Astro Books

16 years 3 months ago #54959 by Neill
Astro Books was created by Neill
Hi all,

Looking to buy a good book to aid my observing, something with practical advise, how to find objects etc. Was thinking about Turn Left at Orion, is it any good? Comments? Also looking to get a good star atlas, any good ones - Cambridge, Phillips, any other? Would need to be practical for outdoor use not just for indoor reference.

Thanks in Advance


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16 years 3 months ago #54975 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Astro Books
You're opening up a can of worms now Neill! There are tonnes of very resourceful books, charts, and atlases out there. Some old, some new... some in print, others defunkt.

Me? I gave away my copy of the Collins MiniGEM Series - Astronomy about 7 years ago. The thing fit in your pocket, and had lots of atlas charts for near deep sky objects and the constellations. Atlas? I have the Phillips Star Alas 2000 (John Cox & Richard Monkhouse). It is petty worn, got it in 1993, and goes down to stellar Mag +8, but is the bees knees for the size of it i.e. helping you chart your way around.


Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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16 years 3 months ago #54982 by ftodonoghue
Replied by ftodonoghue on topic Re: Astro Books
Hi Neill

If you are looking for a handy atlas for use with binoculars or telescope I would recommend sky and telescope's pocket atlas. it has charts to mag 7.6 and 1800 deep sky objects. I find it is almost the only atlas I use in the field.


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16 years 3 months ago #54988 by lunartic_old
Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: Astro Books
Hey Neill

I have the Night Sky Observers Guide, it lists the constellations individually and give separate lists of double stars, variable stars and excellent information on deep sky objects, including descriptions as seen through various sized scopes and photos and sketches.

What I did, it's a little time consuming, but worth it, I photocopied the pages and laminated them, placing them in a binder, that way they are unaffected by dew and moisture.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook

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16 years 3 months ago #54991 by johnflannery
Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Astro Books
Hi Neill,

Hope all is well and you've managed see Comet Holmes recently.

I'll second Trevor's recommendation on the Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas. Excellent publication and detailed enough for most uses. It goes down to magnitude 8.5 and the charts look very like Sky Atlas 2000.0 in design.

Also worth considering is Toshimi Taki's FREE printable star atlases at www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zs3t-tk/index.htm -- he has now added a double-star atlas. The beauty of these is you can print the pages you are interested in, bring them out observing, scribble all over them, and print a fresh set the next night 8-)

As Paul mentioned, the Night Sky Observers Guide is really, really good (a 3rd volume, covering the southern hemisphere sky, is almost complete I believe, and awaiting draft proposals with Willmann-Bell). Very detailed and maybe pitched at medium to large scopes.

What would be the ticket is Sue French's "Celestial Sampler". It's a compilation of her Deep Sky Wonders columns in Sky and Telescope and feature many excellent star hops. Add Turn Left at Orion to the mix and you have a nice starter set of deep sky books.

A really good way to compile star hops too is to go to sites such as the Saguaro Astronomy Club's who have a massive database of DSOs. Another resource is www.cloudynights.com who have an archive of star hop articles posted up each month.

Don't forget the Moon either! Rukl's atlas is excellent and should be bundled with Lacroix and Legrand's "Discover the Moon".

I guess once you get the book bug you won't stop :D Have a look at the deep-sky stuff in the SDAS library at www.southdublinastronomy.org/wiki/Library to get an idea of "what's out there".

Don't buy the Sky and Telescope publications from them btw! They charge a fortune for shipping (using Fedex for all foreign orders) so Amazon is a much cheaper bet.



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16 years 1 month ago #59040 by Euronymous
Replied by Euronymous on topic Re: Astro Books
I use Collins Gem - The Night Sky. It was bought in 1985 so I don't know if they still publish them. But it's an excellent little book, I've had it in my pocket all my life when I go outside to see the night sky. Highly recommended if you can find one.

Celestron C8-N (200mm reflector)
Carl Zeiss 10x50's
-Amateur Astronomer, photographer, guitarist, and beer drinker-

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