Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
DNTash
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/02/07

Loc: GMT+2
Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It?
      #6096211 - 09/23/13 02:50 AM

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. It's full of photographic plates of the night sky, lots of great info, and a handful of black-and-white photos of nebulas and galaxies that made me wonder if I could ever even glimpse something so impressive. Wow - what we can do today. Who knew? I'm keeping it out and with me to remind me of how far we've come.

So, I'm interested in whether you remember that first astronomy book, and if you still have a copy with you somewhere.

And, if you have any thoughts on "The Book" of today that might have that "I'm hooked!" effect for those just getting into this wonderful hobby, feel free to share those thoughts as well. Clear skies, and happy reading!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AlBoning
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096224 - 09/23/13 03:15 AM

I acquired that field guide back sometime in the early 80s and it was my first astronomy book. Two years ago I stumbled across it and was impressed by the positive and negative sky images on facing pages. So impressed was I that I began looking for something recent and similar ... "The Cambridge Photographic Star Altas" by Mellinger and Stoyan. Checking Amazon ... you can look inside and the second anniversary of the purchase is four days from now.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096231 - 09/23/13 03:22 AM

Yep, "The Stargazer's Bible" W.S.Kals(1980) still on my bookshelf. Covered a lot of ground in its 140 pages. Really managed to fill me with enthusiasm,well, like the title says, for stargazing.

Eric


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096289 - 09/23/13 06:28 AM

Back when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I had a book entitled, "The Golden Picture Book of Our Sun, and the Worlds Around It," published in the late '50s. It was through reading this book that I learned about telescopes, how the seasons worked, the phases of the Moon, how the Moon and Sun affected the tides, the difference between meteors, meteorites, and asteroids, the names of the planets. It even showed me what a Blink Microscope was, and how it was used by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory to finally detect Pluto. It even explained about the perturbations of Neptune's orbit, and how their observance led him, and others, to start looking for a planet further out! Just about everything about astronomy, and space flight, was covered in that skinny, little book! Unfortunately, it got lost in the ensuing years, but I always kept a fond remembrance of that book.

Fast forward close to 40 years. I was sitting in my Dentist's waiting room, looking through a pile of books that my Dentist had set out for the kids, when I suddenly discovered a copy of that very book sitting in the pile! I asked her if I could have it, and that I would gladly pay her for it. She said that, if I replaced it with another children's book, that I could have it!

And so here it sits on the table, next to my chair. After all of these years, to be able to browse through those pages once again is just amazing! After I post this message, it'll go right back on the shelf in the bookcase, where it will always have a home!

Simply amazing!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6096383 - 09/23/13 08:34 AM

Don't even remember the title. It was a small, green hardcover with lots of star maps in it (Mostly reversed color, black background with white stars). I had checked it out of the library when my parents had gotten me a telescope for Christmas. Unfortunately, the dog ate it...literally, he chewed it up....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/10/07

Loc: none of your buss
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6096417 - 09/23/13 08:59 AM

yep night watch

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096484 - 09/23/13 09:40 AM

Indeed I do have my first astronomy book; Nightwatch (1987 edition). This is the book that really got me into my love of astronomy!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6096486 - 09/23/13 09:42 AM

Yup. It came with my Sears 60mm refractor at Christmas 1966. Can't remember the title. I'm at work right now. It has a place of honor on the shelf. Crummy star charts and all. Thick and with a green cover.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
macpurity
super member


Reged: 10/24/04

Loc: Quad Cities, Iowa, USA
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6096504 - 09/23/13 09:55 AM

My first book would have to be H. A. Rey's The Stars, which I got for Christmas when I was about nine years old. My next book would be Olcott's field guide, followed by Menzel's. Of the three, I only have a copy of Olcott, which is a replacement copy. The oldest original book in my collection is a Fawcett book called Exploring Space with Astronomy. It dates from 1967 and has lots of my 11 year old notes in it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: macpurity]
      #6096664 - 09/23/13 11:36 AM

Seasonal Star Charts. There have been editions by Hubbard(my original), Meade and Celestron. There's a table of which constellations the major planets are in from year to year, that's updated in more recent additions. Lists of targets within the constellation are on the pages opposite the charts.
Northern hemisphere only. Planisphere on the front cover. Very dew resistant.

Highly recommend it for those starting out. And for just leisurely wandering about on bright moonlit nights. Like last week.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-sky-maps-seasonal-star-charts_p19489.aspx


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ensign
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: izar187]
      #6096700 - 09/23/13 12:10 PM

There was a series of books by Arkady Leokum that I read when I was 6 or 7 (early 60s). I believe the series was called "Tell Me Why." In any case, it was in these pages that I first became fascinated with astronomy.

The books are probably in a landfill or have been recycled into who knows where. It was a great series. Treated kids with respect.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Fuzzyguy
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Colorado/Kansas
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096703 - 09/23/13 12:12 PM

Mine was the same DNTash, and yes, I still have it along with the very large NatGeo sky map. The map is coated to resist dew damage, but over the years being stored rolled up, I'm reluctant to unroll it as I'm concerned it will crack and break. Maps, books and atlases have come a long way since the mid 60's, but those two provided me a lot of nights of awe even with my 3" newt!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mjs
sage


Reged: 02/26/04

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: izar187]
      #6096707 - 09/23/13 12:15 PM

Weirdly, I do. It was a book titled "astronomy" in blue hard covers. I got it from a discount place when I was about 9 or so, which would put it ca. 1966 or thereabouts. It was discounted because the printing was off: much of the text looked like the printer had run out of ink but it was a lovely book, full of details and I believe it was intended as a first year astronomy course text.

Some time later I borrowed a telescope (a department store refractor) from a friend and was out in the front yard one night just poking around when I pointed it at a brighter than usual "star" and peered through the eyepiece to see a tiny but crystal clear Saturn. I was amazed to find that the pictures in the book were real! I pointed it at a crescent moon and it was real, too! Craters and moon-ish things, right there in my front yard! I had to preserve the moment (even then I realized that an observation wasn't "scientific" unless it was recorded,) so I ran inside, got my book and a pencil, and made sketches of Saturn and the Moon inside the front cover.

Fast forward to late teen years, I've graduated from high school and am moving into my own first apartment. Lots of kid stuff gets thrown away and a large pile of heavy books goes the local used book store for some extra cash.

Even later, years later. I'm married, got a kid and at a garage sale I spot a familiar shade of blue in a pile of books on a table. I pick it up and my sketches are inside the cover. I figure I'm supposed to keep it and so now I have (again) my own first astronomy book back!

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: mjs]
      #6096791 - 09/23/13 01:01 PM

Really cool. Cosmic too!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paul Lennous
sage


Reged: 02/05/04

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: izar187]
      #6096905 - 09/23/13 02:07 PM

"Burnham's Celestial Handbook." I still have it. It may be outdated, but I highly doubt if anyone will ever come up with another book like it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dennilfloss
sage


Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: Paul Lennous]
      #6096931 - 09/23/13 02:28 PM

NightWatch and I still have it. The Backyard Astronomer's Guide was my second book and this one I sold with my kit a few years ago.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
slarsson
member


Reged: 05/01/13

Loc: Vancouver Island BC
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6096951 - 09/23/13 02:45 PM

Patrick Moore: "The Observer's Book of Astronomy" (1962)

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
beisenhauer
journeyman


Reged: 05/11/12

Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: dennilfloss]
      #6096953 - 09/23/13 02:47 PM

"The Golden Book of Astronomy," late '50s. It belonged to my uncle when he was a kid, and I somehow inherited it. Now I read it to my son. (Though I find myself having to correct on-the-fly, and not just regarding Pluto's planetary status.)

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: DNTash]
      #6097035 - 09/23/13 03:56 PM

Norton's Star Atlas 16th edition (1973) is one of my earliest astronomy books that I can remember. I'm sure there were others as I was 19 in 1973 but this is one I still have. I learned a LOT from this book. I especially like all the facts about the sizes, distances, and timing of all the solar system objects.

There is another book I got years earlier (1962?), Facts and Figures, that I liked because it had astronomy data. But that is only covered by about 10% of the book.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Your First Astronomy Book: Still Have It? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6097412 - 09/23/13 09:01 PM

Oh yes, one of my prized possessions. Patrick Moore's "The Picture History of Astronomy," 1961.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
17 registered and 37 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  WOBentley, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1285

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics