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Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy: A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore by Neil English

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#1 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:09 AM

Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy: A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore is a good-read for “we stargazers” and telescopists of a mellowed age. As winter approaches, I can imagine myself re-reading the hard cover version of this book, sitting in my soft recliner, snuggled into a warm throw with my dog on my lap and a steaming cup of hot chocolate or tea on the lamp stand alongside, as the snow drifts down or as the bright stars of the winter constellatory asterism appear outside my window.

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#2 Jim Curry

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:41 AM

I too enjoy Neil's writings,  I have several of his books.

 

And you ain't too bad yourself.

 

Jim


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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for the excellent review! I ordered it yesterday and it arrives here tomorrow!    Tom


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#4 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 12:19 PM

Wonderful review, well communicated. 

 

At over $200 at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and AbeBooks I will have to wait until some used ones become available.

 

L.



#5 JimP

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 12:36 PM

Just ordered my copy! 

 

I also recommend The Victorian Amateur Astronomer...

You can buy at a very reasonable price on abebooksdotcom


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#6 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 12:59 PM

$200?  Why so much?

 

Mike



#7 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 11:43 AM

I was informed the cost was necessitated by the publisher's choice to prepare and promote this book within the publishing area assigned to academicians and scientists.  Though this might sacrifice some of the amateur audience, an unfortunate loss, it was hoped by this decision that this book would come to the attention and reach the professional audience with a work of sound research articulated in high quality prose.



#8 JimP

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 05:58 PM

About 1/2 way through and I am enjoying the book with one exception. I am tired of the constant attacks not only on refractors but those amateurs who today would choose a smaller refractor over a larger aperture reflector and he gets downright personal in his attacks. This is totally unnecessary and a distraction to an otherwise excellent book.

 

He has no problem with agreeing with Denning that 8-10" Reflectors might outperform much larger aperture Reflectors but does not seem to be willing to say that an 8-10" Refractor might just be able to perform better than a much larger aperture Reflector. No, it's always a comparison of 8-10" reflectors to 4" refractors. No fool would suggest a 4" refractor will outperform an 8-10" anything. The author is "hung up" on cost to the point that he is only capable of comparing what can be purchased for equal dollars and not comparing equal aperture scopes. I have been observing since September 1965, have owned all types of telescopes up to 20" aperture (Reflector), and now am very satisfied with my decision to own 5", 6", 8" and 10" aperture triplet refractors.

 

Given the amount of money individuals like Lassell spent, not only on building his large aperture Reflectors, but the cost of dismantling them and shipping them to Malta to observe from there, one might not criticise the amount of money an individual would spend to own a very high quality triplet refractor. Think of the cost of the 36" and 72" Reflectors of Lord Oxmantown! People spend what they can afford. I think spending what one can afford to spend to own and use a medium aperture triplet refractor need not be looked down upon.

 

 

 

Otherwise, as I said, I am about half way through (although I did skip forward to the review of W. F. Denning's fine book) and am vey pleased with it. Expensive? Yes. But, much like a refractor, worth the expense.


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#9 25585

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 07:27 AM

Like to have it on Kindle. Still too expensive at present.



#10 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 11:39 AM

Even a Kindle version on Amazon is $200.00. And used copies aren't much cheaper and in some cases more expensive. Would love to read it but way too expensive for me.


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#11 Vesper818

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:21 PM

I am going to request it through our library program.
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