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Book: Objects in the Heavens

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#1 Photobud

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

This book, "Objects in the Heavens" by Peter Birren was written by a neighbor of mine and I feel it is worth looking into by others on this forum.

Since I entered this post, I have talked to the author and the best place to get his book and e-book(in PDF format) is at his website, Birren Design. Both Amazon and the publisher have older versions and don't include the Lunar section.



From the publisher's description:

Pocket-size astronomy field guide features northern deep-sky objects to Magnitude 10 for telescope and binocular observation. All known galaxies, clusters and nebulae were painstakingly culled from every major catalog, organized and cross-referenced for ease of use at the viewing site. Object-oriented maps include special symbols to aid in finding and identifying the objects, stars, double stars, and asterisms. Simple enough for the beginner yet detailed for the advanced.



A Kindle version is available at Amazon but the printed version is currently out of stock. See the Amazon site for info and a preview of the Kindle version.

The book is a small, spiral bound book very handy for use at the telescope. It can also be purchased from the publisher, Trafford Publishing as Objects in the Heavens

#2 Photobud

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

btw - I own two copies of this book, the 1st and 5th editions and I paid for both of them!

#3 Photobud

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

Please note that the Kindle version is an older edition (3rd) and thus does not have the Lunar Viewing section that is included in the 5th edition.

#4 Photobud

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:25 PM

See Kramer's review right here on Cloudy Nights.

and Ivanovich's review also here on Cloudy Nights.

#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Oh, and mine too:

http://www.cloudynig...eginners/Num...

:lol:

Because all 110 Messiers will be hard this year (due to the optimal weekend dates coming earlier in the year than is typical), I'm toying with trying to bad as many Birren OITH targets as I can in a single session.

- Jim

#6 Photobud

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Thanks, I knew you had reviewed this, too but couldn't find it since it wasn't in the reviews but in the Beginner's Forum.

Oh, and mine too:

http://www.cloudynig...eginners/Num...

:lol:

Because all 110 Messiers will be hard this year (due to the optimal weekend dates coming earlier in the year than is typical), I'm toying with trying to bad as many Birren OITH targets as I can in a single session.

- Jim



#7 BobinKy

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

Photobud...

Thank you for reminding us of a good observing guide. I have a copy of the fourth edition, in which the author made ink corrections before mailing to me. He also signed the book and included a brief "Happy Viewing" under my name, above his name. All very personal. It would be nice if every book we purchased could have this much personal attention. As I go through my annual purge of books to donate, I always make sure to hang onto Birren's Objects in the Heavens.

#8 Photobud

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

Btw - 5th edition has additional section on lunar observing arranged by best objects for each lunar "day".

Photobud...
Thank you for reminding us of a good observing guide. I have a copy of the fourth edition, in which the author made ink corrections before mailing to me. He also signed the book and included a brief "Happy Viewing" under my name, above his name. All very personal. It would be nice if every book we purchased could have this much personal attention. As I go through my annual purge of books to donate, I always make sure to hang onto Birren's Objects in the Heavens.



#9 JimK

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

Agreed - OITH is my preferred observing book, as I have discussed in an older thread on CN (click here).

#10 la200o

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:28 AM

Mine is so marked up I need a new copy!

Bill

#11 Doc Willie

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

One of the essential books that go into my eyepiece case along with Pocket Sky Atlas and RASC Observer's Guide.

#12 Swamp Fox

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

That's why I needed 2 copies, 1 for the field and 1 for my desk...

Mine is so marked up I need a new copy!

Bill



#13 Doug Reilly

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:18 AM

Just got this based on this thread...i like it! Packed with information but smartly designed. I am going to review it on my blog as well. Might be better than karkoschka's atlas.

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

Doug, I absolutely love the evolution of your blog. That cargo bike is fantastic. Combining cycling and visual astronomy is pretty darned nifty, too.

Peter's book is great for outreach. Very digestible stuff. Word is that a new edition, v5.2, is in the works. I'm toying with an OITH Marathon concept. Perhaps taking a weekend to see how many OITH targets can be viewed over a couple of long sessions.

Regards,

Jim

#15 rockethead26

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

Just ordered one of these from Peter. Looks like a nice book to keep in the observing bag.

Edit: Jan 30th. Just received my autographed copy. What great little book filled with an incredible array of details, yet it looks so easy to use in the field for those casual nights out and especially for outreach.
It definitely gets a permanent place in my observing bag along with the Pocket Atlas, the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon and the Haas Double Star book.

Nicely done, Peter!

#16 JimK

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:53 PM

Agreed - OITH is my preferred observing book, as I have discussed in an older thread on CN (click here).

{I also edited the link to now refer to the archives web location.}

And here's a link to a very old post of mine on this book (click here).

= = = = = =
Attached is a file for those who use SkyTools 3 and wish to add the items in the book "Objects in the Heavens" v5.2 (May'13) as an observing list. The .stx file was compressed into a .zip file to comply with CN restrictions.

Here's a portion of the Observing List Description:
==========================
Objects in the Heavens-v5.2

1100 objects (generally down to magnitude 10) described in the constellation tables (clusters, nebulae, stars-single/multiple/carbon, asterisms), including the plotted-only carbon stars, of Peter Birren's book "Objects in the Heavens," v5.2 edition, May 2013. Compiled by JimK/Aug'13.
==========================

The SkyTools 3 Data Manager "Import Shared Data" tab can be used to import this downloaded file directly, or to connect to the "Skyhound Web Site" to download and import the same file from the "Browse Location" of "Observing Lists from Handbooks."

Attached Files



#17 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

Just ordered this one after reading Jim's thread. Looks like it will be a useful field book...

#18 TomCorbett

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:06 AM

JimK...

Thank you for compiling the SkyTools 3 observing list for Objects in the Heavens (Birren).

I downloaded the list by using the ST3 option: Data --> Import Shared Data --> Observing Lists from Handbooks. Then, after sorting the OITH observing list by constellation, I used the observing list to find the objects (on my computer screen) in the Andromeda constellation (matching the information in OITH, 5th ed., 2012, p. 48-49). Wonderful.

By the way, I recently received the Celestron AVX GOTO mount (still unpacking the box) and look forward to driving the AVX mount with SkyTools 3. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started using SkyTools 3 with a GOTO mount?

Thanks again for compiling and sharing the OITH observing list.

#19 JimK

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:00 AM

JimK...

Thank you for compiling the SkyTools 3 observing list for Objects in the Heavens (Birren). ... By the way, I recently received the Celestron AVX GOTO mount (still unpacking the box) and look forward to driving the AVX mount with SkyTools 3. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started using SkyTools 3 with a GOTO mount?

Thanks again for compiling and sharing the OITH observing list.

You're very welcome.

I do not have or use a GOTO mount, but the SkyTools Professional version can interface with some mounts (ref: http://skyhound.com/realtime.html), and the author has also posted video tutorials (ref: http://skyhound.com/..._tutorials.html) for this and other software features. The help features of the software are generally very comprehensive, too.

#20 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

Thanks JimK. Very handy to have the list in SkyTools format. From there, you can export it in Sky Safari observing list format and upload it to your Sky Safari equipped device for travelling field use.

I received the copies of v5.2 I ordered as "party favors" for the folks attending the club's dark sky trip at the end of the month. Peter Birren took the time to personalize each copy with a greeting by name for each recipient and his signature. What a kind gesture. I think they'll be delighted.

Regards,

Jim






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