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Classic books about the hobby that inspire you.

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#26 grif 678

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:32 PM

The old   Sky Observer's Guide  is my favorite. I have three of them just in case something happens to one or two of them. I have read and looked at this small book more than all my other books put together, I would guess. Saw this book back in the late 50's. when our school class went to the Morehead Planetarium, and I bought it. I lost it several years later, found another, bought it, and bought two more since.


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#27 Tiredeyes

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:53 PM

In middle school I came across a copy of Henry Paul's Telescopes for Skygazing and that along with a copy of the Dover reprint of Webb's Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes started it for me.


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#28 brian dewelles

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:22 PM

The old   Sky Observer's Guide  is my favorite. I have three of them just in case something happens to one or two of them. I have read and looked at this small book more than all my other books put together, I would guess. Saw this book back in the late 50's. when our school class went to the Morehead Planetarium, and I bought it. I lost it several years later, found another, bought it, and bought two more since.

I have quite a few myself, including different covers and a hardcover edition. I always buy one when i find it at a book sale and have given away a few to introduce people to the hobby.

My first copy of "the sky observers guide" came in mid sixties from star supermarket where my mom shopped, they had them at the checkout.

It's almost a perfect book covering briefly every aspect of amateur astronomy and it makes you want to learn more about each.

That first copy is gone, i used the star atlas in the back to track the motion of saturn in aries (i think), in pencil. It was a requirement for astronomy merit badge, it worked, i got the badge.


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#29 clamchip

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:32 PM

Robert Heinlein's juvenile Science fiction novels had a great influence on me

and steered me to the stars.

https://www.cloudyni...eins-juveniles/

Robert

 

post-50896-0-99514000-1467682618.jpg


Edited by clamchip, 20 January 2021 - 12:10 AM.

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#30 brian dewelles

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 12:21 AM

Excellent point, Brian.

 

But Rey gave us Curious George, as well!

 

...Perhaps co-G.o.A.T.s?...

wink.gif lol.gif

I get that he has a following with his book "stars", i could never fully embrace his concept of easier to learn constellations myself. That said i do refer to casseopia as the "big w" from a favorite childhood movie "mad mad mad mad world" 

My grandson will soon be 12 so i have lost my excuse to watch curious george, (loved the episode were he made a metal detector out of a radio). I'll still watch it though along with nature cat and alltime favorite yogi bear, still amazed a bear can fly a helicopter!


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#31 mitsos68

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 08:18 AM

Hi,
The New Handbook of the Heavens. One of the best !!!
Dimitris.


Edited by mitsos68, 21 January 2021 - 03:51 AM.

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#32 Pete W

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 10:11 AM

The Sky Observer's Guide was most instrumental for learning the practical aspects of the hobby - I was about 12 or 13.  I remember mail-ordering it directly from Golden Press in the late 70's...I was so excited when it arrived.

 

A friend of mine got me Menzel's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets around the same time.  It was a bit over my head but it inspired me to be more "serious" when observing with my Jason 60mm refractor from 79 to 82. 

 

Edmund's Mag 5 Star Atlas was the chart I used with the Jason refractor.  I wore the hell out of it...

 

Finally, Burnham's Celestial Handbook was acquired when my ATM 8" f/6 newt was finished in 1983.  It was my first astro book with lots of pictures of obscure galaxies, nebulae and the like; great inspiration for a budding deep sky observer. I had to tape the binding back together in all three volumes - again, I wore them out.   

 

  I still have them...except my original Sky Observer's Guide was given to my nephew; I've replaced it with an older edition.

 

20210120_084835.jpg   20210120_085250.jpg


Edited by Pete W, 20 January 2021 - 10:50 AM.

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#33 BillB9430

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 10:24 AM

As a kid, I bought "Amateur Astronomy Handbook" off a grocery store magazine rack in 1960 for 75 cents. Building the ATM scopes described was too much for my "paper route" money back then, but reading about it motivated me to join a local astronomy club, subscribe to S&T, and learn to find things in the night sky.

 

Over the years, I've built many of the scopes featured in that little magazine and still think Mallan's ideas for making refractor glare stops are among the best I've seen. 

 

Amateur Astronomy Handbook .jpg


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#34 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 12:15 PM

As a kid, I bought "Amateur Astronomy Handbook" off a grocery store magazine rack in 1960 for 75 cents. Building the ATM scopes described was too much for my "paper route" money back then, but reading about it motivated me to join a local astronomy club, subscribe to S&T, and learn to find things in the night sky.

 

Over the years, I've built many of the scopes featured in that little magazine and still think Mallan's ideas for making refractor glare stops are among the best I've seen. 

 

attachicon.gifAmateur Astronomy Handbook .jpg

I remember that book!  And, I had a couple of FAWCETT How-To books on other subjects -- Electronics, and Photography (after I got my Pentax K1000 35mm SLR -- Big Leagues for me back then).


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#35 brian dewelles

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 12:17 PM

The Sky Observer's Guide was most instrumental for learning the practical aspects of the hobby - I was about 12 or 13.  I remember mail-ordering it directly from Golden Press in the late 70's...I was so excited when it arrived.

 

A friend of mine got me Menzel's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets around the same time.  It was a bit over my head but it inspired me to be more "serious" when observing with my Jason 60mm refractor from 79 to 82. 

 

Edmund's Mag 5 Star Atlas was the chart I used with the Jason refractor.  I wore the hell out of it...

 

Finally, Burnham's Celestial Handbook was acquired when my ATM 8" f/6 newt was finished in 1983.  It was my first astro book with lots of pictures of obscure galaxies, nebulae and the like; great inspiration for a budding deep sky observer. I had to tape the binding back together in all three volumes - again, I wore them out.   

 

  I still have them...except my original Sky Observer's Guide was given to my nephew; I've replaced it with an older edition.

 

attachicon.gif20210120_084835.jpg  attachicon.gif20210120_085250.jpg

Seeing your set of Burnhams is an inspiration. I only wish my set got used that much. Robert Burnham must be smilling somewhere.


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#36 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 01:51 PM

The Golden book "Stars" and "The Sky Observers Guide" got me going as a kid in the mid 60's. I still have both though they are falling apart. I find the illustrations very good, and I still like to thumb through them once and a while.
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#37 grif 678

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 02:12 PM

For us who do have the  Sky Observer's Guide, inside the back it tells about those who helped in this book. One of them was John Polgreen, who did a lot of the art work. He and his wife had many paintings in another great old book, The Golden Book Of Astronomy. This was originally for kids with some other Golden books. I really enjoy this book also. If any of you have one, and can do pictures, maybe you can show this one, a lot of you will remember the series.


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#38 andycknight

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 02:28 PM

brian dewelles, on 19 Jan 2021 - 10:07 PM, said:

So what books got you started in hobby or re-inspired you at a certain stage? For me "the sky observers guide" and patrick moore's "the observers book of astronomy" began things.

The Observers Book of Astronomy was also my first book. I borrowed it from my Uncle and made a Simple Telescope out of a old Magnifying Glass and an Eyepiece robbed from an old toy Microscope. It showed me the Moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus and lots of detail (and weird colours) on the Moon - I was hooked.

 

gallery_135796_6581_33921.jpg

 

The Observers book shown above is one I found at a boot sale many years later. It is almost identical to the one I borrowed from my Uncle - so I had to get it !

 

Later on when I purchased my first Telescope (a dodgy department store 60mm Refractor), I brought the Collins Gem Guide as it contained better star chars. I still use this book today as it is so small it easily slips into my pocket.

 

Regards

 

Andy.


Edited by andycknight, 20 January 2021 - 03:59 PM.

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#39 mikeDnight

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 02:43 PM

Another vote for Starlight Nights by Leslie C. Peltier.  This has to be the most inspirational book I've ever read.  

 

My second vote would be Telescopic Work for Starlight Evenings by W. F. Denning. It's over a hundred years old I believe, but still highly inspirational and relevant where telescopes are concerned. It can be bought as a reprint!


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#40 bobhen

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 03:28 PM

My interest in astronomy and all things "space-oriented" started back when I was around 9 with NASA and the early Mercury flights.

 

I think the LIFE magazine articles about those missions, the book, The Conquest of Space and some early Science Fiction films like Destination Moon and the original Star Trek TV show added to my interest.

 

My neighbor’s small refractor also got me excited.

 

But it was really Sky and Telescope magazine more than any one book that got me hooked on astronomy as a hobby.

 

The first book I purchased having to do with observing was, A Field Guide To The Stars and Planets.

 

Many more books about astronomy and astronomy as a hobby have followed.

 

Images are: 40 years of S & T and just a few books.

 

Bob

 

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#41 Bonco2

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 04:30 PM

Seems I've had all of the above. But the one I treasure most is the 3 volumes of Burnhams. I read his introduction about every 10 years and never tire of it.

Also, the story of how he developed the books is amazing and sad. Sad because the publishers ripped him off. Likely you can find that story on the internet. 

Bill



#42 LukaszLu

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 05:39 PM

Atlas of the Planets
Vincent de Callataÿ/Audouin Dollfus

Publisher : University of Toronto Press, 1974
152 pages
ISBN : 0-8020-1509-3

Cover gnawed by a chinchilla called Puszik.

 

 
The book appeared when the first photos from space probes started to arrive, such as the very poor quality photos sent from Mars by Mariner IV. A few years later, we admired great-quality photos from Voyagers, and today we can almost touch the clouds on Jupiter with our hand - superb photos are available in a few clicks...

However, never again did any photos ignite my imagination like these obscure, imperfect images of mysterious, distant worlds. It's great that we learn more and more about them, but it's a pity that with each discovery, with each high-quality photo, they are stripped of their mysteries, that will not come back - just like the years of our youth ...

 

 


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#43 brian dewelles

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 06:05 PM

In the early nineties i attended saguaro astronomy club meeting in phoenix and tony ortega was speaker. Tony was an amateur and was their to speak on the life of robert burnham. He chronicled burnhams life in the weekly phoenix newspaper the "new times"  just that month.

It was rivoting. I believe tony mostly did politics and he is a great writer but the article on burnham was a labor of love. It makes you appreciate burnhams accomplishments all the more. I still have a copy of the "new times" with the article.


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#44 strdst

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 10:43 PM

The Golden Book of Astronomy was a birthday gift from a family friend I never met. My first book. I was maybe 5 (1957) and just beginning to read. Through most of elementary school the only books I checked out from the library were astronomy books, (much to the dismay of my teachers who thought I should expand my interests a bit). How much more can you expand? I was reading about the cosmos! I think they were just getting sick of having to listen to my weekly oral book reports, that I must confess, all sounded pretty much the same.

 

The second, Field Guide to the Night Sky was a gift from my then mother-in-law. She was an absolute sucker for gift shop merch and bought it for me while we were visiting the Kitt Peak Observatory together. That was around 1992. A few years later, after a telescope hiatus of about 25 years, I picked up a used Orange Celestron 8

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#45 SkyRanger

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 10:52 PM

In 1963 I reached to the top shelf of our Jr High School library and pulled down Patrick Moore’s Picture History of Astronomy.  That is the book that started my journey.

 

Gordon G


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#46 RichA

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 11:52 PM

So what books got you started in hobby or re-inspired you at a certain stage? For me "the sky observers guide" and patrick moore's "the observers book of astronomy" began things.

Dickinson and dyer's monumental volume " the backyard astronomers guide" got me reinvigorated in the hobby.  The late steve coe (a friend and neighbor) who was an incredible deep sky observer and a great writer motivates me every time i read "touching the universe". 

Their must be at least a hundred more. What are some?

These two:

The Majesty book had images of galaxy clusters, each one more distant that the other.  Fascinated me. 1st issue of Sky & Tel I ever saw.

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#47 Mike E.

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 07:39 AM

These classic books inspired me, and still do. smile.png

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#48 highfnum

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 07:44 AM

some of my books thru the  decades 

Abooks.jpg


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#49 highfnum

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 07:54 AM

the only realistic time travel 

a bit before  me 

1872 1890's 

1)spectrum analysis 

2) the sun

 still has relevant  info 

Asunbooks.jpg

 

 


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#50 RichA

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 01:32 PM

The Sky Observer's Guide was most instrumental for learning the practical aspects of the hobby - I was about 12 or 13.  I remember mail-ordering it directly from Golden Press in the late 70's...I was so excited when it arrived.

 

A friend of mine got me Menzel's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets around the same time.  It was a bit over my head but it inspired me to be more "serious" when observing with my Jason 60mm refractor from 79 to 82. 

 

Edmund's Mag 5 Star Atlas was the chart I used with the Jason refractor.  I wore the hell out of it...

 

Finally, Burnham's Celestial Handbook was acquired when my ATM 8" f/6 newt was finished in 1983.  It was my first astro book with lots of pictures of obscure galaxies, nebulae and the like; great inspiration for a budding deep sky observer. I had to tape the binding back together in all three volumes - again, I wore them out.   

 

  I still have them...except my original Sky Observer's Guide was given to my nephew; I've replaced it with an older edition.

 

attachicon.gif20210120_084835.jpg  attachicon.gif20210120_085250.jpg

For sure my most used books were the Burhham guides.  I used them at the telescope, they got wet with dew and always dried out perfect, never fell apart.  I still have them.


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