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Recommendation- book for lunch break for Newbie

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#1 KurkaWodna

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 05:08 AM

Looking for a good book about sky targets(that i can later check with my 100m refractor) to read at lunch break. Like history of discovery/background, something that is "more of a book" then guide about picking telescope or finding targets.

 

"NightWatchwaytogo.gif" , "Turn left at Orionwaytogo.gif"  <-- done reading

 

- About sky target or just good story

- Can be ordered on Amazon or online shop in Europe

- Smaller then A4 format


Edited by KurkaWodna, 24 January 2022 - 05:09 AM.


#2 Douglas Matulis

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 10:02 AM

I would suggest getting copy of the 3 volume set entitled Burnham's Celestial Handbook, out of print and some astrophysical data may be dated some.  However, it is a classic and all who have a set  love it and refer to it often.  They are readily available here on CloudyNights or most on-line book stores.

 

For a more modern perspective, start your collection of Annals of the Deep Sky available from Sky & Telescope and dealers on both sides of the pond.

 

Another suggestion is Binocular Astronomy by Craig Crossen & Wil Tirion.  It has a nice mix of current science and some historical perspective. Also available from Sky & Telescope and dealers on both sides of the pond.

 

There are others, but these are what I have and what come to mind.


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#3 Look at the sky 101

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 10:09 AM

The backyard astronomer's guide 4ed .


Edited by Look at the sky 101, 24 January 2022 - 06:20 PM.

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#4 cildarith

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 10:58 AM

Burnham's Celestial Handbook (3 Volumes).


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#5 BrentKnight

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 12:25 PM

Stephen O'Meara's Deep-Sky Companions are usually a fun read.  There are 5 titles in the series and they usually can be found used.

 

Deep-Sky Companions


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#6 astro744

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 03:03 PM

Burnham’s (3 Vol) is also available as an e-pub from Dover Books on Astronomy in Apple Books format.


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#7 Knasal

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 06:00 PM

The backward astronomer guide 4ed .

Not sure I’d want guidance from a backward astronomer, but the Backyard Astronomer’s Guide (4th Ed.) would be a good investment. Yep.

 

Kev


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#8 Look at the sky 101

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 06:21 PM

Not sure I’d want guidance from a backward astronomer, but the Backyard Astronomer’s Guide (4th Ed.) would be a good investment. Yep.

 

Kev

Sorry,  the translator was on strike.  lol.gif


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#9 desertstars

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 07:11 PM

Not much for target selection, but a fine read when you take a break from the work of the day.

 

Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer by Leslie C. Peltier


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#10 BrentKnight

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 08:59 PM

Not much for target selection, but a fine read when you take a break from the work of the day.

 

Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer by Leslie C. Peltier

Yeah...Or Ken Fulton's The Light-Hearted Astronomer - if you can find a copy.

 

Or maybe even Mr. Olcott's Skiessmile.gif


Edited by BrentKnight, 24 January 2022 - 09:01 PM.

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#11 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:03 AM

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook is amazing. Starlight Nights by Leslie Peltier is also a fantastic classic.


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#12 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:04 AM

Yeah...Or Ken Fulton's The Light-Hearted Astronomer - if you can find a copy.

 

Or maybe even Mr. Olcott's Skiessmile.gif

Light Hearted was a classic I’ll never forget.


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#13 Corcaroli78

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 07:08 AM

 

Another suggestion is Binocular Astronomy by Craig Crossen & Wil Tirion.  It has a nice mix of current science and some historical perspective. Also available from Sky & Telescope and dealers on both sides of the pond.

 

 

+1 Binocular Astronomy by Crossen and Tirion.  Sky Vistas (by Crossen) is also a very good option with up to date information


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#14 geovermont

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 08:56 AM

Phil Harrington's Touring the Universe Through Binoculars is good for a lot more than just binoculars. Lot's of those targets are very appropriate for your scope as well (and binoculars are a great supplement/substitute for your scope).


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#15 desertstars

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 10:02 AM

Yeah...Or Ken Fulton's The Light-Hearted Astronomer - if you can find a copy.

 

Or maybe even Mr. Olcott's Skiessmile.gif

One of those is very easy to find, these days. wink.gif


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#16 turtle86

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 11:03 AM

Phil Harrington's Touring the Universe Through Binoculars is good for a lot more than just binoculars. Lot's of those targets are very appropriate for your scope as well (and binoculars are a great supplement/substitute for your scope).

 

Harrington's The Deep Sky is also excellent.


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#17 jcj380

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 11:06 AM

"What Star?" by Brian Jones. 

 

It focuses on individual constellations with some notes about the brightest stars in a constellation - a little history, magnitude, spectral type, distance from earth, etc. - and includes brighter DSOs.  Some nice DSO pics. A few finder-like charts.

 

I like it for light reading that doesn't go deeply into astrophysics - I have regular textbooks for that.


Edited by jcj380, 25 January 2022 - 11:15 AM.


#18 raa

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:16 PM

Looking for a good book about sky targets(that i can later check with my 100m refractor) to read at lunch break. Like history of discovery/background, something that is "more of a book" then guide about picking telescope or finding targets.

 

"NightWatchwaytogo.gif" , "Turn left at Orionwaytogo.gif"  <-- done reading

 

- About sky target or just good story

- Can be ordered on Amazon or online shop in Europe

- Smaller then A4 format

I prefer sandwiches for lunch break, less chewy

 

Yours

 

Reductio Ad Absurdum

 

raa

 

; )

 

If it's still around, try Joseph Ashbrook's "Astronomical Scrapbook", some observing history you'd like in that.  As it's a collection of his sky and telescope articles over many years, from classic era S&T, each chapter will be discrete and probably doable in one or two lunch breaks.  Probably cheap second hand.

 

If I read in a communal area at work (instead of going for a walk or falling asleep on the comfy sofa) I'd put my book in a brown paper cover.  Can't stand being nagged about astrology or UFOs or aliens.  I'd rather people thought I was reading something unsavoury hidden behind a plain brown cover, which ironically would likely garner more respect.


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#19 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:59 PM

Binocular Astronomy 1st edition by Craig Crossen as well as Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen are masterpieces. Craig had informed me he had nothing to do with the 2nd edition, so out of respect, I only use the 1st edition as it his work. Craig is a wonderful guy I've had several exchanges with in the past and he does chime in here on CN from time to time and for me it's a great honor. Were it not for his amazing work, my knowledge of rich field observation would be in the dumps. We are fortunate to have had such amazing mentors like him. Robert Burnham Jr. was a huge influence to Craig Crossen and myself as well. Craig even credits Burnham Jr. in his own guidebooks and thanks him.

 

I'll be posting detailed videos on each of these these books very shortly, hopefully by mid Feb which will have very few if any subscribers because I already know most enthusiasts don't care about this kind of information. IMO, observing guides should be cherished and used with great attention and respect because they are written by masters who really understand the night sky in unique and unusual ways and the information for the most part is excellent, granted some astrophysical information changes over time BUT, the most important thing is they teach you what questions to ask yourself. Burnham Jr. and Craig have an extremely unique writing style that allows the reader to actually observe the night sky in three dimensions. NOT two!

 

That means when you stare up, you can actually visualize that our solar system is slightly perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. This is why the zodiacal light slashes through our edge-on perspective of the Milky Way. You learn what the apex of the Sun's way is as well. This is basically the direction our solar system is headed. Whenever I give public lectures on the night sky, I always want to help others understand their place in the Milky Way. To me, observation isn't just about looking at something just because it's there in the eyepiece. To me, it's appreciating more about the nature of what it is and where it is, relative to us as earthlings. 

 

This is why I've always appreciated visual observation because even the most subtle bits of light are very special due to the deeper nature of what and where they are, relative to us. IMO, much of todays enthusiasts are allowing themselves to be controlled by just the physical appearance of things and nothing deeper than that. For example, if something is faint, they are not moved or astonished by it, but if you talk with many of the veteran deep sky observers, they truly get it and they understand and appreciate what some of the faintest and most subtle objects are. That to me is what makes an observer see and appreciate a much deeper meaning. I certainly love and appreciate the beautiful pictures from Hubble and a select few of astro-imagers, but it's important to me to keep a level head about both perspectives and sadly it's just so one sided these days and there's so much more to observation than a picture. Sadly, we live in an era where most just don't care about that.

 

Both Burnham Jr and Crossen understood this in spades. Sadly, we are now having so much technology thrown at our industry that many are losing their own site of understanding the astrophysical nature of the universe around us. I have a great respect when technology is used to understand the universe better, but not just a picture to entice the onlooker. That is, to sit quietly and really contemplate your own position from the smallest atom to as far outward as we can physically see. Anyway, sorry to rant, but whenever the discussion of guidebooks comes up, I have a great respect for great writers rather than just a bunch of fancy, dressed up images that are not even realistic which try to entice the onlooker rather than appreciate their deeper meaning. I always get defensive whenever others try to criticize Burnham Jr because I always feel they are not understanding the deeper intention of his masterful work and instead criticize it just because astrophysical information changes. Burnham Jr clearly stated himself that astrophysical data will always change every few years and to continue to update it.

 

So, I always feel compelled to defend him because he's not alive to defend himself from some of the absurd ridicule from others who don't respect or see his deeper meanings. Burnham's Celestial Handbook remains and will always remain a timeless classic from its old typewriter font all the way to its crude astro-photos by todays standards because those pictures were designed to convey a story about the nature of these objects, not just eye candy. Whenever I see diffraction spikes, imperfections or halos in Burnham's photos, I love it because I am reminded of an author that was interested more in getting YOU, the reader, interested in the deeper meaning of something that's out there. Some things have changed yes, but did you ever know a certain star or object existed in a particular constellation or part of the sky? Well now you do, and if you want to know what has changed then you can look it up on the internet, but at least he teaches you what to look at in a far more meaningful and deeper way. 


Edited by Daniel Mounsey, 26 January 2022 - 06:26 AM.

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#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:55 PM

Harrington's The Deep Sky is also excellent.

In addition to The Deep Sky: An Introduction, I can recommend Phil Harrington's Star Watch - The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Finding, Observing, and Learning about Over 125 Celestial Objects.

http://philharrington.net/sw12.htm

https://www.amazon.c...books,73&sr=1-1

http://philharrington.net/swtch.htm

 

https://www.amazon.c...books,69&sr=1-4

 

His Cosmic Challenges - The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs includes a large variety of difficult targets in the solar system and the universe beyond for more advanced observers.

 

http://philharrington.net/cc01.htm

 

https://www.amazon.c...books,81&sr=1-2

https://www.cloudyni...l-harrington-s/


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#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 05:23 PM

Sue French's Celestial Sampler: 60 Small-Scope Tours for Starlit Nights and Deep-Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe with Sky and Telescope's Sue French are two other books to consider.  The former is out of print, unfortunately, like many other excellent books similar in nature.

 

https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/1931559287

 

https://www.amazon.c...h/dp/1554077931


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#22 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 06:33 PM

Dave, those are great books too.



#23 KurkaWodna

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 03:07 PM

Thanks everyone ! Im going check everything and make a list what to buy next hmm.gif . Some entries are amazing like :

 

 

His Cosmic Challenges - The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs includes a large variety of difficult targets in the solar system and the universe beyond for more advanced observers.


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#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 12:54 PM

Speaking of Deep-Sky Wonders, here's the "original" version, which is also out-of-print.

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/093334693X



#25 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 10:56 PM

Speaking of Deep-Sky Wonders, here's the "original" version, which is also out-of-print.

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/093334693X

 

Dave this too was a nice classic. The only thing I found a bit of a bummer was that during Scott’s era, he tended to put more attention on popular objects commonly seen in many of today’s companions where is Sue French really put a great deal more emphasis on some very unusual and unique objects like stars and asterisms. After realizing I’d seen just about everything and more than what Scott had in that sources, I was actually surprised, so I ended up returning it. Regardless, it’s still a classic and good source I would highly recommend for others who still want to dig deeper.




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