Picking up where Skywatching left off, here is an invaluable, advanced observer's primer and field guide to the night sky. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (13)
Born again Astronomer
Great book for anyone wanting to go deeper into amateur astronomy. Many background topics are covered in the first portion of the book leading into the observational delights in the last chapters. I use this book for light reading and to plan observing lists for clear nights to come. The breakout of objects by category is great. The objects are listed by what instrument will be necessary for best viewing, ie binoculars, small telescope...
What Is With All The Negativity?
If you are interesting in astronomy, or just bought your first telescope, buy this book (or its soft cover twin A Guide to Backyard Astronomy). Period. It is a perfect launching point to explore the stars.Some may complain that the maps are not complete, but the entire point of this book is to start you on the road to stargazing, and it has plenty for a budding astronomer to work with without being overwhelmed. Heck, I still use it and find it much more user friendly than many other books. Ignore the negativity and enjoy the book. For the price there should be no argument. I suggest looking up the reviews on its softcover identical twin, A Guide To Backyard Astronomy, for a more honest review.
Ten years ago, if you were someone who had never looked into a telescope, or couldn't find the North Star even with the Big Dipper emblazoned on the clear night sky right in front of you, one might question the wisdom of your decision to buy this type of book.After all, it includes instructions to navigate a telescope to a number of obscure Messier objects that you can't even see with the naked eye.The fact is, today anyone willing to invest a considerable chunk of spare change, say $1500 plus, can go out and buy a motorized telescope equipped with an internal computer that, along with a compass and a GPS system, automatically aligns the entire rig with the push of a button.From there, viewing these same Messier objects is as simple as programming your coffee maker.Needless to say, what was yesterday's advanced technology is today's ..umm, coffee maker.
This book is a pleasurably condensed beginning astronomy course, with each short section covering a broad range of subjects - from the birth and development of astrophysics and the state of exploration in the solar system (Voyager and Hubble) to some technical considerations, such as a brief synopsis of the electromagnetic spectrum and the physics of red-shift.From here it more than briefly covers the tools of the trade, from binoculars to telescopes (including "Go-To" technology) to astrophotography, and includes a very informative section on buying a telescope.Then follows an ample chapter on the Solar System covering the Sun, Moon, and the planets and their satellites.All this fairly light reading is wrapped up with a chapter covering all the other lights in the sky, including meteors, asteroids, double and variable stars, clusters, nebulas, novae, etc., and discussing with some detail their technical aspects. Somehow, each page, though jam-packed with information, still manages to include at least two relevant pictures or graphics.The deep space pictures are simply gorgeous.
The last 98 pages of the book are my favorite part - a `starhopping' guide highlighting some twenty selected sections of the sky (each generally covering the area of an average constellation).Each section has a comprehensive map and a number of photographs to aid the aspiring astronomer.With each destination is a recommendation of how to view it (i.e. naked eye, binoculars, or telescope) and includes considerations such as necessary field of view, recommended power, and required aperture.After all, you don't want to waste your time trying to discern the arms and dust lanes of M61 (a face-on but dim spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo) armed only with a 6 inch reflector.
The inclusion of the word `Advanced' in the title of this book will likely scare off a number of potential buyers.The decision to use it certainly involved a calculated risk by the publishers.I consider myself a knowledgeable beginner at best, (I'm purchasing my first telescope as I write this review) and I found this book to be almost spot-on for my needs.In fact, it played no small part in inspiring my purchase, and this in the face of my dear wife's protests.
Bottom line:If you're an armchair wannabe astronomer who's susceptible to the occasional weakness for impulse buying, and your unsympathetic spouse has imposed a moratorium on larger purchases for the foreseeable future, don't buy this book.On the other hand, perhaps spending a punitive night or two "sleeping on the couch" might not seem so bad if you happen to wake up in the middle of a starry night.
Advanced Skywatching is good, but there is one better
Advanced Skywatching is a good book. But the book "Practical Skywatching" gives you two books for the price of one. It literally contains the best of the books "Skywatching" and "Advance Skywatching" in one reference
Time was, the Nature Store was everywhere in Canada, and you could depend on them for just the right Xmas gift or whatever. That's gone now, but they left the excellent Nature Company Guides behind.
This is the book ofthose who have gone beyond "the stars are up there" stage butaren't at the Hawking level yet. I loved the crispy photos and the straightfrom the shoulder directions (not pretentious or dumb). I recommend ithighly if you want something with a little more meat to it.
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