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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders: From Novice to Master Observerby Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Synopses & Reviews
With the advent of inexpensive, high-power telescopes priced at under $250, amateur astronomy is now within the reach of anyone, and this is the ideal book to get you started.
The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders offers you a guide to the equipment you need, and shows you how and where to find hundreds of spectacular objects in the deep sky: double and multiple stars as well as spectacular star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. You get a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy, and specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining the equipment required for observing. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders is designed to be used in the field under the special red-colored lighting used by astronomers, and includes recommended observing targets for beginners and intermediate observers alike. You get detailed start charts and specific information about the best celestial objects. The objects in this book were chosen to help you meet the requirements for several lists of objects compiled by The Astronomical League (http: //www.astroleague.org) or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (http: //www.rasc.ca): Messier Club. Binocular Messier Club Urban Observing Club Deep Sky Binocular Club Double Star Club RASC Finest NGC List Completing the list for a particular observing club entitles anyone who is a member of the Astronomical League or RASC to an award, which includes a certificate and, in some cases, a lapel pin.
This book is perfect for amateur astronomers, students, teachers, or anyone who is ready to dive into this rewarding hobby. Who knows? You might even find a new object, like amateur astronomer Jay McNeil. On a clearcold night in January 2004, he spotted a previously undiscovered celestial object near Orion, now called McNeil's Nebula. Discover what awaits you in the night sky with the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders.
Book News Annotation:
The co-authors of Astronomy Hacks share their enthusiasm for their hobby, information about equipment, and techniques for observing some 400 objects in the night sky visible from a dark site using a 6" basic telescope. Focusing on 50 constellations from Andromeda to Vulpectula, entries include a general description, its name conventions, viewing season, culmination date, neighbors, binocular objects, urban objects, deep sky objects, and constellation charts. Further information sources are listed. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders explains everything a beginner needs to know to get started, and will remain indispensable long after a beginner graduates to intermediate status. This heavily graphical book, with numerous photographs, drawings, star charts, and tables, will address, comprehensively, the two major problems beginning and intermediate astronomers face: which objects to look at and how to find those objects. It provides a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy, and includes specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining observing equipment. Lists are provided with recommended observing targets for newbies and intermediate observers alike, including details about the best celestial objects. Star charts are sufficiently detailed to allow readers to locate and observe featured objects.
Explaining everything a beginner needs to know to get started, this heavily graphical book provides a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy and includes specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining observing equipment.
About the Author
Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Thompson reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.
Barbara Fritchman Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, PC Hardware Buyer's Guide, Astronomy Hacks, and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Barbara worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions, and is also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.
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