Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Your about to lose everything, but have the chance to save five Astronomy Books. Which ones?

  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#26 steve t

steve t

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,127
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 22 March 2019 - 07:57 PM

I was surprised at how hard this question was for me to answer, but if I were racing out the door my list would be:

 

- Personal observing log book (40+ years of observations)

- Pocket Star Atlas Jumbo Edition

- S&T Field Atlas of the Moon

- Observer's Handbook (US Edition)

- Miller Planesphere  

 

If I were allowed one more I'd include my binder of variable star charts. 

 

Steve T 


  • mwedel likes this

#27 Carl Kolchak

Carl Kolchak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Northeast, Florida

Posted 23 March 2019 - 02:06 PM

Too many books to narrow it down to just five. Sorry. frown.gif

 

1. Herald Bobroff AstroAtlas
2. Star Clusters Archinal and Hynes
3. Atlas of the Moon Rukl
4. The Modern Moon: A Personal View Charles A. Wood
5. Binocular Astronomy 1st ed. Crossen and Tirion

 

I read The Modern Moon: A Personal View and used Atlas of the Moon to follow along with the text. Really eye opening for me.

 

Honorable Mention For Inspiration

 

Starlight Nights Leslie C. Peltier
The Friendly Stars Martha Evans Martin

 

Honorable Mention for How Tos

 

Deep Sky Wonders Walter Scott Houston
Star Hopping for Backyard Astronomers Alan M. MacRobert
Star Hopping Garfinkle

 

 


  • John Gauvreau likes this

#28 mkothe

mkothe

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 775
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Boston, MA

Posted 23 March 2019 - 08:27 PM

- Burnham’s
- Binocular Astronomy (Craig Crossen)
- Deep-Sky Wonders (Walter Scott Houston)
- Atlas Der Sternbilder (Eckhard Slawik/Uwe Reichert)
- The Immortal Fire Within (William Sheehan)
  • Chris K likes this

#29 desertstars

desertstars

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 46,090
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 23 March 2019 - 09:33 PM

Starlight Nights

Mr. Olcott's Skies

Tales of a Three-Legged Newt

The Light-Hearted Astronomer

Pocket Sky Atlas Jumbo Edition

cool.gif


  • mwedel, pugliano and Knasal like this

#30 Knasal

Knasal

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,208
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Wisconsin, USA

Posted 25 March 2019 - 09:13 PM

 

5: A PDF printout of the entire thread on Classic Rich Field by our very own Allan Dystrup

Yes, Amen to that! That is a great choice. 

 

Kevin


  • mwedel and Corcaroli78 like this

#31 santaritajim

santaritajim

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 66
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Santa Rita Mtns., Az.

Posted 19 August 2020 - 11:16 PM

 Something so amazing about looking through sky atlas's and guides. I have Burnams, which involves the reader, The Night Sky Observers Guide, that  is wonderful and tells you what to expect. The Pocket Sky Atlas Jumbo Edition that is my easy go to. Tirion's sky atlas 2000.0, that is a pleasure. And Interstellarum Deep Sky Guide And Atlas that is so informative, visual, and easy to use, puts so much information at your fingertips. I enjoy them all, and use them at different times for different things.


  • mwedel and steve t like this

#32 Alex65

Alex65

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 268
  • Joined: 03 Apr 2019
  • Loc: On a hill in the Highlands. (Bortle 4/5 skies)

Posted 20 August 2020 - 03:02 AM

Great thread.

 

The five books from my astronomy library that I'd save would probably be:

 

1) When The Stars Come Out (1954), Robert H. Baker - the first book that I read about astronomy and that got me hooked on it.

 

2) The Edmund Sky Guide (1977), Sam Brown & T. Dickinson - my first guide to learning my way 'round the skies.

 

3) Guideposts to the Stars (1972), Leslie C. Peltier - an excellent introduction to the night skies.

 

4) Guide to the Moon (1953), Patrick Moore - extremely dated but still a good introduction to the Moon with a good usable lunar map. I have several later, updated, editions but this has such a vintage vibe to it.

 

5) Amateur Astronomer's Photographic Lunar Atlas (1968), Henry Hatfield - still gets used on a regular basis when I'm planning my moon sessions.


  • Cliff C, steve t and Crusty99 like this

#33 peashooter1982

peashooter1982

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2013

Posted 20 August 2020 - 11:22 AM

Burnham’s vols 1-3

W. S. Houston, Deep Sky Wonders

Mallas & Kreimer, The Messier Album
  • BradFran likes this

#34 EverlastingSky

EverlastingSky

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,079
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Vancouver Canada

Posted 21 August 2020 - 08:04 PM

The Modern Moon by Charles Wood

Binocular Astronomy by Craig Crossen (original first edition)

The 3 volumes of Burnham.


  • Carl Kolchak likes this

#35 bobhen

bobhen

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,075
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 22 August 2020 - 06:41 AM

The first 2 below are not strictly astronomy books, although both touch on many things astronomical and include chapters on famous figures like Newton and Galileo and other important historical astronomy discoveries and concepts along with chapters on time and evolution and atomic theory and philosophy, etc., etc.

 

Astronomy/Philosophy/Historical Science, etc...

 

1. The Ascent of Man: by Jacob Bronowski

 

2. The Seven Mysteries of Life: by Guy Murchie

 

Strictly Astronomy Books…

 

3. Cosmos: by Carl Sagan

 

4. The Soul of the Night: by Chet Raymo

 

5. The Pocket Sky Atlas, Jumbo Edition: Sky Publishing

 

The Pocket Sky Atlas will be needed because the first thing I would pick BEFORE the above books would be my Takahashi TSA 120 refractor.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 23 August 2020 - 06:05 AM.


#36 Ed Fortier

Ed Fortier

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 313
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 22 August 2020 - 11:12 AM

1. Mars by Percival Lowell

2. Mars and Its Canals by Lowell

3. Mars as the Abode of Life by Lowell

4. Starlight Nights by Leslie Peltier (signed)

5. Guideposts to the Stars by Leslie Peltier (signed)

 

Ed


  • Illinois and Chris K like this

#37 Starman1

Starman1

    Stargeezer

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 56,187
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 22 August 2020 - 11:16 AM

The first 2 below are not strictly astronomy books, although both touch on many things astronomical and include chapters on famous figures like Newton and Galileo and other important historical astronomy discoveries and concepts along with chapters on time and evolution and atomic theory and philosophy, etc., etc.

 

Astronomy/Philosophy/Historical Science, etc...

 

1. The Accent of Man: by Jacob Bronowski

 

2. The Seven Mysteries of Life: by Guy Murchie

 

Strictly Astronomy Books…

 

3. Cosmos: by Carl Sagan

 

4. The Soul of the Night: by Chet Raymo

 

5. The Pocket Sky Atlas, Jumbo Edition: Sky Publishing

 

The Pocket Sky Atlas will be needed because the first thing I would pick BEFORE the above books would be my Takahashi TSA 120 refractor.

 

Bob

While I agree we all talk kind of funny, Bronowski's series is titled "The Ascent of Man".grin.gif


  • peter k and BoldAxis1967 like this

#38 bobhen

bobhen

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,075
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 23 August 2020 - 06:07 AM

While I agree we all talk kind of funny, Bronowski's series is titled "The Ascent of Man".grin.gif

Sorry, my typo... still a great book and TV series that is also available on DVD. At least I spelled Bronowski correctly!

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 23 August 2020 - 06:08 AM.

  • BoldAxis1967 likes this

#39 grzesznypl

grzesznypl

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 717
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Rego Park, NY

Posted 26 March 2022 - 11:03 PM

A little late to the party but ....

1. Cosmos - Carl Sagan - even though a bit dated included for sentimental reason 

2. The Night Sky Observer's Guide, volumes 1 & 2

3. Atlas of the Moon - Rukl

4. Uranometria 2000.0 All Sky edition

5. Engineering, Design and Construction of Portable Newtonian Telescopes - A.Highe

Honorable mention:
1. Planetary Nebulae - Steven Hynes
2. Visual Observations of Planetary Nebulae - Kent Wallace

3. Faintfuzzies.com publications
4. Reiner Vogel guides



#40 Illinois

Illinois

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,389
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Dixon, IL. Bortle 2 land in Wis.

Posted 29 March 2022 - 07:03 AM

That’s not easy but I would take that’s useful and hard to find….

 

All about Telescopes  by Sam Brown. Great book at that time from 1975 to early 1980 no internet and no CN forums. 
 

The Night Sky Observers Guide Volume 1 and 2

 

Visual Astronomy of the Deep Sky by Clark

 

Sky and Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atalas. I have two. One for outside and other for in house

 

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook Volume 1,2 and 3.  It’s good but need updates! 
 

Honor is Deep Sky Observing by late Steve Coe. Good book large telescope and faint deep sky objects


  • jokrausdu likes this

#41 desertstars

desertstars

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 46,090
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 29 March 2022 - 10:21 AM

Nice, scary question...  I actually thought about this one quite a bit.

Same here. And I've come to the conclusion that, in the aftermath of whatever disaster was about to strike, my body would be found in the ruins, likely buried in books. Because I'd still be standing there when the blow was struck, trying to decide.


  • BrentKnight likes this

#42 jokrausdu

jokrausdu

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 09 May 2020
  • Loc: Littleton, Colorado

Posted 04 April 2022 - 09:49 AM

Here is my list.

 

1) Nightwatch by Dickinson. (I've got two editions, so I would probably bring the most recent.)

2) The Astronomical Scrapbook: Skywatchers, Pioneers and Seekers in Astronomy by Joseph Ashbrook

3) The History of the Telescope by Henry C. King

 

And some observing guides

 

4) Norton's 2000.0 (I also have two of these, one from 1959, and the more recent one. If I glue or rebind them together, then I could consider them to be one volume, so I could keep both....)

5) The Cambridge Double Star Atlas by Bruce MacEvoy and Wil Tirion (It is a wonderful general atlas, not just useful for double stars.)



#43 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,508
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 12 April 2022 - 08:12 PM

1. Sky Atlas 2000 Deluxe (or Jumbo Pocket Atlas 2nd choice runner up).

2. Messier Marathon - Pennington

3.  Deep Sky Companions Series - O'Meara

     a.  Messier Objects

     b.  Hidden Treasures

     c.  Caldwell Objects

     d.  Secret Deep

4.  Best 300 DSO - Telrad Charts

5.  Skyspot Telrad Charts - Brent Watson

     a,  Messier Objects

     b.  Overlooked Objects

6.  S&T Laminated 8"x10" Charts (Messier & Caldwell, plus wish they had the other O'Meara ones also!) - Not a book!

 

This is mostly what I use when observing, planning to observe, and post observing.

Close runner ups include:

7. Other Telrad charts which I always bring observing

8. O'Meara Herschell 400

8. Night Sky Observer Guide Vol 1 & 2 - haven't used much yet

9. Uranometria 2000

10.  Backyard Astronomers Guide 3rd ed, or Messier Atlas or Arp Atlas or Deep Observers Guide) - if I could rotate like from a library

I still would keep the same, except 10 would be 4th edition, and 8 would also include Milkyway LOL.



#44 Alex_V

Alex_V

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 311
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2006
  • Loc: GTA, ON, Canada

Posted 13 April 2022 - 10:40 AM

My list:

 

1. The Milky Way by Bok and Bok, Fifth edition

2. a) Interstellarum  Deep Sky Atlas desk edition by R. Stoyan

    b) Interstellarum  Deep Sky Guide

3. Sky Vistas by Crossen

4. Stars and Clusters by C. Payne-Gaposhkin

5. Galaxies and the Cosmic Frontier by Waller and Hodge


  • BrentKnight and SNH like this

#45 Sketcher

Sketcher

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,925
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Under Earth's Sky

Posted 13 April 2022 - 12:53 PM

More than once I've been in the situation where I might lose anything/everything that I don't take with me (evacuate due to approaching forest fires).  I've even made a packing list (just in case) for the next time.

 

But the closest thing(s) to astronomy books that made the cut for me were hardbound sketchbooks used to record my observations and sketches, and my much thicker unbound collection of observations and sketches.  All other books and atlases were deemed disposable/replaceable and therefore not worthy of saving.

 

Nevertheless, I did try to pick out 5 for the purpose of this thread -- but as was the case with evacuation preparation, there was no way I could decide that "these" 5 books ought to be saved in preference to "those" 5 books.

 

That being said, I leaned more toward atlases (being more practical in my mind) than toward the various more wordy variety of books.  So if I had to take along some astronomy books with me, I would most likely select 5 atlases, maybe a Norton's, an old Becvar (deluxe) Atlas of the Heavens, the Uranometria All Sky Edition, the Millennium Atlas, and perhaps the Cambridge Double Star Atlas.  I might even use coin tosses to decide among my various atlases (I find my Sky Atlas 2000 charts to be quite practical as well).  That being said, Burnham's 3-volume Celestial Handbook would have to be at least considered . . .  That's just it.  For me, there's little reason to prefer one book/atlas over the next; and I'm not going to be able to take them all.

 

But in the real world situation -- it's just gonna be my own sketches and observations.  Somethings are simply more difficult (if not impossible) to replace.


  • bumm and mikemarotta like this

#46 mikemarotta

mikemarotta

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 994
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Hays County, Texas

Posted 13 April 2022 - 01:27 PM

I will not cite all of the repetitions, but my choices appeared already.  I know that we all have our favorites and with good reasons behind those choices. For myself, as often as I have checked out Turn Left at Orion from the city library and given it strong reviews on my blog, I do not own it. It just does not speak to me. It just did not click into my own stargazing patterns and needs for learning. It's a good book, highly recommended. 
 

3. Burnham's Celestial Handbook (Emotional)

 
BURNHAM'S CELESTIAL HANDBOOKS (1,2,3) -- And nothing emotional in them for me. I find his explanations, charts, graphs, catalogs, data, and stories, etc., all very helpful, useful, practical, and entertaining. All in all Burnham's would be the one book (three books) if no others. It is everything for me. (I do tend to use it after the fact to understand what I saw.)

 
 

Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas

  

Pocket Sky Atlas Jumbo Edition


I had two graduate classes in geography and learned the principles of cartography from them. This book meets the highest standards. I rely on this for planning. My copy was brand new this year 2022 is already looking a little shopworn. I bought the jumbo edition.
 

2) Celestial Sampler by Sue French

As the proud and dedicated owner of small apertures for city skies, I also rely on Sue French for longer range planning. Her primary instrument is a 4-inch (102mm) refractor and she views often at 47X. (Other aperatures and magnifications are also throughout, but her instruments are generally modest with an occasional nod to the large Dobsonian "light bucket.")  Her explanations and narratives are clear, concise and easy to follow.
 

To Explain the World - Stephen Weinberg

Everyone has their favorites and that's fine. This is one book that I could not recommend. I borrowed it from my local university library and read it cover to cover and was disappointed. Then I found the New York Times reviews with the same criticisms. Weinberg held a Nobel Prize in physics. However, he got his histories from second-hand sources and, apparently being a genius confident of his own abilities, he wrote off the top of his head. So, he was too often wrong about basic facts of history. Although the book is supposed to be about the invention of science and how it explained the world, he never defines the scientific method or explains why it works. He just assumes an almost naive positivism. Those failings being as they are, I did find much value hidden within. Weinberg does define science. He does not give the short, two-line Orwellian newspeak that we accept as a "dictionary definition." His definition is a short essay. And he explains why the ancient Greeks did not have science. (Again, he is wrong about some of his history; some of their work did meet his standard.) A scientific experiment is an unnatural arrangement. You are not just describing nature as you find it. You set up circumstances not found in nature: balls rolling down an incline, powerful magnets around light beams, ruby crystals imperfectly silvered, etc. (And those are my explanations, not his. He is not clear.) To me, this was the saving grace of the book. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to introduced Dr. Weinberg when he addressed our local astronomy club in his last public appearance.

 

Best Regards,

Mike M.


Edited by mikemarotta, 13 April 2022 - 01:34 PM.


#47 mikemarotta

mikemarotta

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 994
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Hays County, Texas

Posted 13 April 2022 - 01:36 PM

But in the real world situation -- it's just gonna be my own sketches and observations.  Somethings are simply more difficult (if not impossible) to replace.

 

+1.



#48 Starman1

Starman1

    Stargeezer

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 56,187
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 13 April 2022 - 02:06 PM

Though I like Burnham's as a guide to observing, and there is no denying his poetic bent (read the Sagittarius chapter), a lot of his astrophysical explanation is dated.

Some more modern observing guides like the Night Sky Observer's Guide (vol1-4) are better guides, and some constellation by constellation astrophysical guides

are far better at explaining the physical significance of selected objects (e.g. Annals of the Deep Sky, currently vol.1-8).

 

For star atlases, I prefer the Tirion Sky Atlas 2000 Deluxe Desk Edition, laminated, in the field.  It seems an excellent match to my 4".

For my 12.5", though, Uranometria 2000.0 all-sky edition is my ultimate atlas.  There are a lot of free on-line star atlases that can duplicate the Tirion Atlas,

but so far no on line atlas has bested the Uranometria.  There are many atlases that go deeper, and have more objects, but none that you would print except an occasional page.

And most are quite cluttered if the scale is the same as U2000.0.

Don't get me wrong, I love the deeper computer atlases with user-defined catalogs and limits, and I often print pages from them to aid with identification in a galaxy cluster.

But I would willingly sacrifice all of them to keep U2000.0 and the companion Deep Sky Field Guide.

 

I rescind my previous answer in post 8.  I simply couldn't keep just 5.

Maybe 50.


  • awitze likes this

#49 weis14

weis14

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,452
  • Joined: 26 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Midland, MI

Posted 18 April 2022 - 11:21 AM

Here is my current list.  I don't have as many rare or hard to find books as others, but this was still much more difficult than I thought.  I decided to prioritize observing books

 

1. Sue French's Deep Sky Wonders.  Not only is it a wonderful tool for planning a night of observing from moderately light polluted skies with small telescopes, but it is also an engaging read on its own.

 

2.  Walter Scott Houston's Deep Sky Wonders. Ditto.

 

3. Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas Field Edition - more detail than can be observed in the telescopes I have.  Plus, its waterproof pages are helpful in the dew.

 

4. Ronald Stoyan, Reiseatlas Mond - The moon has recently become a favorite target of mine and this atlas is the best I have of it.

 

5. Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? - Astronomy for me is as much of a spiritual pursuit as a scientific one.  On cloudy nights when I want to think a bit more deeper about the intersections of faith and science, this is a book that I often revisit.  

 

Honorable Mention: Susanna Hislop, Stories in the Stars.  This book is a whimsical tour of some of the mythology and cultural heritage of the constellations.  It is not really an astronomy book (rather a collection of essays) and defies easy classification.

 

EDIT: Fixed spelling of number 4 as noted by Starman1 below.


Edited by weis14, 18 April 2022 - 08:41 PM.

  • BrentKnight likes this

#50 Starman1

Starman1

    Stargeezer

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 56,187
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 18 April 2022 - 02:41 PM

In case anyone is looking for a used copy of this out of print book, it is:

Reiseatlas Mond

Lots of great reviews on line and images of the pages.

I also recommend it, or a used copy of Rukl's "Atlas of the Moon".

Both are great references and usable in the field, being lap-sized.

 

"Riesesatlas Mond" has something to do with Minecraft.

 

Reise translates to English as "trip".

Riese translates as "giant".


Edited by Starman1, 18 April 2022 - 02:41 PM.

  • weis14 likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics