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1. Astronomy and general physics
2. Galaxy Formation (Astronomy and
3. My Heavens!: The Adventures of
4. The History and Practice of Ancient
5. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide
6. The Cambridge Illustrated History
7. Astronomy on the Personal Computer
8. The Sky is Your Laboratory: Advanced
9. Astronomy: A Visual Guide
10. Schaum's Outline of Astronomy
11. Observational Astronomy
12. CCD Astronomy: Construction and
13. Fundamental Astronomy
14. The General History of Astronomy:
15. 21st Century Astronomy: The Solar
16. Handbook of CCD Astronomy, 2nd
17. Astronomy Demystified (Demystified)
18. The Firefly Encyclopedia of Astronomy
19. A Dictionary of Astronomy (Oxford
20. A Brief Introduction to Astronomy

1. Astronomy and general physics considered with reference to natural theology
by William Whewell
Paperback: 348 Pages (2010-08-29)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$23.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177896613
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A leading British intellectual of the Victorian era, William Whewell (1794-1866) was a contemporary and adviser of Herschel, Darwin and Faraday. A geologist, astronomer, theologian and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, he was best known for his works on moral philosophy and the history and philosophy of science, and for coining, among others, the term 'scientist'. This book, originally published in 1833, is one of a series of treatises published with the help of a legacy from the Earl of Bridgewater (d.1829), intended to contribute to an understanding of the world as created by God. Though an advocate of religion, Whewell accepts that progress in science leads to an understanding of the laws and processes of the natural world. He argues, however, that ultimately the scientific understanding of creation, astronomy, and the laws of the universe only serves to confirm the idea of a divine designer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

William Whewell (1794-1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science.

The Earl of Bridgewater (1856-1829; he was an amateur naturalist) on his deathbed commissioned eight "Bridgewater Treatises" to explore "the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation." These eight volumes appeared between 1833 to 1840, and included such works as: On the Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man: Principally with Reference to the Supply of His Wants and the Exercise of His Intellectual Faculties by John Kidd; Animal and Vegetable Physiology: Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, Volume 1 by Peter Mark Roget; Geology and Mineralogy Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, Volume 1 by William Buckland; and Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion Considered with Reference to Natural Theology by William Prout.

He begins the book by saying, "(T)he views of the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, which natural science opens to us, harmonize with our belief in a Creator, Governor, and Preserver of the world. To do this with respect to certain departments of Natural Philosophy is the object of the following pages."

Here are some other representative quotations from the book:

"When indeed we come to see the vast number, the variety, the extent, the interweaving, the reconciling of such adaptations, we shall readily allow, that all things are so moulded upon and locked into each other, connected by such subtilty and profundity of design, that we may well abandon the idle attempt to trace the order of thought in the mind of the Supreme Ordainer."
"As the eye is made for light, so light must have been made, at least among other ends, for the eye."
"If the earth had no atmosphere ... all must be inert and dead. Who constructed these three extraordinarily complex pieces of machinery, the earth with its productions, the atmosphere, the ether? ... We conceive there can be but one answer; a most wise and good God."
"The Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth, of the inorganic and of the organic world, of animals and man, of the affections and the conscience, appears inevitably to be one and the same God."
"There can be no wider interval in philosophy than the separation which must exist between the laws of mechanical force and motion, and the laws of free moral action."
... Read more

2. Galaxy Formation (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library)
by Malcolm S. Longair
Hardcover: 738 Pages (2008-01-08)
list price: US$109.00 -- used & new: US$79.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3540734775
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Delineating the huge strides taken in cosmology in the past ten years, this much-anticipated second edition of Malcolm Longair's highly appreciated textbook has been extensively and thoroughly updated. It tells the story of modern astrophysical cosmology from the perspective of one of its most important and fundamental problems – how did the galaxies come about? Longair uses this approach to introduce the whole of what may be called "classical cosmology". What’s more, he describes how the study of the origin of galaxies and larger-scale structures in the Universe has provided us with direct information about the physics of the very early Universe.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review
The book is very detailed and covers a wide range in galaxy formation. It explains astrophysical processes very clearly and can be recommended for students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best single volume text for galaxy formation and the formation of structure
This is an oustanding text on the physics of the formation of structure in the Universe.It is written at the level of a beginning graduate student in physics or astronomy, and will provide sufficient background for the student to begin serious research in this area.The text is well written and the topics well chosen.It was written in 1998, so it is already a bit dated (it obviously contains nothing about the most recent advances in dark energy), but all the basics are here.This explains what we know and what we don't know about how and why clusters and galaxies form, dark matter, and the Big Bang. ... Read more

3. My Heavens!: The Adventures of a Lonely Stargazer Building an Over-the-Top Observatory (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)
by Gordon Rogers
Paperback: 180 Pages (2007-12-06)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$10.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0387737812
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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My Heavens! charts the progress of the author’s own substantial observatory (with additional material from amateur constructors of large observatories elsewhere) from conception, through design, planning and construction, to using an observatory of the kind that all amateur astronomers would aspire to own.

This book tells the “warts and all” story of small beginnings in amateur astronomy, leading to the construction of a “top of the range” observatory at a house on the edge of a country village between Oxford and London. The author is a qualified building surveyor, and looks at building the observatory from his own professional perspective. There were of course many errors, problems, technical and organizational difficulties along the way, and the author never shies away from admitting his mistakes – and in doing so he reduces the chances of others falling into the same traps. Comparisons are made with similar large projects in the USA, taking a look at the differences and similarities in planning and building regulations, and in construction methods on both sides of the Atlantic.

Eventually an observatory materialized, set up to facilitate the taking of very high quality images of the deep sky on those special days of best seeing.

The story doesn’t end with the construction of the observatory, but goes on to describe the author’s choice of equipment, setting it up, and his own techniques for obtaining superb astronomical images like the ones he shows in his book.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amateur Astronomers and Their Observatories
If you are considering going beyond the reasonable, and would like to build your own observatory, this is the book for you.As a matter of fact, it's an entertaining account of the experience of several avid amateurs.The style is in general wryly humorous, as you would expect when you consider what the author is reporting on: an over-the-top pursuit of an absorbing and potentially expensive hobby.

There is a lot of detail, perhaps too much for the reader who cannot hope to duplicate the author's project.But I enjoyed the account very much. ... Read more

4. The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy
by James Evans
Hardcover: 496 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$64.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195095391
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The ancient astronomical tradition is one of impressive duration and richness--from planet observations by the Babylonians in the second millennium BC to the astronomical revolution of the sixteenth century. Richly illustrated, this book brings the reader into direct contact with ancient astronomy. Throughout the book two questions constantly recur: what evidence permits us to reconstruct the astronomy of the ancient past? How was astronomy actually practiced?Amazon.com Review
In Ptolemy's The Almagest, the earth is placed at the center of the universe and the planets move in crystal spheres against a backdrop of fixed stars. While these ideas have been swept away since the scientific revolution, Ptolemy's influence on astronomy was profound and long--we'll be dealing with the Y3K problem before Copernicus's time of influence catches up.

James Evans, historian and astronomer at the University of Puget Sound, believes that "staying close to the practice of astronomy means explaining a subject in enough detail for the reader to understand what the ancient astronomers actually did." As this unique book teaches you to do astronomy the old-fashioned way, you gain a profoundly deeper understanding of what the Greeks and their successors thought and did. "There is all the difference in the world between knowing about and knowing how to do," says Evans. The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy is truly hands-on history, and deserves to be widely imitated. --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantasti Book!
I took the class from the Author at the U. of Washington in 1984, and have kept the handouts all these years.It was one of the best classes I ever took, and the material was always fantastic!

The book takes you thru a long history of the foundations of astronomy with well documented informaton, as well as many hands-on projects you can do.You atually get to redo some ancient astronmy -- building sundials, and even an armillary sphere!

This would be a wonderful book to work thru with a child interested in the sky.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book but with blemishes
I love this book, but some publisher blemishes diminish it from a perfect five to a mere four.
For a long time I've been looking for a book to explain how astronomical observations and calculations were made by the "ancients".I recently discovered this book and it seems to have everything I was looking for.Indeed, after only reading 2 or 3 pages I've learned a great deal; for example, what star risings and settings mean and how they were used determine the calendar.In thumbing through later pages I see promises of explaining all sorts observations and how they were made.For example, how can you accurately determine the position and motion of the sun in a star field when the sun obliterates the view of the stars near it?The historical precedents and chronology presented also help make this book a great pleasure to anticipation.
However there are two deficiencies, in my opinion, that detract from the book.One is in the presentation and one is the fault of the current publisher, Oxford Press.
This book needs a much better index, and, if possible, a glossary of terms.I don't read a book like this sequentially.I read a part that looks interesting, move ahead, then go back to clarify something, then move forward, then back again; a kind of iterative learning.By the time I finish I will have, literally, read it two, or three, or more times.I'm not very knowledgeable in astronomy and this book introduces many new terms that are very similar sounding, and defines them, casually, in the middle of paragraphs.Thus, it difficult to keep track.I'm sure it would interfere with the flow of the presentation, but clearly highlighted definitions and a more complete index would help.
My real complaint is with Oxford Press.This new hardcover book, that I just purchased (September, 2009), is nothing more that about 250 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper that was Xeroxed on both sides, combined and glued at the spine and placed between "hard" covers.The illustrations, which were not that great in the original, are really below par here.I don't mind a Xeroxed copy, which would be useful for personal annotation and comments, but not at this exorbitant textbook price. The original version, which I looked at a library, was properly produced with sewn signatures and pride.My copy is nothing more than a paperback and will crack and break apart long before I finish it.I've had this experience before with Oxford. I have a copy of "Astronomy" by Michael Hoskins and it is a wonderful book.But it started to fall apart and then I realized how cheaply it was produced.I realize that there is a new philosophy in the textbook trade; use it and lose it.Publishers want you to buy it, use it once or twice, and then discard it or have it fall apart.Some electronic books seem to come with licenses that expire after the semester is over.What trash.I still refer to my college texts of more than forty years ago.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent hands-on history of ancient astronomy
This is an extremely useful book; by far the most user-friendly guide to ancient astronomy available. Both the technical and historical aspects are generally presented with admirable clarity. My only complaint is that the early chapters on pre-Ptolemaic ideas are too cursorily treated. Unlike the thorough discussion of Ptolemy's system and the outline of Copernicus' system, this early material is presented in recipe-book form with little emphasis on ideas. Consider for example the theory of the gnomon. Much time is spent discussing gnomon plots (i.e. plots of the shadow cast by a vertical stick in the course of a day) and their practical uses. But our curiosity is suppressed: looking at a sequence of gnomon plots over the course of a year (p. 54) one naturally wonders why the curves are hyperbolas, except the equinoxes where the curve is straight. Not even the latter is explained. This is very unfortunate because it would have paid off greatly to think about these interesting and natural questions at this stage, since the answers lead naturally to several ideas developed subsequently. Let's see how. Why hyperbolas? Because the sun moves in a circle, thus generating a cone with the tip of the gnomon as vertex; drawing the gnomon plot amounts to cutting this cone with a plane, so one gets a conic section. Why straight at the equinoxes? Because then the daily orbit of the sun contains the tip of the gnomon in its interior; drawing the gnomon plot amounts to cutting this plane with a plane, so one gets a line. These simple insights are very fruitful. They immediately suggest Ptolemy's equatorial ring (p. 206), for example. And they would have helped us greatly in the construction of the sundial (pp. 133-139), a very complicated construction which Evans pulls out of a hat in pure cookbook form. If we had taken the time to think about the gnomon plot earlier we could now have approached this construction much more naturally as follows. To create a sundial means putting hour marks on our gnomon plot. To do this we should divide the sun's daily orbit into 24 equal parts and figure out how to find the corresponding points on the plot. This is easiest at the equinoxes, since the orbit and the tip of the gnomon are then coplanar, as we saw. By contrast Evans goes straight for the much more complicated cases of the solstices, and then obtains the marks for the equinoxes as a by-product. This construction would have been natural instead of artificial if one had understood the equinox construction first, just as later the solar theory (being simple but having the essential ideas) is a good introduction to the planetary theory, as Evan emphasises. In fact, if we were willing to settle for an approximate sundial we could have avoided Evans complicated construction altogether by extrapolating the hour curves from equinox line by qualitative reasoning as follows. Since the sun's position at a given hour throughout the year are all coplanar, the hour curves on the dial will be straight lines. It is also easy to see that the noon hour line will be perpendicular to the equinox line, and that the other hour lines will deviate only slightly from this in a sun-feather pattern. This would give us a sundial that would be perfect around the equinoxes and accurate surely within an hour at the solstices. After this it would be easier to appreciate the full construction at the solstices.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy by James Evans is a wonderful, comprehensive study.It is beautifully illustrated with original drawings of early astronomical instruments and charts. I got a copy out of the library because I needed to learn about armillary spheres and astrolabes and and couldn't find much useful information anywhere else.I found it so interesting that I bought my own copy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just great!
Upon receipt of this book, I just read it from cover to cover. It's easily one of the most interesting and illuminating astronomy books that I own.
James Evans explains very clearly how ancient astronomers obtained such a vast amount of data with very simple instruments. ... Read more

5. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, Fourth Edition
by Eric Chaisson, Steve McMillan
Paperback: 552 Pages (2003-07-23)
list price: US$104.00 -- used & new: US$14.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131007270
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A brief, introductory astronomy book designed for readers with little or no scientific background, A Beginner's Guide uses an exceptionally clear writing style. The authors present a broad view of astronomy without complex mathematics, yet the book discusses important concepts without simplification.The book's organization follows the popular and effective “Earth-Out” progression, starting with our planet and then moving through the solar system. A study of the Sun as a model star follows, then the book covers the Milky Way Galaxy, cosmology, and the universe as a whole.Because of its easy-to-read yet comprehensive coverage of astronomy, this book can serve as excellent reference material for those readers interested in learning about our universe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars great seller!
The shipping was quicker than I expected, and the book was in good condition for a killer price (It retails for about $120!). I was very satisfied with my purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astronomy book
I was very pleased with the timeliness of delivery as well as the condition of this book.Excellent condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars good condition and speedy delivery
item arrived in 2 days and was in perfect condition. completely satisfied. would recommend to others!

2-0 out of 5 stars Way too expensive for a paperback
Attractive book but not a good value.All the information is available for free on the internet where it is periodically updated and can be referenced for free without wearing out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astronomy Text Book
Text book arrived in excellent condition (brand spankin' new) and in a timely manner (about 3 business days). I got a great deal too! No problems whatsoever. Thanks a bunch! ... Read more

6. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)
Hardcover: 400 Pages (1997-01-13)
list price: US$40.00
Isbn: 0521411580
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Expertly written and lavishly illustrated, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy offers a unique account of astronomical theory and practice from antiquity to the present day. How did Moslems of the Middle Ages use astronomy to calculate the direction of Mecca from far-flung corners of the Islamic world? Who was the only ancient Greek to suspect that the earth might revolve around the sun? How did Christopher Columbus abuse his knowledge of a lunar eclipse predicted by an astronomical almanac? Packed with anecdotes and intriguing detail, this book describes how we observed the sky and interpreted what we saw at different periods of history; how this influenced our beliefs and mythology; and how great astronomers contributed to what we now know. The result is a lively and highly visual history of astronomy - a compelling read for specialists and non-specialists alike. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars History of Astronomy
I enjoyed this book immensely, because it combines two of my favorite topics, history and science, and shows how one makes the other.The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs of stone tablets, astronomical instruments, original sketches, and drawings to underpin its narrative of history of astronomy.The book takes the reader from antiquity thru Copernicus to Hobble in a narrative that is gripping as the quest for knowledge and understanding of the universe unfolds.

As a scientist in microelectronics, I appreciated how people of different ages developed a concept of the universe based on their sometimes incomprehensible observational data; how that concept changed due to the ever increasing accuracy of observation; and how the need for more accurate observation drove the need for improvements in instrumentation.

Unlike a typical astronomy (or engineering) textbook that lists facts that is perhaps a culmination of a thoughtprocess of many generations, this book tries to answer the even more important question, how did they figure that? - outlining breakthrough concepts and how and why they were arrived at but not dragging the reader down in detail.

The history of astronomy is the history of people (and not that of a single genius), and how scientists and astronomers built on the results of the previous generation, sometimes tearing concepts down, but ever improving our view.There have been some very smart people in the past in astronomy and in other sciences; and it is incredible what they accomplished with what little they had.The book pays respect to these individuals, as we all should, as we all stand on the shoulders of these giants.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a Finer History of Astronomy Available
Like other works in this series, the Cambridge 'Illustrated History of Astronomy' is both a useful reference work and a visually entertaining table-top book. Combined, those two elements make for an excellent history of the science of astronomy.

The scholarship is top-notch: Michael Hoskin is the editor and a contributor, and other contributors include J.A. Bennett, Owen Gingerich, Clive Ruggles, Christopher Cullen and David Dewhirst--superb scholars all. They cover the history of astronomy from prehistory, through the invention of the telescope and the scientific revolution, to the rise of astrophysics and beyond. Astronomy in non-western cultures (China, India, Islam) is also covered, and makes a welcome addition to the traditional Euro-centric story.

But the illustrations (many in color) really make the book: pictures, graphs, sidebars, frontispieces, manuscript pages, newspaper clippings, paintings, etc. enhance the written portion and make it that much more informative.

In sum, this may be the most useful and enjoyable book on the history of astronomy in print.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpice!
When you see a "coffee table" book like this, you sometimes wonder about whether the writing is going to match the pictures, but with people like Michael Hoskin, Christopher Cullen and Owen Gingerich writing the text, you know that this one is going to be a winner even before you open it. Let me just say that the pictures and the desing in fantastic, and that the writing is at a level suitable for the general public without being "dumbed down". Trust me, you're going to enjoy this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and illustrated
This is the single best history of astronomy I've ever encountered. Not only is the narrative interesting, the pictures--from William Herschel's journal pages describing his discovery of Uranus to full-page illuminations of the Cartesian cosmology--enhance the experience even more than one mightexpect. At less than ( ), this book is a must for any astronomy buff.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive coverage of the history of astronomy
An excellent survey with both breadth and depth, covering non-European astronomy (for example the Dresden Codex - a Mayan calendar), the difficulties of the Geo-centric model, the development of the telescope,modern astrophysics, up to the Hubble Space Telescope. Includes a greatmany sidebars with much peripheral information (I did not know thatHerschel was an organist by trade). ... Read more

7. Astronomy on the Personal Computer
by Oliver Montenbruck, Thomas Pfleger
Hardcover: 300 Pages (2000-04-14)
list price: US$99.00 -- used & new: US$83.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3540672214
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Astronomy on the Personal Computer provides the reader with a thorough introduction to the computation of celestial mechanics, which is of particular significance for carrying out astronomical observations. Covering everything from astronomical and computational theory to the construction of rapid and accurate applications programs, this book supplies the necessary knowledge and software solutions for determining and predicting positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, minor planets and comets, solar eclipses, stellar occultations by the Moon, phases of the Moon and much more. This completely revised edition makes use of the widely implemented programming language C++, and individual applications may be efficiently realized through the use of a powerful module library. The accompanying CD-ROM contains, in addition to the complete, fully documented and commented source codes, the executable programs for Windows 95/98/NT and Linux operating systems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Astronomy (Pascal Style)
I was a little disappointed with the book's programming code in Pascal.I was hoping at least it was in a more modern language such as C++ or Java, however, the algorithms work well on the generic Pascal compiler.There are too many programs for the average person just to type in, so I suggest getting the book with the media included.Mine came with a 3 1/2" floppy disk (can you tell this was from the 90's).Most machines don't even have floppy disks any more.I had to put this in my older laptop with my floppy to transfer the programs to my jump drive.

Overall, I like the book, and I suppose for a few more dollars I can get these programs in the "modern languages".Thank you for reading this review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good C++ book for astromical calc
This book does not use c-like/c++ but true c++.It begins with Vec3D class hiding private menbers.I learn many things of objective astronomical calc from this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional value for money
What I appreciate about this book is that details of many aspects of astronomical computations are clearly explained together with extensively documented full C++ source code and references for further information. As a bonus, extensive star catalogues are supplied, for use with, for example, astrometry.

C++ is *not* my language of choice, but the authors seem to have done a masterful job of using C++ features well, while avoiding obfuscation. Initially at least, I am translating things as I go into Mathematica, as a check that I am understanding what I am reading.

All in all, for getting under the hood, I think Montenbruck and Pfleger provide exceptional value for money.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
I`m very intresting this book (disk ... Read more

8. The Sky is Your Laboratory: Advanced Astronomy Projects for Amateurs (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy)
by Robert Buchheim
Paperback: 302 Pages (2007-07-31)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$24.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0387718222
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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For the experienced amateur astronomer who is wondering if there is something useful, valuable, and permanent that can be done with his or her observational skills, the answer is, "Yes, you can!" This is the book for the experienced amateur astronomer who is ready to take a new step in his or her astronomical journey. Unfortunately, there is no modern text that points curious amateur astronomers to the research possibilities that are open to them. At the 2006 meeting of the Society for Astronomical Sciences, quite a few participants agreed that the lack of such a text was a serious gap in the astronomical book market, and that this gap is impeding their efforts to encourage more amateur astronomers to get involved in research collaborations. This book will fill that gap, and enable more amateur astronomers to add research-type studies to their pursuit of the hobby.

Written by an astronomer who is well known amongst the amateur and professional community for the skill and quality of his work, this book describes a wide range of research areas where amateurs are gathering new scientific data that is utilized by professional astronomers. For each research area, the book provides a concise explanation of the purpose and value of the amateurs’ observations, a description of the equipment that is needed, specific observing procedures, complete data reduction instructions, and an explanation of how, and where, to submit results so that they will be available to the professional users.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars From Hobby To Science
Astronomy is one of the very few sciences where amateurs can make significant contributions and where amateur contributions are valued by the professional community. I returned to serious astronomy several years ago. I wanted to do more than just star gaze and taking pretty photos (which I still love). If you have felt the same way, then this book is a must read. Buchheim presents a plethora of different research programs that can be undertaken with modest (or even no) equipment. One of my particular interests is photometry, the measurement of light to study such things as variable stars and asteroid light curves. Buchheim takes the novice through all of the concepts and presents this material in a manner that allows the reader to understand the basic concepts and how to undertake a number of observing programs from differential photometry to all-sky to asteroid light curves The same is true for astrometry and the search for asteroids. And, these are just two of the areas of research discussed. In short, if you want to move from "just observing," and get into astronomical research and make valued contributions to science, this book will guide you through to success.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT, thorough treatment!
I agree with the other reviews I've seen here: this book is excellent!

Are you ready to move beyond visual observing or taking CCD pix for aesthetic appreciation? Do you want to feel like you're doing a bit of science?If you answered yes to these questions, then this is undoubtedly a good book for you.It contains a survey of a wide range of areas where YOU, with relatively inexpensive amateur gear, can do observations that go far beyond the "Oh, isn't that pretty!" (Not, though, that I have anything against "pretty!")

This book is well written, and unlike many other books in our hobby, gets into the nitty-gritty details of how-to-do-it!It's well written and the author speaks with authority.Each chapter has an excellent reference at its end. Using these references allows you to do additional reading.

Although it doesn't go into much depth on the topic, this book has a short and adequate introduction on spectroscopy.The overview is good and it has references on where to find further info. I've found spectroscopy very exciting.Without much work, with a simple webcam & tiny scope, in the city, without a lengthy or complicated observing program, you can be analyzing the composition of distant stars! Now THAT'S science! (The Rainbow Optics or StarAnalyser spectroscopes are a great introduction.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than I Thought
Most of the topics in this book will be somewhat beyond those that a casual amateur astronomer would want to pursue. However, the book is worth buying just for what you will learn about the different topics. Of course, if you want to try some of the scientific work then you are all set with the material given.

Worth a read for the in depth discussion of observation, imaging with CCDs, practical issues with both, and an understanding of observational and imaging science.

I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must buy
For amateurs who have passed the beginner rites of the Messier and Caldwell lists, Buchheims's _Sky_ contains the measured voice of the elder mentor of your astronomy club.If that expert mentor is lacking in your local club, Buchheim's _Sky_ is a must buy that will save you in time many times its purchase.Each _Sky_ observing project is written like an after star-party club coffee meeting, with Buchheim patiently guiding you through practical field problems commonly encountered when starting photometry, double star astrometry or supernovae searching.He includes references to landmark manuals, amateur organizations and internet resources for each topic.Where appropriate, Buchheim fills in with basic observing skills that are often left unexplained as assumed knowlege in other texts, e.g. timing uncertainty reduction when timing asteriod occultations.For this Amazon review, the 18 observing projects are listed in the Table of Contents, listed above. _Sky_ now sits on my "ready reference" shelf - sandwiched between other amateur classics - like Berry's _HAIP_, Sidgwick's _Amateur Astronomer's Handbook_, North's _Advanced Amateur_ or Meeus's _Algorithms_.If you have been hooked in the hobby for two or three years and want a roadmap to the next 10 years, Buchheim's _Sky_ is what you need.

This is a really neat book! It opens up a whole new kind of amateur astronomy;real research projects where you make observations that are useful to professional astronomers.Amateur astronomers can gather new information or make new dsicoveries,using skills that are common amoung experienced stargazers,and equipment that is widely available. Here is a step-by-step instruction manual for getting started in these projects,from learning why each project area is important, to the equipment and procedures that are needed, and how to analyze your results.The chapters are organized roughly in order of increasing difficulty of the projects, from simple(naked-eye meteor counting) to complex (extra solar planet searches and supernova discovery). I was paticularly pleased that each project includes an explaination of how and where to submit your results, so that they will be useful to "real" astronomers.
I do not think there is any compairable book available. There are plenty of "advanced observing guides", and many "textbooks",but this book fits right in between them. It gives careful description of celestial objects or events,and how and why you should try to see them, so it's sort of an observing guide(although there are not any spectacular photos).It also explains why the observations are important,and gives a meticulous explaination of the data gathering and analysis procedures for each project,so it is sort of a textbook. But it is not stuffy,pedantic tome. The style is friendly,helpful and encouraging. There are some equations,but if you made it through high school algebra they will not give you any trouble(and only some projects require you to use them).There is even a story line! Short tales about challenges,successes,and memorable experiences are scattered throughout the text. They make it easy to read,and highlite the author's enthusiasm for his subject.
Any amateur atronomer who has ever wished he could be a "real scientist" will definitely find this book worth having on his desk. ... Read more

9. Astronomy: A Visual Guide
by Mark A. Garlick PhD
Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-02-01)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$1.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1554074606
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Astronomy provides a survey of science's growing understanding of space, including facts on space research and space probes. Packed with stunning images and diagrams, the book features:

  • A wide variety of heavenly phenomenas, including distant stars, the planets of the solar system, comets and shooting stars, eclipses and black holes.
  • Vivid cross-sections of the planets with concise descriptions and a chart of their relative distance from the sun.
  • Spectacular photographs from the world's finest observatories and space-based cameras, many further expertly clarified by digital graphics.
  • Easy-to-read monthly sky maps with symbols to identify open and globular star clusters, galaxies and planetary nebulae.
  • Labeled and diagrammed constellations.
  • Profiles of nebulae, clusters and galaxies.
  • Pictographs showing whether viewings require binoculars or a telescope.

Astronomy is a highly recommended, fascinating and easy-to-use illustrated reference for amateur astronomers of all levels.

(20090315) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great pics and short, clear explanations.
If you are interested in astronomy but don't want to read a text book about it, this is a great book for you. It explains lots of basic astronomy stuff like asteroids, moons, our galaxy, birth and death of stars and eclipses. Loaded with great pictures!

5-0 out of 5 stars Caught my Child's Eyes
Our son has a budding interest in astronomy and a nine year old's attention span. That's okay b/c he is nine, btw.This book is definitely visual enough to pique his interest in ways that other astronomy books could not.His father (the astronomer...) is thrilled.The photography is quite simply lovely and provides a different perspective on what is up there.I generally use that "other" part of the brain, but even I was quite engaged.Maybe not terribly technical, but it's a start.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great pics
I've enjoyed reading this book.It has made a great addition to my small library of astronomy books.It has great pictures with great detail.The only thing I wish is that it would packed with a little more information.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awe Inspiring.
This photo book of the universe, with some facts posted throughout, its spectacular. I rented this from the library and liked it so much I came on here to buy it. The pictures are beautiful and the facts are extremely interesting. The book even explains some concepts in an easy to understand way with amazing pictures. This would be EXCELLENT for any child or adult who is interested in Astronomy and would like to pursue a career in the subject. It made me want to become an astronomer just by looking at it/reading through it. It really sparks the imagination!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy To Follow, Beautiful Photos ............
This book is not only full of gorgeous photos , but very easy to understand . Over 295 pages, describing in detail, everything from the planets in our solar system , to galaxies, to helpful info on buying a telescope, and more, including :
* Detailed description of every planet in our solar system.

* Development of Astronomy tools, from B.C to present day

* Major Space Centers & Observatories

* Several kinds of Galaxies, including spiral,elliptical,lenticular ....

* Dates of solar eclipses, Past, Present AND future !!

*Constellation Facts , and their meaning...

The list could go on and on , this is an excellant book for any one interested in the night sky .I wish I had it as a textbook when I was in school , it covers everything without being too scientific or dull .It truly takes you on a journey into space .Highly recommended !! ... Read more

10. Schaum's Outline of Astronomy
by Stacey Palen
Paperback: 304 Pages (2001-11-12)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071364366
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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- Provides a basic introduction to the topics covered in a beginning astronomy course, with an emphasis on problem-solving methods ordinarily taught on the fly or in ad-hoc tutorials- Closes the gap in student literature by providing a focused, comprehensive presentation of basic astronomical problem-solving techniques - Readers learn by example with the help of more than 200 detailed problems and step-by-step solutions, supplemented with over 100 detailed charts and graphs- Designed to accompany all leading 100-level astronomy textbooks, or to be used as a stand-alone guide for amateur stargazers ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Probably OK for a high school class
This book really boils down the subject of astronomy into a few rules of thumb. It is good to have some rules of thumb nearby to aid your memory, but historically a Schaum's outline has been a challenging yet cheap little tome to get you through the rough spots. This book won't do that unless you are in a high school class. It won't cut it for a college level astronomy class.

I suggest Textbook on Spherical Astronomy as a good aid. Used copies generally come pretty cheap and it is very useful with good solved examples and problems. Once you finish that try out Astronomical Algorithms. The author shows a real love for his subject with some interesting problems in algorithmic form, but he lacks a great deal in explanation.

Used copies of this outline usually cost under one dollar. Thus if you just need rules of thumb in a handy form, this might be worth that much. Just don't pay list price for what amounts to a "Pocket Guide to Astronomy".

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a rave
This book is not recommended.Over the years, I have bought many of the Schaum Outlines and found them carefully written and comprehensive - until this one. Right from the beginning it is fraught with sloppy definitions and careless work.
Example from page 31, Chapter 2 "Sky and Telescopes"
Right Ascension (RA) is analogous to longitude. The ecliptic is the plane of the solar system, or the path that the Sun follows in the sky. Because the axis of the earth is tilted, the ecliptic and the celestial equator are not in the same place, but crossat two locations, called the equinoxes.
Comment - the ecliptic and the celestial equator are planes and intersect in a line.
Qne of these locations, the vernal equinox, is used as the zero point of right ascension.
Comment - but which one? The question is important because Right Ascension is measured from the Vernal Equinox
Example from page 33, on Tides
The Earth experiences one full set of tides each day (two highs and two lows), everywhere on the planet. Tides are caused by gravity. The Sun and the Moon both contribute to tides on Earth
Comment - the reader might wonder why there are two highs per day if the phenomenon is due to the rotation of the earth under the moon.Author gives no hint.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good supplement for Introductory Astronomy
This book is an excellenttext to compliment any introductory astronomy text.The review material is concise and well written, and the questions follow the same format and reasoning found in many textbooks.A good buy.

1-0 out of 5 stars As easy as ABC
All the explanations and solved problems in this book are too simple. I think I made a mistake buying this "tome".... ... Read more

11. Observational Astronomy
by D. Scott Birney, Guillermo Gonzalez, David Oesper
Hardcover: 322 Pages (2006-07-24)
list price: US$66.00 -- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521853702
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The long-awaited second edition of this well-received textbook gives a thorough introduction to observational astronomy. Starting with the basics of positional astronomy and systems of time, it continues with charts and catalogs covering both historically important publications and modern electronic databases. The book builds on a fundamental discussion of the basics of light and the effects of the atmosphere on astronomical observations. Chapters include discussions of optical telescopes, detectors, photometry, variable stars, astrometry, spectroscopy, and solar observations. This edition contains new discussions of measurements with CCDs and appendices give basic statistical methods, useful astronomical software and websites, and sources of accurate time-calibration signals. Observational Astronomy is the perfect textbook for upper level undergraduate or beginning graduate courses on astronomy. Examples based on real astronomical data are placed throughout the text. Each of the well-illustrated chapters is supported by a set of graduated problems and suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

12. CCD Astronomy: Construction and Use of an Astronomical CCD Camera
by Christian Buil
 Hardcover: 321 Pages (1991-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.94
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Asin: 0943396298
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13. Fundamental Astronomy
Hardcover: 510 Pages (2007-08-17)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$44.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3540341439
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Fundamental Astronomy gives a well-balanced and comprehensive introduction to the topics of classical and modern astronomy. While emphasizing both the astronomical concepts and the underlying physical principles, the text provides a sound basis for more profound studies in the astronomical sciences.
The fifth edition of this successful undergraduate textbook has been extensively modernized and extended in the parts dealing with the Milky Way, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology as well as with extrasolar planets and the solar system (as a consequence of recent results from satellite missions and the new definition by the International Astronomical Union of planets, dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies). Furthermore a new chapter on astrobiology has been added.
Long considered a standard text for physical science majors, Fundamental Astronomy is also an excellent reference and entrée for dedicated amateur astronomers.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Print Quality Issue
I'm familiar with the previous edition as I used to borrow it from my uni library. I've already completed the first three chapters. The exercises are great, you might want to write a program for some of the stuff if you have some programming skills. The book is just great for an amateur astronomer; the math is a bit advanced for most people frankly, but if you're already into astronomy and physics you probably have a good mathematics and physics background so it shouldn't be hard to sharpen it.

The only thing I found disappointing was the print quality. The book first couple of pages were already torn from the rest when I received the book and you can tell easily that's it's one book you need to handle with a lot of care.

2-0 out of 5 stars FUNDAMENTAL errors in teaching ASTRONOMY
NOTE: This review refers to the ENGLISH language version. Also, please forgive me if I sound like typical, self-centered American. The focus of my review will be for English speaking Americans, since the Amazon description of the book doesnt seem to mention what I will in my review:

Let me give a brief background of myself and why I sought out this book: I am an American born, raised, and schooled in America. I have a bachelors in math with a minor in astro, and a masters in math education. I am looking to return to grad school in the hopes of obtaining a PhD in applied math with an emphasis on astro. I wanted to brush up on my undergraduate astronomy studies before returning to school and so I was looking for a reputable text that would be sufficient for self study. The descriptions of the book as well as Amazon reviews and other internet reviews made me choose this title. Unfortunately, this book is riddled with problems that make studying from it and appreciating the subject matter unnecessarily difficult:

1. The english version of the book is merely a TRANSLATION. I have lived overseas myself for a few years and understand when the language is being translated. Consequently, there are many awkward sentences, poorly structured paragraphs, and sometimes you'll even find random sentences that seem out of place within a paragraph. I am not nitpicking as if I were a grammar-crazed nut, what I'm saying is that after a few pages of reading it becomes clear that the language being used is not very natural english. The book may be in English, but it requires further translation into understandable, cohesive English.

2. Some of the common math formulas, and the way in which diagrams are labeled appear in somewhat different forms (certainly not incorrect, just different from an american math textbook approach). I'm guessing that this is how it's done in Europe, but for an american it will require an extra step (and wasted time) to turn a formula into a more recognizable 'american' version.

3. Black and White pictures! this is the 21st century and the most visually inspiring science is being robbed of its awe and wonder by being displayed in BLACK AND WHITE! For some strange reason, there are a few color pictures in their own section in the very back of the book.

I cannot recommend this book to any American. There is just too much extra work required on behalf of an American reader to make sense of it, especially considering there are plenty of American textbooks with an American approach to math that won't require the extra effort of translation and that also aren't limited to black and white photos.

Perhaps a european who speaks english, but not Finnish will get some use out of it. And maybe the Finnish version is great for the people of Finland, but I would not recommend this book to be used in any American university.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fundamental Astronomy Text
As an amateur astronomer who loves theory and the math that goes with it, I found this text to be utterly exquisite for helping me recapture a lot of my old math skills. While the real amount of calculus needed in the text was not overtly taxing, I did find the text very useful indeed for requiring the use of a strong algebra background, along with lots of Trig, and of course, geometry and Calculus.

The problems in this book were intriguing, challenging and just awesome in every respect. For example, I found myself for the first time since I can recall, drawing Trig and geometrical diagrams to assist in visualizing a particular problem as an aid toward the ultimate answer! These problems, all of them mathematical in nature, are extremely interesting and encourage you to make a sketch of the phenomenon at hand in order to arrive at a solution.

And in addition to the problems, the text has very useful solved examples that show you how a particular problem calculation is reached. You really do learn a lot just from these examples.

I think the book might have benefitted from having even more exercises in it, which to me would make it even more useful for a semester university course in introductory Astrophysics. Instead of having 73 exercises, perhaps 150-200 problems would have been more 'whetting' to an appetite like mine is for Astronomy. But, I can heartily recommend that this book, if completed and all the problems worked, will definitely prepare one for a more challenging text with more Math and problems!

The authors could only improve this thing with more text length and more problems, as far as I am concerned. The appendixes and Tables in the back give the student a little bit of good background to the Math needed in the book as well.

This text is a complete WINNER in the category of INTRODUCTORY TEXTBOOKS for the beginning course in college Astronomy!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fundamental Astronomy Reference
Fundamental Astronomy is both the title and an excellent description of the content of this handsome hard back volume. For the book to reach the fourth edition, it must be hitting a niche in the market. The preface to the first edition in 1987 identifies that market as a "university textbook for a first course in astronomy" which is also suited for serious amateurs who "find the popular texts too trivial". In my opinion, that description from the original preface is "spot on" and makes this volume a must-buy for any serious amateur looking for a comprehensive overview of matters astronomical.

The book covers the basics of astronomy, stellar astrophysics and mainly features of our Universe which are relatively close-at-hand. Large scale structure and cosmology are less than ten percent of the content. It covers all topics to considerable depth, far more so than most publications aimed at a general readership. It is mathematical, although the maths is present largely for academic completeness, and can be skimmed or by-passed as required without reducing to any great extent, the utility provided. Its usefulness for education purposes is enhanced by worked examples in each section followed by exercises.

Within its 19 major sections, it contains much relevant and dare I say fundamental material. The book is well illustrated with mainly monochrome plates which are relevant to the subject at hand plus many carefully constructed, concise graphics and illustrations.

This is a comprehensive reference volume, which will age but slowly on any serious amateur's book shelf, as the subject matter is largely timeless.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Astronomy Textbook!
.This is a great and comprehensive primary textbook for a student. It is massive introduction to the huge field of astronomical study, and as such contains much of the basic concepts and plenty of hands-on exercises.
I have been mainly using theFinnish version, but having also browsed through the English one I can safely say that the two differ from each other only minimally and thus my experiences with the original hold true with the translation too.
As an end note I might point out, that even though having studied astronomy at the university, it is by no means my area of expertise: I'm majoring in linguistics. That alone, I think, proves how clear and well-written this tome really is: even an Arts students can read it and actually understand and learn! ;) ... Read more

14. The General History of Astronomy: Volume 2, Planetary Astronomy from the Renaissance to the Rise of Astrophysics
Paperback: 296 Pages (2009-09-24)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$34.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521120098
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Part B of Planetary Astronomy from the Renaissance to the Rise of Astrophysics continues the history of celestial mechanics and observational discovery through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It provides a synoptic view of the main developments and furnishes details about the lives, ideas, and interactions of the various astronomers involved.Twelve different authors have contributed their expertise to this book that begins with the reception of Newton's inverse-square law. In the remainder, a large place is given to the development of the mathematical theory of celestial mechanics from Clairaut and Euler to LeVerrier, Newcomb, Hill, andPoincaré. This emphasis is balanced by other chapters on observational discoveries and the rapprochement of observation and theory (for instance, the discovery of Uranus and the asteroids, use of Venus transits to refine solar parallax, introduction of the method of least squares, and the development of planetary and satellite ephemerides). Lists of "Further Reading" provide entrée to the literature of the several topics. This book will be of great interest to historians of science and astronomers. ... Read more

15. 21st Century Astronomy: The Solar System (Third Edition)
by Jeff Hester, Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay, Howard Voss
Paperback: 436 Pages (2010-01-12)
-- used & new: US$42.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393932842
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With 21st Century Astronomy, students see the universe through the eyes of a scientist.
21st Century Astronomy’s distinctive writing style, superior art, and supporting media package all work together to teach students how science works, help students visualize basic concepts and physical processes, and keep students focused on the “big picture.”

For the Third Edition, the entire text has been reread from a student’s perspective and rewritten to eliminate jargon and ensure that the book’s hallmark tone resounds throughout every chapter. New Visual Analogy icons help students connect the textual analogies used to describe physical processes with the figures that illustrate them, and new AstroTour animations and simulations developed at the University of Nebraska provide students with opportunities for interactive learning.

... Read more

16. Handbook of CCD Astronomy, 2nd Edition (Cambridge Observing Handbooks for Research Astronomers)
by Steve B. Howell
Paperback: 222 Pages (2006-04-03)
list price: US$47.99 -- used & new: US$25.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521617626
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs) are the state-of-the-art detector in many fields of observational science. Updated to include all of the latest developments in CCDs, this second edition of the Handbook of CCD Astronomy is a concise and accessible reference on all practical aspects of using CCDs. Starting with their electronic workings, it discusses their basic characteristics and then gives methods and examples of how to determine these values. While the book focuses on the use of CCDs in professional observational astronomy, advanced amateur astronomers, and researchers in physics, chemistry, medical imaging, and remote sensing will also find it very valuable. Tables of useful and hard-to-find data, key practical equations, and new exercises round off the book and ensure that it provides an ideal introduction to the practical use of CCDs for graduate students, and a handy reference for more experienced users. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars CCD Astronomy book condition
The book arrived in the condition stated.It took a little longer than I expected for it to arrive, but it did arrive in good condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars every thing about learning CCDs
I loved it,... i though me EVERY thing about CCDs,...how do they work...and how to understand the results....

5-0 out of 5 stars a very valuable book, entertaining too
For a graduate student who has not had an observational astronomy course, the process of self-teaching the essentials of CCD astronomy is not a smooth one.You really don't know what kind of things you have to worry about before going to a telescope!

Though this book does not cover comprehensively the topic of detection techniques in scientific contexts (too much for such a small book), it has an excellent, totally readable introduction to the basics of CCD detection in astronomy.The author obviously has been in the field for a long time, so his numerous anecdotes from his rich, past expericnes are entertaining as well as enlightening.It is such a short book but very satisfying, which is rare for a technical science book.

This book would make a perfect textbook or supplement reading for any decent undergraduate observational astronomy course.Highly recommended as the first reading for observers.

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential reference
Steve is the master of the art of CCD photometry.This is an essential book for professional astronomers and amateurs alike. ... Read more

17. Astronomy Demystified (Demystified)
by Stan Gibilisco
Paperback: 575 Pages (2002-08-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071384278
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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* Allows the reader to quickly and easily grasp the math, fundamentals, and general concepts involved in astronomy
* Covers techniques for using telescopes, the challenges of amateur astrophotography, and the special problems of observing the sky at "invisible wavelengths"
* Unlike most books on the topic, it presents general concepts first and details follow
* Contains quizzes, tests, and final exams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Demystified series are great
I really am enjoying this book.It is interesting and insightfull.I am refreshing my college astronomy class, and this book fits the bill.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Self-teaching guide!
This book is one of the better ones in the series. Some such as the quantum mechanics and the relativity book(note: I do not have them but have read reviews) are more for college level students majoring in physics. This book is a great book. If you are interested in taking a summer course in astronomy but are disapointed by the material that is covered, or it is too expensive, this book is a valuable alternative. The beginning of the book is a little boring however. Also, in the preface the author recommends reading a chapter a week. I read a chapter in three days. Overall this book is great.

2-0 out of 5 stars The writer can't keep facts straight
I have borrowed this book in a library, at first I hoped it would be interesting light reading, but when I got to chapters of Sun as well as chapters concerning stellar evolution, I was very disappointed -- the author can't keep his data straight when it comes to given star's fate, like the sun. In one chapter he's talking about Sun becoming a hard cold body and in another he makes it a black dwarf. All around, to me this book was a disappoitment.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love the "Demystified" series
I am really enjoying this book. In fact I have the Physics, Calculus, Algebra books also. I find them very well explained. I am using these book as "self study" and find them very good for that purpose, but I can also see how they would be helpful to anyone in High School that needs some extra help, or wants to go beyond the level they are being taught. The end of topic reviews and tests help you see how much knowledge you are gaining and what areas you need to focus on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes us on mind journeys
This is one of the most comprehensive basic astronomy courses I've ever seen. I especially like it because it includes information about the sky as seen from "down under." Half of the globe is, after all, south of the equator (even if most of the landmass is not). The imaginary journeys among the planets are fun. I wish the author had taken me on an intergalactic voyage, but maybe that is asking too much. ... Read more

18. The Firefly Encyclopedia of Astronomy
by Margaret Penston
Hardcover: 472 Pages (2004-09-04)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$3.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1552977978
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An extensive astronomy reference, beautifully illustrated and expertly written.

The Firefly Encyclopedia of Astronomy is organized A-Z with concise details on each topic. The pages are profusely illustrated with vivid computer graphics, photography and archival images. Included are accessible contributions by 650 world-leading astronomers covering:- History from the Big Bang to present- Famous astronomer bios- Key space missions since the launch of Sputnik- The work of observatories worldwide.

"Backyard stargazing is a lot more fun when you understand what you're looking at. The Orion Nebula is pretty in any telescope, but the view is all the more inspiring when you know that the light you're seeing left the nebula as the Roman Empire fell and that new stars are continually forming from the glowing gas.

"It's appropriate that professionals and amateurs should come together to produce such a work, because at the dawn of the twenty-first century the line between the two communities is becoming blurred. Technology is putting state-of-the-art capabilities into the hands of backyard observers, many of whom are now collaborating with professionals to study phenomena as diverse as Martian dust storms and bursts of energetic radiation from distant galaxies.

"Wherever your astronomical interests take you, this encyclopedia will be a welcome and valuable companion."

Rick Fienberg - Editor-in-Chief of Sky and Telescope magazine ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars All You Need
This book is AMAZING! It is chock full of terms and definitions, plus gorgeous pictures. It is not one of those books with no color or pictures in it. So you not only have a wealth of information at your fingertips, but you also get to see beautiful pictures/examples of terms along the way.

2-0 out of 5 stars Alright
This is a alright book to add to anyone collect. I didn't find this book to be useful to me. Its more along the lines of a children/teen book to learn in science class.

4-0 out of 5 stars photo-filled intro to amateur astronomy
1,750 entries, 350 color photos and 35 essays written by experts

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Astronomy Resource
A wonderful astronomy resource.Has informative articles written by amateurs smattered throughout -- in just the right amounts and at just the right places.Similar to my "The Universal Book of Astronomy : From the Andromeda Galaxy to the Zone of Avoidance" book, but with more depth to most definitions.Many full color illustrations and photos.The only thing I don't like in the Firefly one better than the "The Universal Book of Astronomy : From the Andromeda Galaxy to the Zone of Avoidance" book is that this book doesn't list out the stars of each constellations with distances like the UniversalBook does.The only solution -- buy both!:) ... Read more

19. A Dictionary of Astronomy (Oxford Paperback Reference)
by Ian Ridpath
Paperback: 576 Pages (2007-10-08)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019921493X
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Edited by renowned author and broadcaster Ian Ridpath, with the help of over 20 expert contributors, the second edition of this highly popular dictionary contains over 4,200 up-to-date entries on all aspects of astronomy.Readers will find a galaxy of informative, vividly written entries on everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, to astrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time. The dictionary also features biographical entries on eminent astronomers--ranging from Galileo to Edwin Hubble--as well as world-wide coverage of observatories and telescopes. Appendices include tables of Apollo lunar landing missions, and the constellations. Entries are supported by numerous tables and diagrams. The text has been fully revised and updated for the second edition, and includes information on new space missions, both those planned for the future and those that have recently come to fruition (such as the Huygens Probe of Saturns moon Titan). It also boasts entry-level Internet links (accessed via a regularly updated website), and in-depth features on topics such as the Big Bang, Dark matter, and Gamma-ray bursts. ... Read more

20. A Brief Introduction to Astronomy in the Middle East
by John M. Steele
Paperback: 140 Pages (2008-05-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.70
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Asin: 0863564283
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The Middle East was both the birthplace of astronomy and the center for its development during the medieval period, and this volume offers a fascinating insight into Arabic advances in astronomy and their profound influence on science in the rest of the world.

This is the first of two titles published to launch a new series offering insight into Arabic advances in science and culture. Aimed at the general reader, the titles are illustrated and contain glossaries, indices, and suggestions for further reading.

John M. Steele is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Durham.

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