, anyone with an interest can delve into its wonders.

From the very close up to the far reaches of space, THROUGH THE TELESCOPE presents a uniquely "user-friendly" view of the universe, and offers both novice and advanced amateur astronomers some of the best tools available to watch the nighttime skies.

You'll learn all about:* Setting up a good, user-friendly telescope system* How to look at the universe in order to really see it* Upgrading your telescope for peak performance* How to spot a star cluster, a nebulaOeven a supernova* Forming your own network of amateur astronomers.

Complete with a web site appendix and fully updated charts on eclipses and planetary oppositions well into the year 2000, this edition of an acclaimed book will be an invaluable users guide for aspiring astronomers entering the new millennium. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide
This is an excellent guide for the amateur astronomer, with copious information on both what to look at in the sky and what to buy to do so, including both binoculars and telescopes. It has copious information on every aspect of skywatching, down to the best filters to view the various planets through. It's very supportive of amateur astronomy, consistently pointing out the contributions that amateurs have made and continue to make to the science (one of the few sciences where this is still possible).

Quibbles: a few formatting problems, where the formatting notation shows up instead of italics or whatever was intended. And they repeat the urban legend about Galileo going blind from observing the sun (though admittedly I just recently found out that this is mistaken).

Other than that, it's an excellent book, though more of a reference than a "sit-down-and-read" book, which is what I did with it, at least for now.

Meanwhile, I wonder if some of the other reviews (below) apply to the earlier edition of the book, since I did not encounter the same problems.

1-0 out of 5 stars A poor excuse for a book on amateur astronomy
I pity the novice who purchases this book with the intention of learning about amateur astronomy.The book is a demonstration of what happens when someone rushes it to publication, does not KNOW the subject and builds poorly on a work that wasn't very good in the first place. There are so many terrifically awful errors in this book, it would take another book to document them.Pictures of microscopes where telescopes shouldbe, refractor telescopes described as Dobsonians, etc, etc.The illustration/pictures are also slipshod, out of focus and poorly rendered.I cannot believe a suposedly reputable publishing house could release this "joke" of a text on amateur astronomy.It should be withdrawn from the market NOW and burned. -Richard Anderson

1-0 out of 5 stars Badly in need of copy editing
It's amazing McGraw-Hill let this one out at all.There are typographical and syntactical errors on almost every page.I can't comment on technical accuracy, as I am a beginner at astronomy.But I do know when I've seenthe same photograph twice with different, and inconsistent, captions.Thepublisher did a real disservice to the author of this edition--and to thememory of the author of the original version--by rushing this to marketwithout at least showing it to a copy editor.

1-0 out of 5 stars Warning: bad book!
This is the worst astronomy book I've encountered in forty years as an amateur astronomer!It is full of errors and has some of the poorest illustrations (out-of-focus, incorrectly labeled) I've ever seen in a commercial publication.Anyone interested in buying and using telescopeswould be much better served by NightWatch by Terence Dickinson, TheBackyard Astronomer's Guide by Dickinson and Dyer, or Phil Harrington'sStar Ware.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book
As an amateur in astronomy, I found this book very educative. It covers all aspects of astronomy - from naked eye view of the sky to deep space objects, binocular to large telescope obesrvation, etc. Though it waswritten in 1989, the book will continue to be a reference book to allinterested in astronomy. ... Read more

29. Sky Watcher's Handbook: The Expert Reference Source for the Amateur Astronomer
Hardcover: 416 Pages (1993-01-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 071674502X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Serious amateurs today can make more discoveries and original observations than could their predecessors, and professional astronomers are giving them significant status and support. Sky Watcher's Handbook is for the amateur astronomer who, having passed through the first stage of getting acquainted with the sky, has decided to concentrate on a particular object or class of objects and make serious observations. It offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive distillation of collective wisdom available to the amateur astronomer. ... Read more

30. Eight Easy Observing Projects for Amateur Astronomers: For Amateur Astronomers
by Nancy L. Hendrickson, David Cortner
 Paperback: 160 Pages (1996-09)
list price: US$21.95
Isbn: 0913135275
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31. The Amateur Astronomer's Pathfinder
by Colin Humphrey
 Paperback: 144 Pages (1992-10)
list price: US$50.40 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471934526
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A introduction to practical and theoretical astronomy presents concepts and facts, data from the most recent space missions, specially commissioned drawings, and photographs. ... Read more

32. Math for Amateur Astronomers
by J. Fox
 Paperback: Pages (1982-06)
list price: US$5.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9996760251
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33. The Observational Amateur Astronomer (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)
Paperback: 280 Pages (1995-11-27)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$9.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3540198997
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Patrick Moore has pulled together a group of professional and amateur astronomers, each an expert in a particular field, to describe how to observe every category of object that is within reach of an astronomical telescope of modest size.

Each chapter deals with a different class of object, covering the whole range of possibilities from the Moon, planets and stars to more specialised observations of comets, novae, and meteors.

If you own - or are thinking of buying - an astronomical telescope, here is the book that will help you get the most enjoyment out of it. It also explains how best to use your telescope for proper scientific observations, for astronomy is one of the few remaining areas of science where a lot of useful work can be carried out by non-professionals.

A companion book, The Modern Amateur Astronomer, deals with the non-observational aspects of astronomy, from buying a telescope (or making your own), through electronic equipment and accessories, to more technical aspects such as spectroscopy and astrophotography. ... Read more

34. Skyshooting: Photography for Amateur Astronomers
by Robert Newton Mayall
Paperback: 174 Pages (1968-06)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$0.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486218546
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35. Scientific American The Amateur Astronomer (Scientific American (Wiley))
by Scientific American
Paperback: 288 Pages (2000-12-19)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471382825
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Are you an avid sky-watcher? Would you like to observe the changes in the moon’s surface? Predict the orbit of a satellite? Record sunspots?

Finally, here is the book you’ve been waiting for! From the longest-running column in Scientific American’s history comes this collection of fascinating projects for the amateur astronomer. Whether you’re interested in designing your own telescope or determining the chemical composition of faraway stars, this unique book will help you satisfy your passion for the skies. You’ll learn how to build and use astronomical tools that will help you better understand and appreciate the solar system, our galaxy, and the cosmos.

Here you’ll discover fascinating facts about astronomy along with helpful tips and clear instructions on how to build inexpensive astronomical instruments in home-based workshops using ordinary shop tools. From making a pendulum that detects the earth’s rotation, to observing Jupiter with a homemade telescope, to taking picture-perfect images of a comet, these projects will help you go deeper into space than you’ve ever imagined. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Agood starting point
This book is a credible source of information for the budding amateur astronomer. Scientific American has been on the forefront of the amateur astronomy movement in America for well over one hundred years. With that type of a reputation, it is clear that they are seeking to keep their track record intact.

The Amateur Astronomer addresses fabrication of optical telescopes in Part One in a manner that is adequate to get someone with reasonable skills headed in the right direction. In Parts Two, Three and Four it goes into astronomy and explores various types of observations the amateur can make.

I highly recommend Scientific American's Amateur Astronomer for anyone who is seeking to enter the field of astronomy in a meaningful way.

Francis J. O'Reilly ... Read more

36. Amateur Astronomy.
by Patrick Moore
Hardcover: 337 Pages (1968-03)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$19.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393063623
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is Patrick Moore's major work to date. To it he has brought all his experience of observing the sky with equipment available to the amateur and his years as lecturer and guide to the beginner as well as to the experienced observer. The result is a book that is essential reading for the inexperienced and a constant guide to those who have some astronomical knowledge and experience. Organized for ease of reading and reference, it discusses the equipment of the amateur, provides a course in the nature of the skies, the solar system, the stars, and the universe. It contains maps, charts, and tables needed by the observer, together with a large number of diagrams and photographic illustrations. This volume thoroughly updates and supplants Patrick Moore's earlier standard work, The Amateur Astonomer. Patrick Moore is Director of the Armagh Planetarium in Ireland. From 1954 to 1963 he was Director of the Mercury and Venus Section of the British Astonomical Association. He was wrriten and lecturer extensively. ... Read more

37. Seeing in the Dark : How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe
by Timothy Ferris
Paperback: 400 Pages (2003-07-08)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$0.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684865807
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In Seeing in the Dark, a poetic love letter to science and to the skies, Timothy Ferris invites us all to become stargazers. He recounts his own experiences as an enthralled lifelong amateur astronomer and reports from around the globe -- from England and Italy to the Florida Keys and the Chilean Andes -- on the revolution that's putting millions in touch with the night sky. In addition, Ferris offers an authoritative and engaging report on what's out there to be seen -- what Saturn, the Ring nebula, the Silver Coin galaxy, and the Virgo supercluster really are and how to find them. The appendix includes star charts, observing lists, and a guide on how to get involved in astronomy.

Ferris takes us inside a major revolution sweeping astronomy, as lone amateur astronomers, in global networks linked by the Internet, make important discoveries that are the envy of the professionals. His ability to describe the wonders of the universe is simply magical, and his enthusiasm for his subject is irresistible. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fanstasic Read!
A Sunday evening drive through the cosmos with the top down. I LOVED this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars 80% Interesting - 20% boring
There are two major themes in this book, the activities of amateur astronomers as told in interviews, and a brief guide to the cosmos. I found the interviews fascinating, but they're interspersed with other chapters that seem to go on forever about details of astrophysics and what's happening in the stars. I guess you have to explain some of what these folks are looking at, but I found those sections boring. His portraits of real astronomers are very vivid however, although most get only a page or so.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Space
I love this book.I've read a ton of books lately on the planets because of teaching a class on beginning astronomy for kids.This book presents the most interesting facts in the most interesting and compelling way.If I had not had this book to look at, my lessons would not have been as fun or exciting.The author writes beautifully, and has a nose for the intriguing. :)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any stargazer!
Fantastic!This book is a perfect mixture of science and storytelling.This was educational and inspiring.I don't re-read many books, but this may be an exception.Loved it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview of Astronomy
Many people, including myself, often marvel at the night sky to the point of seriously thinking of buying a telescope. The question that then arises is: What if I invest in a decent telescope, use it a few times to examine some of the celestial bodies, then eventually get bored for lack of knowing what to look at or to look for? This book attempts to help potential amateur astronomers dance around this sticking point. The author discusses the current activities of some professional but mainly amateur astronomers: what they look for, the equipment that they use, what they've found and what they continue to find. The book is well written and fun to read; it covers most areas of interest in astronomy and briefly describes what's out there. The book's only shortcoming is that it contains no figures, pictures or diagrams of any kind (other than star charts in the appendices); this is unfortunate since a few optical diagrams and pictures of the various items and people that are discussed would have complemented the text very nicely. Nevertheless, this is a great book that does much to encourage amateur astronomy. I heartily recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the night sky. ... Read more

38. The Amateur Astronomer (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)
by Patrick Moore
Hardcover: 293 Pages (2005-10-11)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$4.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1852338784
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This 2000 Edition of Sir Patrick Moore?s classic book has been completely revised in the light of changes in technology. Not only do these changes include commercially available astronomical telescopes and software, but also what we know and understand about the universe. There are many new photographs and illustrations. Writing in the easy-going style that made him famous as a writer and broadcaster, Sir Patrick introduced astronomy and amateur observing together, so that his reader gets an idea of what he is observing at the same time as how to observe. Almost half the book is Appendices. These are hugely comprehensive and provide hints and tips, as well as data (year 2000 onwards) for pretty well every aspect of amateur astronomy. This is probably the only book in which all this information is collected in one place. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still THE book or the beginning amateur astronomer
Sir Patrick Moore's calm, elegant, and erudite prose is still doing a wonderful job of initiating newbies into amateur astronomy six decades after it was first published. If you are interested in amateur astronomy, or think you might be, _you want this_.

2-0 out of 5 stars Planetary introduction to Astronomy.
Although this book is easy to understand, its lack of color pictures and dry writing style makes it rather dull reading. There are better books on the market. ... Read more

39. Star Watch: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Finding, Observing, and Learning About over 125 Celestial Objects
by Philip S. Harrington
Paperback: 304 Pages (2003-07-18)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471418048
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Your Passport to the Universe

The night sky is alive with many wonders––distant planets, vast star clusters, glowing nebulae, and expansive galaxies, all waiting to be explored.Let respected astronomy writer Philip Harrington introduce you to the universe in Star Watch, a complete beginner’s guide to locating, observing, and understanding these celestial objects. You’ll start by identifying the surface features of the Moon, the banded cloud tops of Jupiter, the stunning rings of Saturn, and other members of our solar system. Then you’ll venture out beyond our solar system, where you’ll learn tips and tricks for finding outstanding deep-sky objects from stars to galaxies, including the entire Messier catalog––a primary goal of every serious beginner.

Star Watch features a detailed physical description of each target, including size, distance, and structure, as well as concise directions for locating the objects, handy finder charts, hints on the best times to view each object, and descriptions of what you’ll really see through a small telescope or binoculars and with the naked eye.

Star Watch will transport you to the farthest depths of space––and return you as a well-traveled, experienced stargazer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amateur astronomy for the novice
Getting started in amateur astronomy is not the easiest task at first, but Harrington's book helps a lot.He gives a good introduction to "star hopping," which I appreciate very much.He also rates the many celestial objects out there as to ease of locating and what he calls "wow factor."It helps get a novice going at the start when everything is unfamiliar and you aren't completely sure what you are doing.There is an amazing universe out there, and Harrington wants to help you see its tremendous beauty.I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for intermediate observers
This isn't for beginners just starting out.I got this a few month's into observing, but I was pretty dedicated in learning.Most beginners might find this a bit too advanced.

I have an 8" dob and live between San Francisco and San Jose, which is not a very ideal location.So even though this book will divide expectations between binos, small scopes, and medium scopes (an 8" is considered medium), in light-polluted skies, a "medium" scope will see what a small one (3" - 4") in darker skies.

Once you have your expectations set straight, then Harrington's descriptions are about right.

1) GREAT guide to learn starhopping for the Messier objects + others.
2) Great illustrations for expected views, not like the photos we all see.
3) Well organized by season and constellations
4) Includes selected double stars and constellation lore

1) The book's pages and binding are not conducive to being used outdoors at night.It may be ruined from dew and bending.

1) You really need an 8" in light polluted skies to see the objects in this book decently well, or you need darker skies with a smaller scope.
2) You NEED a good finder.I have a 9x50 and it works well with the guide stars in this book, even in my light polluted skies.A 5x24 or 6x30 in most beginner scopes will be inadequate and you'll be frustrated because you won't be able to see the guide stars referenced.
3) Ideally, you'll need a good view to the south to see all objects in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite book!!
It is an excellent book!!! I recommend it.. It is now my favorite book for the observation of objects of deep sky.

5-0 out of 5 stars Star Watch (Philip Harrington): A Beginners Review for Beginners
Preface and Introduction

If like me you've come across this title as a beginner in astronomy than you probably are interested in getting some equipment and some literature to help you learn more about the night sky.I would even bet you like me got started by simply being amazed at what the starry looks like at night when it's truly dark.No telescope, no binoculars or anything just the awe and amazement.

I really wanted to take a moment and make this post for those who are just like me and just getting started, those who are lost on what equipment to purchase or which books to consider.These two choices alone can be very overwhelming.

No review is any good without some knowledge of the reviewer.My name is Tim and I'm 28 years old.My knowledge of astronomy is very limited where as I can name a few of the more prominent constellations and understand the basics of the Moon.That's really about it.I have always been fascinated with space and enjoy television shows about space.So take this into account when you read my mini-review here.This truly is a beginner speaking and I hope to offer insights that other beginners will find helpful and useful.

About the Book

Star Watch by Philip S. Harrington is a paperback book of 304 pages and measures 9.25-inches by 7.50-inches.Its a nice size book and fits easily in the lap and the hands.The binding seems to be of good quality and the pages are a nice medium weight.The book contains many black-and-white photographs (more on this below) as well as star charts for each season and other various diagrams.It is by design a guide to "Finding, Observing and Learning about Over 125 Celestial Objects" as the title accurately describes.

Review Topics

I'm going to offer my thoughts on this book in these specific categories: Purpose, Content, Readability, Photographs and Visual Aids, Layout and Overall Thoughts.

Purpose: Does this book meet its objective for the reader?

What I want to discuss here is does this book make good on what it claims to do (help you find and learn about things in space).In my opinion yes it does.Other than knowing a few constellations I don't know much about the sky that I can see.This book helps immensely with that.Star Watch helps you find the objects by naming the constellation to start in and then general "directions" to get to the object.As if someone game you their address, they would give you the house number, street name, city name, then state and so forth.This book does this process in reverse to get you zeroed in on the objective.You will be guided to a constellation, then directed within that constellation to the area of that you are looking for.This book sets out to get you to the objects and does this in a simple to use fashion.I've had good success finding things.

Content: What's covered?

Star Watch covers many objects over 125 and more than that it covers a nice diversity of different types of objects.You will not be just looking at planets, or just the moon.But rather a mix of different space objects.This alone really helps to teach about how diverse space really is.More than little light specs space holds many different and unique things to see and explore and Star Watch will help get you there.

Readability: How is reading the book?

I would like to say that this book is made to be a guide rather than a fun space facts reading book but please don't let this detract from this book at all.In fact I find this book a good balance between a strict guide and fun fact trivia book.If you want a colorful flashy book for the coffee table that showcases the magic about space (but can't take you there) than this book is not for you.However if you wonder what is up there, want to learn about it then actually see it yourself than this book is exactly what you want.Star Watch does a good job of teaching you about what it will help you find and see.

The layout of this book is also a welcome tool for learning.The first few chapters the reader can basically read through in order.They cover the basics and help set the foundation for your viewing sessions.The later parts of the book are set up by seasons, which makes it a valuable tool and more of a reference style reading material.Very helpful here is where you will skip to your particular season and start looking for things.

Each season is divided into Sky Windows and they again go into more detail of the skies.The layout really does work well.Skip to which season you are currently in and then start from there.Star Watch does a good job of telling what you will see and when.

On the other side of that coin Star Watch also contains a catalog of the Messier Objects (object first observed and cataloged by Charles Messier) and a catalog of the planets and constellations.These are strictly reference materials and very helpful.

Photographs and Visual Aids

I really appreciate that Star Watch has used black-and-white photographs.Why?Simple because the view I see through my binoculars is also black-and-white!This really helps me to get an idea of what I should see through my viewing equipment.The star charts are black dots on white background (think a negative of the night sky) but still they are quite readable and useful.Not every object is pictured but every object is given ample descriptive remarks.There are more than enough photographs in this book to help get you going.

Also found in Star Watch are a wide variety of star charts and constellation diagrams.These too work very well and with the photographs help dial the viewer on the destination.I also like the included tables that offer even more information on objects and other neat facts.

This book is much more than text but not a strict visual book either.I am quite pleased with this aspect.


Like I said above the first few chapters are read in order and serve to ground you on the start of your journey.Other parts of the book offer strict diagrams and other offer season guides to be used with what ever season you are currently in.The layout is quite good and easy to navigate.

What I really like is that each object has its own section and has its own rating on how easy it is to find with both binoculars and telescopes as well as the "wow factor" for how impressive it will look.

This guide is a great balance between guide and fun reading.

Overall Thoughts

This is my very first astronomy book and I must say it's a great introduction to this hobby.Currently I'm strictly a binocular user so I wanted a book that wasn't mostly about telescopes.Admit it when you think astronomy you think telescopes, so do a lot of authors.But Star Watch is great because it breaks things down for the binocular user, the small telescope user and the large telescope user and lays out what each one of those will see.If anything this book makes it more tempting to get a telescope too, but I would recommend binoculars first.

This book is a great companion of my binoculars.Binoculars are by their design more suited for sweeping the sky in search of objects.That alone makes binoculars the best choice for the beginners who like me are learning the sky.While you may get more magnification with a telescope, binoculars will help you learn the sky faster and easier because you can sweep the heavens far easier.

Also binoculars offer a wide field of view that make them great for the star clusters and Nebula that Star Watch will point you to.I highly recommend this book and a decent pair of binoculars.Later when you get a telescope this book will move right along with you (not every single object is viewable with binoculars).

Star Watch by Philip Harrington and binoculars has been my first step into astronomy and it has been a great one.I highly recommend this book to compliment you binoculars especially, but this book is also just as valuable to you folks with your first telescope.Either way Star Watch will get you out there and guide you to amazing things.Great for the beginner and a title that I'm sure will grow with you as your skills improve.Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for stargazing
A must read for the beginner and amateur stargazer. Easy answers to basic questions and easy to follow guide to begin enjoying the new interest.
A must for any library and for the person thinking of first telescope and what to do. ... Read more

40. Star Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories, 2nd Edition
by Philip S. Harrinfton, Philip S. Harrington
Paperback: 376 Pages (1998-07-13)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471183113
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Praise for the First Edition of Star Ware . . .

"A complete, current review of the material needed by backyard astronomers . . .

It deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone who looks at the sky." -David Eicher Associate Editor, Astronomy Author of Beginner's Guide to Amateur Astronomy

"A great help to anyone, especially the novice, who is wondering what to get. I don't know of any other single source that covers so much of the equipment scene." - Alan MacRobert Associate Editor, Sky & Telescope Author of Star-Hopping for Backyard Astronomers.

Just as our knowledge of the cosmos has changed dramatically in the past few years, so has the world of telescope buying. Today, it is easier than ever for the backyard astronomer to actively observe the universe-with equipment to satisfy every need. How does the amateur astronomer make informed choices?

In this Second Edition of Star Ware, award-winning astronomy writer Philip S. Harrington helps eliminate the guesswork, and guides you through the process with fully updated and expanded chapters on telescopes and accessories. For budding astronomers and experienced amateurs alike, Star Ware, Second Edition gives you everything you need to make educated decisions, including:
* Extensive reviews of leading model names and hard-to-find accessories on the market, along with dozens of new products to help you buy smart
* A clear, step-by-step guide to all aspects of purchasing, from choosing the right binoculars and telescopes to buying eyepieces, filters, cameras, and film
* Ten new do-it-yourself projects to help save you time and money-including a portable telescope case and performance-enhancing collimation tools
* Easy maintenance, mapping, and photography tips of the trade to help you get the most out of your telescope and stargazing
* Where to find everything astronomical: Internet sites and web resources with complete addresses for distributors, dealers, and conventions; corporate listings for products and services; and advice on using equipment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for beginners or any Astronomy library
Phil Harrington's book is the perfect primer for those interested in astronomy or contemplating a telescope purchase. It is very easy to follow and fun to read as he de-mistifies many of the terms those who are new to astronomy might not be familiar with. The book even includes a test you can take to determine the best type of telescope to purchase, taking your budget and your viewing location into consideration. I own the 1st and 2nd editions and have loaned them both to many who have contemplated a scope purchase. This book is probably the best money I ever spent on the hobby!Thanks Phil!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must if you own or want to buy a telescope.
Philip S. Harrington's Star Ware is one of the best guides to choose, buy and use telescopes and accesories for observing the nightsky.With many charts, illustrations, tables and black and white photographs, this book is a real help in order to setup and test your astronomical equipment. In ten well written chapters, the book deals with topics such as aperture, focal lenght, focal ratio, magnification and resolving power. It also explains the different types of telescopes (reflectors, refractors, etc) comparing different brands of telescopes and eyepieces, giving useful tips on observing and astrophotography. Useful appendices, updated in this second edition, will give the reader information about telescope dealers, distributors and manufacturers, in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Definitively, this is one of the best books of its kind and a must for amateur astronomers who own or want to buy a telescope.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely great book
This is the only book I've ever read. I can say with ease and honesty that it is flawless.I knew next to nothing about observing with a telescope, let alone how to choose the right one for myself.The Author always starts a topic at the absolute beginning and then proceeds slowly, but steadily, untill everything is covered. It wouldn't be fair to call this an easy-to-read book, but scientific books does not get much easier to read than this. The conclusion must be, that if you are looking for a book about Amateur astronomy or simply how to choose the right telescope or equipment, than stop looking! Don't waste the time or your money on other books! This is simply all there is to say about astronomy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource
This is an amzing resource for all amateur astronomers. While it can get a bit overly wordy, this book helps you to understand just about any scope you can but. It also has good descriptions of ronchigram and star tests foramateur telescope makers. Highly reccomended.

5-0 out of 5 stars essential astro gear guide
There are a few books no amateur astronomer should be without. One is Peterson's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets, which packs more useful information into a smaller package than any other book I know of. A secondis The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Dickinson & Dyer, which coversthe basics of the hobby in a more expansive, descriptive format.

A thirdmember of this short list has recently been republished in a new edition:Star Ware, Second Edition (The Amateur Astronomer's Ultimate Guide toChoosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories) by Philip S.Harrington, 1998 John Wiley & Sons. Star Ware is aimed mostly atbeginners, teaching in a lively and informal style the basics of howtelescopes work and how to use them, but there is a fair amount ofinformation of interest to advanced amateurs as well.

The book beginswith two chapters about telescope optics and different types of telescopes,with something of the history of telescopes along the way. Chapter 3 coversthe pros and cons of each type in some detail, ending with a quiz where youadd the point values of your answers to show what type you should buy -fun, as long as you don't take it too seriously. Chapter 4 is a still moredetailed look at the offerings of different manufacturers, again sorted bytype. Phil goes easy on the major manufacturers, judging from some of thetales of woe I've heard; but the treatment is fair and useful. Chapter 5compares the myriad eyepieces available to go with these scopes. Both thesechapters have appendices where the information is laid out in convenienttables.

Chapter 6 covers finders and filters, other books and software,cameras and CCD's. One thing I would have appreciated would be a similarappendix covering all the competing software packages, what they do welland which was the best for each purpose. As I wrote two months ago, I havepurchased a number of these packages and started to evaluate them; maybe Ineed to write this comparison myself.

Chapter 7 was the most interestingto me - a description of projects you can make, from a collimation tool toa video camera bracket to a binocular chair - the latter I want to getstarted on Real Soon Now. `Till Death Do You Part' is on care of yourscope, and repeats sage advice against unnecessary cleaning, as well as howto collimate your optics.

The last and longest chapter, `It's Time toSolo!', covers the targets to point your scope at (moon, planets, comets,sun, deep-sky), a description of a few dozen of the best deep-sky objects,and a brief introduction to astrophotography. This will be of less interestto advanced amateurs, who probably have more detailed sources of this typeof information. One might question why to include this in a book aboutequipment, but it probably does make it more useful for the beginner whomay buy only this book.

Parts of the book overlap with the Dickinson& Dyer book mentioned above, but the treatment of telescopes andeyepieces is much more detailed. Overall, a fine book, highly recommendedfor a beginning amateur, and recommended for an advanced amateur looking tobuy a new scope or eyepiece. ... Read more

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