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Amateur astronomy books back at Cambridge?

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#26 kgb

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 03:58 PM

This book has much more depth than your run of the mill Messier observation book. It is a hardcover that is ~370 pages long. I encourage anyone inclined to discount this book on price alone to look at what it actually contains. It is a textbook of knowledge about one of the greatest lists in amateur astronomy.

#27 BrentKnight

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 05:05 PM

Here is the link.

 

https://www.cambridg...my Dec23_Global

 

And as often happens with Cambridge, the publication date has been pushed back a month.

Can't complain...gives me another month to save up for it!



#28 Starman1

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Posted 26 January 2024 - 04:27 PM

So is this an observing guide, an astrophysical analysis, a Messier biography, or what?

How will it improve on

Mallas & Kreimer  'The Messier Album'

or

Kenneth Glyn-Jones 'Messier's nebulae and star clusters'  (best biography I've read)

or

Stephen James O'Meara 'Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects'

or 

Antoine & Dalia Greun 'The Messier Catalog Workbook: A Complete guide to assist you on your quest of seeing and capturing all 110 Messier objects'

or

Ken Graun 'The Next Step: Finding and Viewing Messier's Objects'

or

'Observing the Messier Objects with a Small Telescope: In the Footsteps of a Great Observer'

 

Etc.

Not to mention the observing descriptions in the innumerable observing guides out there.

Or the various "Messier Marathon" books.

 

Good Grief!  For historical reasons, a book on the Messier objects is a valuable resource, but how many Messier books do we need? 

I just mentioned 6 of the 20+ I found on-line, and I didn't even include Stoyan's 1st edition.

They aren't even the "best" 110 of the top 500 deep sky objects.  I think we'd all agree on many others that should be in the list in the place of, say, M40 if we were going for the best 110 objects.

 

No offense to Ron Stoyan.  His book is excellent, I'm sure.

 

But we need a few more books that go beyond the Messiers, like:

https://www.rasc.ca/finest-ngc-objects

https://www.saguaroa...est-of-the-ngc/


Edited by Starman1, 26 January 2024 - 04:28 PM.

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#29 SNH

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Posted 26 January 2024 - 08:48 PM

So is this an observing guide, an astrophysical analysis, a Messier biography, or what?

How will it improve on

Mallas & Kreimer  'The Messier Album'

or

Kenneth Glyn-Jones 'Messier's nebulae and star clusters'  (best biography I've read)

or

Stephen James O'Meara 'Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects'

or 

Antoine & Dalia Greun 'The Messier Catalog Workbook: A Complete guide to assist you on your quest of seeing and capturing all 110 Messier objects'

or

Ken Graun 'The Next Step: Finding and Viewing Messier's Objects'

or

'Observing the Messier Objects with a Small Telescope: In the Footsteps of a Great Observer'

 

Etc.

Not to mention the observing descriptions in the innumerable observing guides out there.

Or the various "Messier Marathon" books.

 

Good Grief!  For historical reasons, a book on the Messier objects is a valuable resource, but how many Messier books do we need? 

I just mentioned 6 of the 20+ I found on-line, and I didn't even include Stoyan's 1st edition.

They aren't even the "best" 110 of the top 500 deep sky objects.  I think we'd all agree on many others that should be in the list in the place of, say, M40 if we were going for the best 110 objects.

 

No offense to Ron Stoyan.  His book is excellent, I'm sure.

 

But we need a few more books that go beyond the Messiers, like:

https://www.rasc.ca/finest-ngc-objects

https://www.saguaroa...est-of-the-ngc/

It compares best with O'Meara's DSC: The Messier Objects, except the information about each object is better laid out and the astrophysical information is extremely up-to-date. All those other books have outdated information in that respect.


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#30 SNH

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Posted 26 January 2024 - 09:01 PM

In your opinion Scott, will this one be the finest Messier book out there when released?  Are there topics, features you wish could have been included?

 

While I love images of objects, very few recent observing guides include any sketches.  I know the author does sketches (I've seen them in the interstellarum guide).  Will there be any of those in the book?

Thanks for asking, Brent. Honestly, I'm not going to be the best judge of "finest Messier book" because I've simply not read many of the pre-HST era books on the subject. That being said, I have a digital copy of Stoyan's first edition and keep turning towards it for its accurate information and well-labeled images. So, for me, if I can have a 2nd edition copy of O'Meara's and Stoyan's books on the Messier Objects...I'll be set for a long time.

 

I'm glad I caught him at the last moment before he sent the manuscript off because my specialty is knowing unique features in and around the Messier objects. So, I helped him there by either adding ones he wasn't aware of or correcting ones that he'd mislabeled. Can't say off the top of my head there's anything I wish he would've included except maybe labeled a few more member stars in M33...

 

As for sketches, Stoyan kept all his sketches from the 1st edition. I just checked and that edition only had sketches of nebulae and galaxies. So, no cluster sketches like O'Meara.

 

Scott H.


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#31 Starman1

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 12:35 AM

Excellent, as I knew it would be.

It might be the only Messier book you need in your library.



#32 Lee D

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 09:30 AM

 

This is a great resource for questions about what's in the first edition of the book. I looked at the cover and thought "Oh, I own that book!lol.gif " It survived a recent, fairly severe, family "library" downsizing. Apparently it's going for $370 used, online. I had no idea.

 

The first edition is a big book, 12.5"x10.5". The size and gorgeous color images make it coffee-table appropriate, but it also has a lot of useful information - not "coffee-table only". 



#33 Lee D

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 09:44 AM

Excellent, as I knew it would be.

It might be the only Messier book you need in your library.

The one major thing the first edition does not have is charts locating each object in the sky. If one wants to star-hop, or just locate Messier objects under a night sky, say with naked eye or with binoculars, this book is little help. But if you have almost any star atlas, you already have that covered in some way.



#34 kgb

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 09:59 AM

The one major thing the first edition does not have is charts locating each object in the sky. If one wants to star-hop, or just locate Messier objects under a night sky, say with naked eye or with binoculars, this book is little help. But if you have almost any star atlas, you already have that covered in some way.

The author does concede in the preface that the reader will need a planetarium program or accompanying star chart in order to locate the targets highlighted in the book.

Edited by kgb, 27 January 2024 - 09:59 AM.


#35 Starman1

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 11:48 AM

The author does concede in the preface that the reader will need a planetarium program or accompanying star chart in order to locate the targets highlighted in the book.

And I doubt any would use such a book in the field, anyway.

#36 BrentKnight

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 01:54 PM

SNIP...

 

No offense to Ron Stoyan.  His book is excellent, I'm sure.

 

But we need a few more books that go beyond the Messiers, like:

https://www.rasc.ca/finest-ngc-objects

https://www.saguaroa...est-of-the-ngc/

No way I would disagree with this sentiment, but at this point being an astro book lover I'll take any new good book that comes along...

 

And while the Messier list is probably the most well-known list of DSOs I don't see this new book being a huge bestseller - but it would very likely sell quite a few more copies than any other book about other lists of DSOs.


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#37 TayM57

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 12:25 PM

I have Malla's The Messier Album and it's the best book I have about the Messier objects because it's small and intended to be used as a reference book.

 

I also have Stoyan's Atlas of the Messier Objects. It's a coffee book table. Pretty pictures and extended information about each object. It's not intended to be used as a reference book. It's a nice book to sit down with and read. The sketches can be inconsistent, because some are black on white and some are black on white. Each object in Stoyan's Atlas of the Messier Objects has detailed information broken down into thee sections: History, Astrophysics, and Observation.



#38 SNH

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 09:15 PM

I have Malla's The Messier Album and it's the best book I have about the Messier objects because it's small and intended to be used as a reference book.

 

I also have Stoyan's Atlas of the Messier Objects. It's a coffee book table. Pretty pictures and extended information about each object. It's not intended to be used as a reference book. It's a nice book to sit down with and read. The sketches can be inconsistent, because some are black on white and some are black on white. Each object in Stoyan's Atlas of the Messier Objects has detailed information broken down into thee sections: History, Astrophysics, and Observation.

The truth is that Stoyan's drawings are white on black while most of the historical drawings are black on white.

 

Scott H.


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