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Classic books about the hobby that inspire you.

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#51 radiofm74

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 01:33 PM

May I add that I find "Star Ware" pretty invaluable for the newbie poking her/his nose in the market of astronomy equipment for the first time?


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#52 Mike E.

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:28 PM

Of all the Astronomy books I have acquired, none have been more interesting than my two volume set of Hutchenson's - " Splendour of the Heavens ". Dated 1923

Its an absolutely magnificent work by about a dozen contributors, with nearly a thousand pages and illustrations on almost every one of them; it covers a huge variety of Astronomical topics. smile.png

 

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#53 SkyRanger

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 05:58 PM

As I mentioned earlier it was P Moore's Picture History of Astronomy that got me started in astronomy.  I would have picked up the 1961 edition and this is the 1972 edition.  My star guide during those days was Olcott's Field Book to the Skies.  I read everything in the public library by Patrick Moore.  He made a visit to Kitt Peak about the time I was a docent there, but I missed out on it.  (I did meet Dr. Vera Ruben there!)

GG

 

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Edited by SkyRanger, 21 January 2021 - 06:49 PM.

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#54 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 07:10 PM

I’ve had all these since my first year or two in the hobby over fifty years ago.

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#55 highfnum

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 08:30 PM

 splendor of the heavens 

great 

especially about sun


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#56 brian dewelles

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 12:11 AM

Seeing all these books that got CN'rs started and inspired in the hobby has made me realise how much i knew about observing before i ever got a scope. 

When i got my 4.25" palomar jr. I put it to work right away. I knew what to look for and where to find things. The scope and mount were not a mystery, they were familiar because i read and anticipated so much before hand.

For me it probably worked out well to learn the sky first before i got much equipment. It wasn't really an option anway, we were working class for sure.

We always had books up the ying yang though. Pretty neat so many of us have the same feelings about them.


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#57 jsiska

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 11:22 AM

I couldn't decide which book inspires me the most; so here are most of them . Six of the shelves are books on astronomy and astrophysics related; the books on the second shelf from the top are just miscellaneous books.

 

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#58 mattyfatz

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 11:55 AM

I like how the “miscellaneous” books include Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy



#59 mattyfatz

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 11:57 AM

Still my favorites..

had to ATM the spine on “All about Telescopes”

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#60 mattyfatz

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 12:46 PM

I like this one too. Used it often before the S&T pocket sky atlas came out. Definitely a keeper.

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#61 brian dewelles

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 01:16 PM

This one is kind of rare (The telescope catalog of catalogs). Maybe not a must have for collectors anymore with the internet but considering its over forty years old i think saul lapidus had a good eye, maybe even  a crystal ball!

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#62 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 02:57 PM

I'm surprised this hasn't featured...I adore this book, which I took out while at middle school...which might explain why it's now nearly 40 years overdue. 

 

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#63 brian dewelles

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 05:03 PM

So i guess for me "sky observers guide" is the big one. But any book that helped create a lifelong amateur is a champ. Just like the stanley cup the greatest trophy on earth where they make room to inscribe all the players names.

Like many, the observatory page stuck with me. I built my 6x6 observatory in the backyard in part as tribute to the little dome in the book.

Finally how about the paragraph titled "a second telescope"  you gotta love a book that gives you permission to own more than one scope!

 

 

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#64 photiost

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 05:13 PM

One of my first books 

 

 

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#65 RichA

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 05:21 PM

I'd like to put in a word for Celestron's 1978 catalog.  Not only was it astro-**** for many in that era, beautiful images, it even had a particular smell to it!  The printing quality was exceptional and it pushed me in-part to get a C8 that year.  I'd say it was inspirational.



#66 Sky King

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 11:09 AM

Another classic: Charles Wood, drawing on both traditional telescopic observations of the Moon and the modern explorations of the Apollo, Clementine, and Lunar Prospector missions, The Modern Moon: A Personal View is an authoritative guidebook that tells readers both what to look for and why to look. Set up your telescope and let Wood unravel the Moon's complex past as you gaze at lunar vistas. 

 

Also, having never read Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer, best I could find is Kindle for $9.99.  Some real classics in this thread, thanks!


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#67 yeldahtron

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 04:42 PM

Classic Astro.jpg

 

For me, the story began Christmas 1965 (I'd be seven) when Santa gave me the book "Astronomy". I spent many a night when I was supposed to be sleeping reviewing the information there, and the addiction began. (I was fortunate that my parent's lights-out policy was that you must be in bed by 8 o'clock, and the lights must be out unless you are reading a book. Oh, how I abused that loophole.)

 

In 1966/7 I received "The Planets" as a birthday gift. The pictures in that book got me wanting my own telescope (and wanting to visit the Lick Observatory, which I did 45 years later), and shortly thereafter, I convinced my parents that I needed a Tasco 9TE-5 refractor.  The manual that came with that scope included a Messier catalog. That's when I discovered something experts call neb-YOU-la. 

 

I observed my first neb-YOU-la by aiming my scope out my open bedroom window, in January on a really cold night, in downtown Toronto -- The Great Neb-YOU-la in Orion. Perhaps you are familiar with it? It appears in a large, easily recognizable asterism in the winter skies that was visible in the late 60's from downtown Toronto, but not so much today. Anyway, I ran downstairs to tell my family that I had seen (or did I say "discovered"?) the Great Neb-YOU-la, expecting them to want to see it too. No luck. I do recall my parents snickering at my pronunciation of the word neb-YOU-la, though -- a pronunciation I insist is correct in scientific circles.

 

Ah, those days, aiming my 60 mm Tasco refractor out an open south-facing window of a very warm third floor room of a house in the middle of winter, looking into a light-polluted sky. The things I thought I saw!  We didn't know "letting optics reach a thermal equilibrium" was a thing back then.  Not like kids today.  Luxury!

 

I recall trailering my huge 60 mm (Tasco, mind you) scope in its box in my wagon down the street and setting it up around the corner with an entourage of neighborhood friends so we could view a rising Mars through a gap in the apartment buildings during one of its close apparitions. To this day I swear I have never seen the Red Planet in such detail as I did that day: both polar caps, albedo (or did I call them "libido") features -- perhaps even signs of seasonal life in the planet's tropical regions. To this day, I can't decide why today's views are different than those of yesteryear: was it youthful eyesight and imagination or is it curmudgeonly cynicism and climate-crisis sky conditions?  Whatever!  I am jealous of the younger me.

 

Then I read more books. 

 

"Dr. H. C. King's Book of Astronomy", "The Stars" and "The Sky Observer's Guide" introduced me to a phenomenon know as "aperture fever".  I convinced my parents that if I could sell the 9TE5, they should help me finance (i.e. "buy me") an 11TE 4-1/2" reflector, only because I was certain they would not entertain me owning a Tasco 20TE observatory refractor.  And I got more sophisticated.  Instead of aiming my scope out the bedroom window, what with all the thermal turbulence and such, I would push the scope out the third floor window onto the roof, drag it up the roof, and set it up on the flat dormer of my bedroom window, where I had a much more expansive view of downtown Toronto's light polluted sky. (When my parents asked me where I had been, why they had not seen me, I told them I was out.)  I saw the planets, a comet or two, and Skylab from up there, but, for some reason, I never bagged M33.

 

Then I read many, many more books.

 

Now I live under reasonably dark skies. I can travel to a dark sky preserve in less than 60 minutes. I have a decent-sized scope with expert-corrected optics, and I own green-banded eyepieces.  I've seen a lot, and I regret nothing

 

Still. Those were the days.


Edited by yeldahtron, 30 January 2021 - 05:02 PM.

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#68 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 06:04 PM

As I mentioned earlier it was P Moore's Picture History of Astronomy that got me started in astronomy.  I would have picked up the 1961 edition and this is the 1972 edition.  My star guide during those days was Olcott's Field Book to the Skies.  I read everything in the public library by Patrick Moore.  He made a visit to Kitt Peak about the time I was a docent there, but I missed out on it.  (I did meet Dr. Vera Ruben there!)

GG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1396.jpg

Me too! Patrick Moore's Picture History of Astronomy was my first astronomy book. My parents got me it along with a 3" Edmunds Scientific Space Conqueror Reflector for Christmas 1974 (6th grade). Sadly, I don't possess the telescope any longer but I still have the book.


Edited by SpaceConqueror3, 31 January 2021 - 01:07 AM.

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#69 Foundationer

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 02:13 AM

My father presented me this book in the mid 70's.

I still have it and added a second copy just in case.

The maps within with the onion skin overlays of dso's

are still my go to maps.

 

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#70 MisterDan

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 01:37 PM

My father presented me this book in the mid 70's.

I still have it and added a second copy just in case.

The maps within with the onion skin overlays of dso's

are still my go to maps.

Holy moly - I'd totally forgotten that I, too, had Howard's handbook/atlas many years ago. Thanks for the overlay page photo, Foundationer - it really jogged my memory.

 

Best wishes.

Dan


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#71 Mike E.

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 01:51 PM

I like this one too. Used it often before the S&T pocket sky atlas came out. Definitely a keeper.

Thank You and Tara Nova for posting photos of " A Field Guide To The Stars and Planets ".  I'll have to search for this book. bow.gif   

It will be an interesting read, and would also go along with the books A Field Guide To The Animals and A Field Guide Of Rocks And Minerals, which were part of my Dad's book library.  smile.png  


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#72 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 02:08 PM

Of all the Astronomy books I have acquired, none have been more interesting than my two volume set of Hutchenson's - " Splendour of the Heavens ". Dated 1923.

 

Its an absolutely magnificent work by about a dozen contributors, with nearly a thousand pages and illustrations on almost every one of them; it covers a huge variety of Astronomical topics. smile.png

I'm finally back home and looked at my books. My copy of "Splendor of the Heavens" dates from 1931 and is also almost a thousand pages. Mine, however, is a single massive volume. Chuck Hards gave it to me when I was in Salt Lake City and was curious if it would throw my suitcase over the weight limit. Fortunately, I was driving.


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#73 bjkaras

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 05:04 PM

I read that book too.  It shows the Constellation patterns in such a good way.  I set up Stellarium to show H.A. Rey's constellation patterns.  wink.gif  

 

attachicon.gifThe Stars by H A Rey.JPG

That was one of them for me too. The others were Sky Observers Guide and Telescopes for Skygazing. I thought Rey’s book was great because of the way the constellations were laid out. My version also had the paper cover that you could use to make your own planisphere. I did that as a project with my dad, and used it for years until it wore out.


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#74 luxo II

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:35 PM

At a young age - maybe 6-7 - I was given a copy of Time-Life's "UNIVERSE"... I was fascinated by the ancient astronomy chapters, loved the photos ... but it took years for me to understand the section on 20th century astronomy, Einstein, Hubble and the rest.

 

In highschool physics classes, we had Jerry Waxman's "A Workbook for Astronomy" and did several of the experiments which I think got me thoroughly hooked, around the same time as we discovered the school had a beautiful 1880s 4.25" Cooke refractor.

 

Aperture fever followed, with the desire to build an 8" newtonian, armed with A.G. Ingalls ATM volumes I...III, and a copy of Texerau somewhere.

 

Two others I keep concerning ancient astronomy (they're rare) are the Dover reprint of Ptolemy's GEOGRAPHY and the selected essays of Otto Neugebauer, the latter being a rare scholar in the european tradition - a classics scholar, mathematician and professor of astronomy. The GEOGRAPHY is absolutely fascinating.

 

Many others since...


Edited by luxo II, 18 February 2021 - 11:36 PM.

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#75 rogue river art

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:24 PM

The very old Book of Knowledge dating from the 1930s -1940s. My dad had one volume starting with A and I found astronomy. It had a few paragraphs about astronomy and I got hooked. Must have read that ten times. I was about 7 years old then,1950.


Edited by rogue river art, 19 February 2021 - 08:25 PM.

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