Jump to content


Photo

Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen

  • Please log in to reply
119 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:22 AM

Somehow I missed the details on what appears to be a wonderful book here. Does anyone have any thoughts? I looked on Amazon but it appears the "look inside" feature only shows the text. Crossen is an amazing writer! Does this book have images? I love wide field observing. Thanks

#2 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:50 AM

You know the more I read into the sneak previews of this book, the more I like this. I still can't say enough about Crossen and his writing. He has an amazing talent for getting into the guts & nature of certain types of deep sky objects. This is the kind of thing that connects me to deep sky when I'm observing. Hopefully there are some pictures in this book too.

#3 obrazell

obrazell

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 181
  • Joined: 03 Apr 2005
  • Loc: United Kingdom

Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:01 AM

There are lots of pictures in the book.

Owen

#4 Man in a Tub

Man in a Tub

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11006
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Fogpatch, CA

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:09 AM

It's a gorgeous book. The main library here has a copy for reference only!

#5 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

That's enough for me, thanks!

#6 rookie

rookie

    Good Night Nurse

  • *****
  • Posts: 3041
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2006
  • Loc: St. Petersburg, FL

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

I ordered mine from Germany a few years ago. It's one of my favorite books. It's beautifully bound and Craig Crossen is a wonderful writer, posting here occasionally.

The book text is illustrated with glorious full color and black and white images by Gerald Rhemann.

This is a reference book with lots to read, see and learn. I would never take it to the telescope to be subject to dew but others that have it may feel differently.

#7 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

That's very nice to hear. I should have a copy shortly.

#8 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1342
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:02 AM

Daniel,
You will enjoy it, the text is outstanding in writing style, the photos are great, and it is the best source I have found for observing and understanding our galaxy with binoculars or a richest field telescope. Very rich in information and a joy to read, I am glad people are discovering it.
Bill

#9 Crossen

Crossen

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Vienna

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

I ordered mine from Germany a few years ago. It's one of my favorite books. . . . The book text is illustrated with glorious full color and black and white images by Gerald Rhemann.


I can't praise Springer Verlag Vienna/New York enough for the care and effort they took in every aspect of the production of "Sky Vistas." They spared no expense in paper quality, binding, and color printing; and readily provided me with all the technical support I needed.

And I can't praise my co-author, Gerald Rhemann, enough either. Not only is there no better astrophotographer in the world (to give them their due, there are some that are as good as Gerald--but none better), but he proved as dedicated to the quality of our book as our publisher in terms of the amount of work he invested in the processing of the photographs. And Gerald's generosity to me personally was almost embarrassing: when it came time for us to divide the royalties, we ended up having to bid each other up! I think Springer was a bit surprised: they're more accustomed to situations were co-authors are trying to bid each other down.

One thing I want to made very clear: There are several Springer Verlag branches, but they are semi-independent. They have a common marketing and distribution apparatus, but they are editorially unrelated. I stress this because a few years ago Springer Verlag London published a book titled "Binocular Astronomy". The problem is that this is the same title as a book of mine that was published in 1992 but is now out of print. I have never had any connection with Springer London; and to judge by the quality of the majority of the books of popular astronomy they publish, I would not want to have any connection with them. A friend of mine who has had considerble experience in publishing tells me that for a while Springer London was dumping a lot of inexpensively-produced new astronomy titles on the market with the idea of publishing better second editions of those that showed some popularity. Their use of a title of a book of mine that was at that time in print, and becoming widely known, seems to be evidence of their carelessness.

Anyway, Gerald had an abundance of excellent wide-field astrophotos from which to choose for "Sky Vistas." Because this is a book for the somewhat experienced amateur, we could assume our readers would already have a star atlas. I wish we could have included finder charts for specific objects; but as it was, Gerald and I exceeded the page count Springer asked us to try to meet. But many of Gerald's astrophotos I chose for inclusion because they would serve in lieu of finder charts: I remembered that back in the 1980s when I was first observing with 10x50 binoculars, I found the wide-field photos in "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" and in Dave Eicher's excellent "Deep Sky" magazine, when accompanied by good captions, to be as helpful for locating things as finder charts. Thus I provided most of the astrophotos in "Sky Vistas" with extremely long, and hopefully informative and interesting, captions.

Anyway, thank you all for the kind comments about "Sky Vistas".

Craig Crossen

#10 davidpitre

davidpitre

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3562
  • Joined: 10 May 2005
  • Loc: Central Texas

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

I have to say, this is one of the best observing books ever written. It is a shame to limit it to a "binocular" viewing audience. Yes the images are great, but even without them, it would be in my short list of my favorite observing books.

#11 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:02 PM

Actually I'm glad to see though it also accommodates widefield telescopes. I actually love wide field viewing in fact I think too many observers are obsessed with aperture. That's not always important. I also agree with you as well that Crossen is a phenomenal writer. He's my top choice for an more detailed companion, primarily because he not only focuses on the visual descriptions, but the ingredients of the objects. It still blows me away how observers can observe and literally not care to have a brief in depth understanding of what they're seeing. I just can't relate to their logic. I prefer fewer objects with quality observations and understanding. Otherwise, what's the point of observing. If I can't explain or understand what I'm seeing, then it has less meaning to me.

#12 opticsguy

opticsguy

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:39 PM

where to buy this book?

#13 beatlejuice

beatlejuice

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1568
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2011
  • Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:44 AM

I have been following this thread with interest, but, darn this is an expensive book at $80-$90 dependening on where you look. Would like to find a more detailed review.

Eric

#14 Crossen

Crossen

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Vienna

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:35 AM

I have been following this thread with interest, but, darn this is an expensive book at $80-$90 depending on where you look.


Yes, "Sky Vistas" is an expensive book. There are three reasons for that:

First, it is printed on high-quality glossy paper, and paper is one of the chief components in the price of a book. "Sky Vistas" has 48 full-page color plates of astrophotos by Gerald Rhemann (as well as about 48 B&W photos by Gerald, many of them full-page as well) and Springer Verlag and I agreed that we did not want to print only the color plates on high-quality paper: using high-quality paper only for the plates and average coarse-grain paper for the text and B&W photos gives a book a rather cheap look (plus B&W photos also come out better on glossy paper).

Second, color photo processing and printing is a lot more expensive than B&W processing and printing, and, as I said, "Sky Vistas" does have 48 full-page color plates.

Finally, there is transportation: "Sky Vistas" is printed here in Vienna and shipped from here to the States to Springer's New York distribution center. Springer Verlag Vienna/New York has its own printing and binding plant here (in fact the best printing facility in Vienna) and so it was easy for Gerald and I to oversee every step in the production and printing of the book. However, given the high quality of the paper of the book, it is very heavy: in fact, it costs me $20 to ship the book to friends in the States. Of course, it does not cost Springer quite that much per unit to ship "Sky Vistas" to the States, but it's still more than $10.

So why should the individual amateur lay out so much money for this book? Three reasons here too: First is the fact that it is well-printed anthology of the work of one of the finest astrophotographers in the world: many of Gerald's wide-field astrophotos are visual essays in Galactic astronomy and I have tried to give them captions worthy of their content and of their beauty.

Second, to my knowledge there still is no other astronomy guidebook specifically for wide-field instruments--"normal" binoculars, giant binoculars, and RFTs.

Third, there is no other guidebook--not even "Burnham's Celestial Handbook"--that will take you deeper into the actual astronomy of what you are looking at than "Sky Vistas." In particular, I have tried to help the observer visualize both our place within the spiral structure of our Galaxy, and our Galaxy's place in nearly intergalactic space--that is, to give the observer and reader both "Galactic depth perspective" and "intergalactic depth perspective." I've noticed a lot more interest in this type of thing in CN forums: "Sky Vistas" gives that kind of information, along with such 'traditional' observing information as how to find objects and what they look like in various instruments.

Craig Crossen

#15 opticsguy

opticsguy

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

OK< OK< OK< I am sold!!! :-) Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?

#16 Crossen

Crossen

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Vienna

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:21 PM

Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?


Other correspondants to this forum probably could tell you better than I where to get "Sky Vistas" for the best price: it's been 12 years since I've done any book-buying in the States. I see that both Amazon and Barnes and Noble list the book for slightly under $90. If that includes shipping, it's not an unreasonable price--especially given how heavy the book is. You mention seeing it listed for $80: that is a very good price. I've seen the book offered for well over $100 by some book-sellers: as the book's co-author, I find that kind of mark-up offensive. Find out how much it would cost to get "Sky Vistas" through your local Barnes and Noble: that probably would be the quickest and most convenient.

Craig Crossen

#17 beatlejuice

beatlejuice

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1568
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2011
  • Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Thanks Craig, thats more of what I was looking for.
BTW, amazon.ca (canadian site) is $78.

Eric

#18 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:26 PM

OK< OK< OK< I am sold!!! :-) Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?


:lol:

#19 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:53 PM

I would also add one thing of major importance Regarding the structure of the galaxy. I can not express enough how awesome that is. It's a very impressive part Crossen's work I've always admired. Even in his authentic 1st edition of Binocular Astronomy, I was amazed at this idea. :)

#20 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Simulation Curriculum

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2146
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Longmont, CO, USA

Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:21 AM

I would also add one thing of major importance Regarding the structure of the galaxy. I can not express enough how awesome that is. It's a very impressive part Crossen's work I've always admired. Even in his authentic 1st edition of Binocular Astronomy, I was amazed at this idea. :)

Indeed. It was Craig's awesome description of the structure of our Galaxy that inspired me to write my "Where is M13?" application several years ago.

#21 helpwanted

helpwanted

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4502
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

just downloaded Where is M13?... looks like this could be nice!!!

#22 helpwanted

helpwanted

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4502
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

wow, this is a neat program!!! Thanks Bill!!!

#23 Daniel Mounsey

Daniel Mounsey

    Vendor (Woodland Hills)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5434
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2002

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:19 AM

I should have Sky Vistas in a day or two. I'll report back with a couple of pics. I cant wait to see it finally. I have no doubt that this and Burnham's will be the books I'll cherish forever and Craig, I promise not to tatter Sky Vistas up like Burnham's. :grin:

#24 Crossen

Crossen

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Vienna

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:44 AM

Craig, I promise not to tatter Sky Vistas up like Burnham's.


Daniel

I hate using my own copy of "Sky Vistas" and risking coffee spills on it--and I needed to consult its data tables a lot this past spring when I was writing the new second edition text for "Binocular Astronomy." Fortunately Springer also gave me an unbound copy of the book.

Craig

#25 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Simulation Curriculum

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2146
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Longmont, CO, USA

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Craig,

Do you have an estimate for when your new edition of Binocular Astronomy will be published?

Bill






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics