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JimK
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/18/05
Posts: 635
Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA
Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed
      #2741302 - 11/08/08 01:48 PM

I just received my copy of the new and improved book that I had been using to supplement the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas:

"Objects in the Heavens" 4th edition (Peter Birren)
2008 - 120 pg - 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.4 in - softcover, spiral-bound

Mine was purchased directly via the author's web page (www.birrendesign.com/astro.html), but I believe that Amazon.com also will have it (the old edition is described but the new cover is shown).

I made a comparison between it and another book elsewhere on Cloudy Nights, but the new edition is better and, to me, worth the cost of replacing my older one. The author has even noted two very minor "typos" and fixes them if you order via Birren Design.

The book's writing style is "friendly" and not as technical as others, and it is small - almost the exact same size as the Pocket Sky Atlas. Some of my star gazing is on short notice and for only 30-90 minutes, so this book is always with me for quick decisions on what to look at. Many of the objects are found easily, and there are a few challenges, too. Most of the time another atlas (such as the Pocket Sky Atlas) is REQUIRED to allow for finding those faint fuzzies, although people with GOTO (or PUSH-TO) telescopes may find that this book is all they need.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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Carl Kolchak
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/02/06
Posts: 1052
Loc: Northeast, Florida
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: JimK]
      #2741572 - 11/08/08 05:30 PM

Quote:

I just received my copy of the new and improved book that I had been using to supplement the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas:

"Objects in the Heavens" 4th edition (Peter Birren)
2008 - 120 pg - 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.4 in - softcover, spiral-bound

Mine was purchased directly via the author's web page (www.birrendesign.com/astro.html), but I believe that Amazon.com also will have it (the old edition is described but the new cover is shown).




Hi Jim,

Thanks for the update on this book. I've had it in my Amazon wish list for awhile. I think your review pushed me over the edge and I'll probably order it.

I noticed you can get it autographed from the author if you order it from his site. I think that's neat! Did you get your copy autographed?

How long did your original copy last under the night sky and dew?

--------------------
richard h
Avid reader, urban stargazer, & cigar aficionado

NightSkyJournal



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desertstars



Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 41911
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Carl Kolchak]
      #2741580 - 11/08/08 05:36 PM

I was checking ordering options, including ordering directly from the publisher. On the publisher's web page I notice two important things. First, the book gets an endorsement from Faith Jordan, Webb Society and CN member, who is an accomplished visual observer and sketcher. Praise from Caesar, indeed.

Second, the publisher is apparently still selling copies of the third edition, not the version being discussed here. At least, the third edition is what their online store specifies in the write up. It may just be that they haven't updated the listing, but the best bet would be to order from the author directly, just to be safe.

--------------------
Thomas Watson

Author of Mr. Olcott's Skies. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

@desertstarsbks

Under Desert StarsEither Way, It's Reading


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JimK
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/18/05
Posts: 635
Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: desertstars]
      #2741798 - 11/08/08 08:06 PM

My original copy is in very good condition - dew in my state is not normally a problem. Since it is just ordinary paper, I think that an "awning" for the viewing area is needed for using it when dew is a problem.

I ordered from the author and did get a personal signature - a very nice touch.

Since Mr. Birren just got the first shipment from his publisher, I think that it may be at least a few weeks until it is distributed more widely.


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desertstars



Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 41911
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: JimK]
      #2742105 - 11/09/08 12:16 AM

Another nice touch. I ordered a copy by way of Pay Pal straight from him. Got an email from Birren thanking me.

--------------------
Thomas Watson

Author of Mr. Olcott's Skies. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

@desertstarsbks

Under Desert StarsEither Way, It's Reading


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Birren
journeyman


Reged: 11/10/08
Posts: 9
Loc: NE Illinois
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: JimK]
      #2745362 - 11/10/08 10:49 PM Attachment (168 downloads)

Hi, guys.

Thanks to Jim and all for your kind comments. Tom, you'll get your copy of the book in the next day or two.

This is my first post to CN; I'm more active on email lists and have shied away from most web-only participation. Please let me know if it's too commercial.

I've been an avid, active hang glider pilot for the last 31 years. Pursuing the sport has taken me to places far from civilization and city lights, usually camping overnight with a fire and a good deal of beer.

It's common for a pilot to be looking up during the day, studying the sky, the wind and the clouds for the weather patterns. The patterns at night were intriguing to me but it was frustrating 'cuz I had no clue at all what I was looking at. At nearly the same time, a friend asked, "Hey, do you have any interest in astronomy?" We went from binocs to small scopes, saw Jupiter for the first time "live" and were hooked. OITH grew out of that desire to learn, as a search for objects to include in a personal viewing list and it quickly took on a life of its own. Living with it for the past 8 years has taught me a lot, mainly that I've got more to learn.

Attachment

--------------------
- Peter Birren
author: Objects in the Heavens
6" Edmund Scientific "Super Sky Ranger" (just slightly modified)
12x50 Meade and Bushnell Binoculars


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o1d_dude
o1der than dirt


Reged: 10/03/07
Posts: 2534
Loc: The Wolfpack
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Birren]
      #2745594 - 11/11/08 03:41 AM

Looks to be an excellent resource, Peter.

JimK's comment about pairing it up with my Pocket Sky Atlas convinced me and I just put the updated version of OITH in my Amazon wishlist, as well.

Thanks for putting this out for us.

--------------------
Kit

'Don’t worry about what telescope you own, or its quality. Just get out under the night sky, and enjoy God’s wondrous universe.' - Thomas M Back


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/18/05
Posts: 2655
Loc: NorCal
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: o1d_dude]
      #2745904 - 11/11/08 10:00 AM

Hmmm...this looks very interesting. I may just get one for my library. It looks like a very handy resource to throw in my 6" refractor bag for those quickies.

I like the tables of brief descriptions of the objects on the left side and charts on the right, so we know what we are looking at.

--------------------
Clear Skies,
Alvin #26
22" f/4.0 reflector and other assorted smaller and larger telescopes, but listing the one I use the most.
FaintFuzzies | TAC | TAC-Sac


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05
Posts: 2066
Loc: Plano, TX
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #2747641 - 11/12/08 07:48 AM

It's not a bad little fieldbook, and Alvin, you nailed it. It is a great small to medium aperture companion guide.

--------------------
David Moody, FRAS
17.5" f/5 dob
10" f/10 SCT
5" f/8 refractor
80mm f/6 refractor
66mm f/6 refractor
Plus a few others out of the rotation


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/18/05
Posts: 2655
Loc: NorCal
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: bicparker]
      #2748518 - 11/12/08 05:55 PM

Just ordered one.

Ya know I obviously don't need one, but it looks great and would like one in my 6" storage bag. Would be great to show to others as well.

I have the Pocket Sky Atlas and Sky Spot telrad charts for this purpose. Notice the I prefer coil bound books - very field friendly. Oh, I removed the comb binding of my Sky Spot books, trimmed it and had it coil bound.



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desertstars



Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 41911
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #2751870 - 11/14/08 03:32 PM

Received my copy yesterday. I haven't had a chance to go through it thoroughly, much less put it to use, but the initial impression is of a huge amount of information packed into a slim volume. Promising.

--------------------
Thomas Watson

Author of Mr. Olcott's Skies. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

@desertstarsbks

Under Desert StarsEither Way, It's Reading


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Joe Lalumia
Postmaster


Reged: 01/24/07
Posts: 5133
Loc: Quinlan, Texas, USA
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: desertstars]
      #2761153 - 11/20/08 11:12 AM

I always recommend this book-- it stays PERMANENTLY with me in my eyepiece bag! I like it for--

Arrangement by Constellation

Small size and lays flat on table- heavy duty cover pages

Black & white printing

Brighter objects shown across the page from the Constellation map-- with descriptions

Personally I think this is the best field manual for a suburban observation site.... and the best one for someone new to the Astronomy hobby.

Peter--------- GREAT FIELD MANUAL! Thank you! and in my opinion it IS the best book to use with a GOTO scope!

--------------------
LX90 8" LNT, SV 80BV & TelePOD, ETX 125PE, 15x70 binoculars & parallelogram mount
www.texasastro.org www.telescopeman.org www.telescopeman.us
"Ninety percent of this game is half mental." - Yogi Berra



Edited by Joe Lalumia (11/20/08 11:15 AM)


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Birren
journeyman


Reged: 11/10/08
Posts: 9
Loc: NE Illinois
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Joe Lalumia]
      #2767780 - 11/24/08 12:54 PM

Thanks for your compliments, guys. I'm going to have to add a few of those to the OITH Testimonials web page (unless you say no, of course).

- Peter
12x50 binoculars, 1974 f/8 Edsci 6" "Super Sky Ranger," 2005 f/5 Hardin 6" and full access to a 15" Obsession.
"You may be disappointed if you fail but you're doomed if you don't try." - Beverly Sills

--------------------
- Peter Birren
author: Objects in the Heavens
6" Edmund Scientific "Super Sky Ranger" (just slightly modified)
12x50 Meade and Bushnell Binoculars


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iam1ru12
member


Reged: 02/25/06
Posts: 47
Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Birren]
      #5993771 - 07/27/13 10:29 PM

I'm resurrecting this old thread to provide some commentary on the 5th edition of Objects in the Heavens. I've written up a review on my club's web site at:

http://www.raleighastro.org/observing/observing-articles/329-book-review-obje...

Read the review but in summary....

"... Objects in the Heavens is very well laid out field guide that will greatly assist observers at the telescope. You’ll want to use this book in conjunction with a good atlas. Being spiral bound makes this book easy to use in the field but since the pages are regular paper and not laminated, you’ll want to take care not to let them get soaked with dew."

-Mike

--------------------
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

Celestron CeleStar 8" SCT (w/ Advanced Astro Master DSCs)
Orion XT6 Dob (my kids' scope, my grab-n-go and my outreach scope)

My Astronomy Web Page


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TomCorbett
super member


Reged: 07/08/13
Posts: 126
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5993925 - 07/28/13 12:00 AM

Nice review at your club's website. Objects in the Heavens 5th ed. is a very good observer's guide.

--------------------
Bob
Kentucky


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desertstars



Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 41911
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5993973 - 07/28/13 12:46 AM

Quote:

I'm resurrecting this old thread to provide some commentary on the 5th edition of Objects in the Heavens. I've written up a review on my club's web site at:

http://www.raleighastro.org/observing/observing-articles/329-book-review-obje...

Read the review but in summary....

"... Objects in the Heavens is very well laid out field guide that will greatly assist observers at the telescope. You’ll want to use this book in conjunction with a good atlas. Being spiral bound makes this book easy to use in the field but since the pages are regular paper and not laminated, you’ll want to take care not to let them get soaked with dew."

-Mike






--------------------
Thomas Watson

Author of Mr. Olcott's Skies. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

@desertstarsbks

Under Desert StarsEither Way, It's Reading


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Michael Rapp
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/27/04
Posts: 2576
Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5996158 - 07/29/13 09:08 AM

Quote:

...but since the pages are regular paper and not laminated, you’ll want to take care not to let them get soaked with dew."




This is also my only quibble with the work. I bought it as a companion to my PSA to take along with it during an observing session, but the dew out here would destroy it if I were to take it outside.

--------------------
--Michael
Meade 8" f/6 Dob, Lunt 35mm | TeleVue 32, 13, 7.4 Plossls
Observatory: 10/27/2006 (First Light) - 9/13/2008 (Hurricane Ike)
My Sketches | Michael_in_TX on NSN
I am looking for a 1980s Edmund Scientific 3" f/10 red-tube reflector, PM me if you have or know of one!


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JimK
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/18/05
Posts: 635
Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5996632 - 07/29/13 01:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...but since the pages are regular paper and not laminated, you’ll want to take care not to let them get soaked with dew."




This is also my only quibble with the work. I bought it as a companion to my PSA to take along with it during an observing session, but the dew out here would destroy it if I were to take it outside.


I believe there are at least 4 ways of addressing dew:
- use a box-shaped enclosure, clear acrylic plastic sheet, or an open car tailgate to shield the paper from dew (cheapest)
- purchase the PDF version of OITH, print the pages on water-resistant paper ("Rite in the Rain" paper is a good choice -- company web page here) -- and have the pages coil-bound at a copy place, such as Kinko's, for ~$5
- purchase the PDF version of OITH, print the pages on standard paper, and place them in vinyl sheet protectors
- disassemble the book, laminate each page, and reassemble the book (most expensive)

If dew is a problem, what are the real alternatives if not using this (or similar) publications? I don't know of any completely laminated/dew-protected deep-sky reference/atlas that is more than a sheet or two (such as the Orion DeepMap 600) [EDIT - Sky Atlas 2000 can be had in a laminated version for an additional $40]. Many electronic devices need protection from dew also, so if dew is a problem, one must [generally] deal with it as a user.

Why don't you ask the the author (who obtains his copies as needed from a local printer, I believe) for a cost of having OITH printed on "Rite in the Rain" paper, and knowing the added cost, would you be willing to pay that amount?

Edited by JimK (07/29/13 02:06 PM)


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TomCorbett
super member


Reged: 07/08/13
Posts: 126
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: JimK]
      #5996777 - 07/29/13 03:04 PM

Very good suggestions.

--------------------
Bob
Kentucky


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beatlejuice
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/05/11
Posts: 655
Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: Objects in the Heavens - 4th Ed new [Re: TomCorbett]
      #5997224 - 07/29/13 08:09 PM

I tend to use it as a ready made spur of the moment observing list and not as a star atlas. The book stays open for only moments at a time and the cover itself is much less susceptible to damage from due. Besides, I just lay it inside my eyepiece case between uses most of the time. I am thinking about adding some tabs to indicate constellations so I can easily return to a certain section to double check something after closing it.
Anyway, I find it to be one of the most useful observational aids around.

Eric

--------------------
Omni 120 cg4
Orion XT10(Original F/5)
Jason Constellation Model 311


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