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Astro Books

  • Neill
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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

Neill
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15 years 2 months ago #54959

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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.

Seanie.
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15 years 2 months ago #54975

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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.
Cheers
Trevor
15 years 2 months ago #54982

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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.
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15 years 2 months ago #54988

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  • johnflannery
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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.

atb,

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
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15 years 2 months ago #54991

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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.
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15 years 3 weeks ago #59040

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Astro Books

I have the exact same book, the Collins Gem guide, I got mine in 1989 and is my no.1 observing book, it is great at the scope but I've added alot of galaxies and other deepsky objects to its maps, its size is great for holding with 1 hand at the eyepeice. I find a bigger atlas cumbersome and needing a table.
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15 years 3 weeks ago #59056

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Replied by pj30something on topic Re: Astro Books

I think the more books you have the better. There is always something in one that you didnt read in another and think to yourself "Hey i didnt know that".

My newest book is "Astronomy"by Ian Ridpath. It covers just about everything. It has lots of basic sections on "how to" and "what to" and as many again on astro physics etc. Star charts of both the north and south hems.............and a celestial calendar of events right upto 2015.
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15 years 3 weeks ago #59064

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Replied by ftodonoghue on topic Re: Astro Books

I have the exact same book, the Collins Gem guide, I got mine in 1989 and is my no.1 observing book, it is great at the scope but I've added alot of galaxies and other deepsky objects to its maps, its size is great for holding with 1 hand at the eyepeice. I find a bigger atlas cumbersome and needing a table.


Me too, Still have it as well. Its a cracker. its still being published but under a different title maybe "stars" I picked one up last year for a mate.
Cheers
Trevor
15 years 3 weeks ago #59074

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Astro Books

I have the exact same book, the Collins Gem guide, I got mine in 1989 and is my no.1 observing book


Same here... funny how you keep losing the darn thing and it keeps popping up unexpectedly from time to time! Mine went missing for 3 years, moved house in the mean time, then a year after the move I found it in a box that was one of the last to be unpacked! :lol: Sure is a little 'gem'.
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15 years 2 weeks ago #59179

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Replied by pj30something on topic Re: Astro Books

You can get this book online for as little as €4-5 . I googled it the other night and found it easily enough. The name has changed from The Night Sky to Stars.............but its the same book.

www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9780060818661
Paul C
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15 years 2 weeks ago #59319

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  • johnflannery
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Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Astro Books

I've 3 copies of the GEM book (one in the car, one at home, and one in a grab-bag of observing gear). It's excellent! It's been challenged somewhat by Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas but the Sky & T atlas lacks the description of objects that the GEM guide has.

I'd also look out for a book called "Moon, Mars, and Venus" by Antonin Rukl on www.bookfinder.com If the author sounds familiar then he is! This book is the original pocket-sized version of the larger Atlas of the Moon that Sky and T publish. You can get it quite cheaply still and I've bought about 25 copies over the last decade to give to various people. Again, I've a couple of copies still scattered about the place.

Erich Karkoschka's "Observers Sky Atlas" is another great pocket book. Tables of about 250 deep sky objects are beside a series of probably the cleanest sky charts I've seen in any observing book. The star sizes are binned in such a way that it is very easy to star hop to stuff. I used his map of the Virgo Cluster to pick off the Virgo Messier galaxies with ease. The book is in the third edition now but www.bookfinder.com might let you search for earlier and cheaper ones. The only limitation is the number of objects it contains but these are ones well suited for binoculars and small scopes.

atb,

John
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15 years 2 weeks ago #59395

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Replied by Dread on topic Re: Astro Books

I've got a copy of Nortons 2000.0 Star Atlas and Reference Handbook 18th Ed. published 1989 and edited by Ian Ridpath. This used to be raved about but I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned so far. Has it gone out of date, out of fashion or some other out?
Down with vwls.

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15 years 2 weeks ago #59452

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Replied by Euronymous on topic Re: Astro Books

I'm finding I use less and less of my books now anyway. A laptop and a copy of Stellarium is all I really need, maybe "The Sky" for regions of sky with a lot of stars when trying to find something faint. Just sit the laptop on the kitchen table in red light mode and run in and out, or bring it in the car if I go somewhere else.
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15 years 2 weeks ago #59455

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Astro Books

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned so far. Has it gone out of date, out of fashion or some other out?

Neill was on about book easy to use in the field, I find Nortons and the Cambridge very good but hard at the scope as I find I need a table for them due to their size.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
15 years 2 weeks ago #59472

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Replied by pj30something on topic Re: Astro Books

Just ordered a copy of Turn Left At Orion. I'll pick it up on Friday. I had no idea that its a hardback book. Sounds more like a coffee table book then a portable guide!?!

What size is it?

Its ok i found it:

Size: 276 x 219 mm
Weight: 1.11 kg

Bit chunky to stick in your pocket,LOL.
Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA
15 years 1 week ago #60371

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