Quote:I was wondering how many of us out there remember our first astronomy book, the one that turned us on to the hobby, and may still have a copy of that book handy?I found my first astronomy book in a packing box the other day. "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets" (1964), by Donald Menzel.
First and foremost observing love: naked eye.
Last but not least, telescopes.
And I sometimes dabble with cameras.
Chris Small telescopes, some medium size, a smattering of eyepieces and filters. The human brain-a 3 pound, 30 watt, self-programming supercomputer that can be mass produced by unskilled labor. Member IDA
Quote: Little Golden Guides "Stars" from the 1970s;it was the only star book at the local "drugstore/newstand/camera shop/moped dealer/chainsaw dealer/CB radio,scanners, and computer store".You get the idea the owner,Mr. Ullrich, tried to meet a lot of smalltown needs?Also got my first binoculars there,a pair of 10x50s which fell apart within a day or to and Mr. Ullrich simply took them back and handed me a 20x50 Selsi which I still have and use 37 years later.Still have the Golden Guide book too.I think they were wonderful little books to get one started ,and there were guides about many other topics. Also bought the Golden Guide to Weather ;real useful in determining which kind of cloud is preventing stargazing.
CPC 9.25 TV 76, 102, NP 101 Unitron 114 Gibraltar mount Half Hitch Mk III SolarMax 90 .7A/B15 Coronado PST Eyepieces from the sublime to the ridiculous
Quote:As it happens, that same 1964 edition of the Peterson Field Guide is the first book I ever used successfully as a practical observing guide. It's sitting in my bookshelf at work as I type this.
Quote:In September 1963 the 8th grade Science teacher, Mr. Skavnak, announced that he accepted extra credit projects. This awakened a long-dormant interest in the stars in me and I thought to myself, "I would like to do something on astronomy." So I went to the high school library, looked over their astronomy books, and picked out the Golden Nature Guide "Stars." It was the newest edition, in hardcover, and I was the first to sign it out. The first clear night after full moon, October 6, 1963, I took this copy of "Stars" out with a flashlight into the south hayfield and began tracing the constellations--Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Draco, Hercules, Lyra. At that point the gibbous moon rose in the ENE. But I was hooked on astronomy forever. (The 50th anniversary of that memorable night in my life comes next week.)In February 1982, almost 20 years later, my former 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Erickson, invited me to speak to her 8th grade English classes about the star myths of the ancient Greeks as part of her section on Greek mythology. By now the community had built a new high school and this old building was the junior high. I went to the library to see what astronomy books they had that I could recommend and discovered that they now had TWO copies of "Stars"--including the original one I had signed out in September 1963! I took it to the office and swung a deal with the Junior High Principal: this old copy of "Stars" for a brand-new astronomy book of the same level. (It was Robin Kerrold's "Stars and Planets.") That book was on my desk that May (1982) when I wrote what would be my first published astronomy article.
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Keeper of the Swamp Gas Observatory. "Well if I'm here and you're here, doesn't that make it OUR TIME."AR127 CG4
1984 tasco 49TR 60x800mm
1976 Vixen Polaris 80x1200mm
Denkmeier Big Easy BV
Quote:The oldest still in my possession, and one of the first I ever owned, is "The Amateur Astronomer's Handbook by James Muirden"; the equipment descriptions are very dated but the observational points still hold up.
Shane in black-zone New Mexico'Fracs, Maks, Newts and Schmidt-Newts, 3.1"-10", f/4-f/13. Alt-az and GEMs.
Quote:this is my first astronomy book, it is a second edition from 1983 I later got my red tasco to go along with it, it sold for 12.95 and my mother was not happy about that, it was on the expensive list, but as you can see she surrendered...lol
Zhumell Z10 34 ES 68° 24 ES 68° 13 T6 8.8 ES 82° 6.7 ES 82° 4.7 ES 82° 8-24 MkIII Baader Zoom (plus Zoom Barlow) (35 Ultrascopic, 28 RKE, 26 TV Plossl, 20 Sterling, 18 Paradigm, 3.8 Parks Gold, Celestron 8-24 zoom2.5x (~2.2x) GSO Barlow, . Hardin DSO6, Orion 90 Mak, Astroscan, Celestron 90AZ) *GONE* [for now?] Bigger Dobs, refractors, Naglers, XWs, UWANs, etc, etc
Quote:A few years before the field guide was my actual first book, the Golden Nature Guide "Stars" by Zim and Baker, which I repeatedly read cover to cover, especially enjoying the colorful Herzsprung-Russel and constellation diagrams.Steve
Quote:Actually, I do! All About the STARS by Anne Terry White from 1954. My grandparents subscribed us to the All About books and I still have a few from the early 60's.I also have my original Menzel Field Guide like the OP and that's the book that really taught me the night sky. In college, in 1977, my astronomy professor used George Abell's Realm of the Universe and it's the only college text book I saved.
Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
I don't know how old I was when I was one.
Quote:Quote:A few years before the field guide was my actual first book, the Golden Nature Guide "Stars" by Zim and Baker, which I repeatedly read cover to cover, especially enjoying the colorful Herzsprung-Russel and constellation diagrams.Steve My favorite constellation diagram in "Stars" was (and is) that of Scorpius, on which are plotted (though not labelled) the open clusters M6 and M7 in the Tail of Scorpius and the globulars M4 and M80 near Antares. This makes the constellation look very rich in interesting things (which it of course is). I started constellation tracing in October so I had to wait until late April to see Scorpius. My first view of it was of the arc of three stars that mark its Head ascending in the SE from behind some distant severe thunderstorms. In a little while Antares could be seen through the cirrus deck of the storms. It was a magnificent light show.I also was especially intrigued by the chart of the south circumpolar constellations in "Stars". It's a beautiful chart: a deep blue or violet background with the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds a powder blue, and lots of 1st magnitude stars, and constellations with exotic southern names. It gave me a fascination for the southern skies that has lasted to this day, though I've never had the opportunity to actually see the south circumpolar heavens.I think the constellation lines in "Stars" are excellent because they're simple and straightforward and don't use a lot of 4th mag stars. For a complete novice out under a really dark sky the simplest constellation lines using only the brightest stars is best. It's amazing how star-rich a really dark sky can be.
Such a nostalgic name! I got his "The Pan Book of Astronomy" in the late 60's. It was filled with great info and I used it as my quick reference encyclopedia for astronomy. He had strong convictions of what constituted proper observing equipment for amateur astronomy at the time, some of which I ignored (and later found I was glad I did).
TS 130/912 (f 7.10) Triplet Apo Refractor TS 152/1200 (f 7.90) Achromatic Refractor Astrologers say the future is written in the stars but Astronomers know this more so applies to the past... http://www.flickr.com/photos/72473941@N03/
Celestron 8" Nexstar GPS XLT Meade 8" f/6 newtonian on GEM-New GSO Mirror StarBlast 4.5" Dob XT12 IntelliScope Dob with COL Vixen A80MF achro Celestron NexStar 102mm GT OTA