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Stormwatch

Your favourite astro books?

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I've read Patrick Moore's "New Guide to the Planets" which I loved. And also Dava Sobel's book about the planet's which was alright although not a patch on Sir Paddy's IMO.

But I'd like to read something else about the planets now - any ideas?

I'd also appreciate general recommendations for astro books, but please - don't say "Nightwatch" or "Turn Left at Orion".

I'm after something more in depth than those, but not so in depth you need a physics degree to understand it!

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I just read Bang! by Sir Patrick, Brian May and Chris Lintott

A great book imo though the first chapter was a tad out of my depth lol

Paul

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Moore on the Moon is pretty good imho.

Can't say I have read much else, I lack the concentration to sit and read (though I wish I didn't)

Kain

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I've read Patrick Moore's "New Guide to the Planets" which I loved. And also Dava Sobel's book about the planet's which was alright although not a patch on Sir Paddy's IMO.

But I'd like to read something else about the planets now - any ideas?

I'd also appreciate general recommendations for astro books, but please - don't say "Nightwatch" or "Turn Left at Orion".

I'm after something more in depth than those, but not so in depth you need a physics degree to understand it!

So "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawkin is out then? :D

Ron.

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Starlight Nights by Leslie Peltier.

A wonderful book about Peltier's lifelong journey as an amateur, including his telescopes and observatories.

was out of print in recent years but now available again.

from £5.55 on amazon.co.uk

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Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Covers a little more subject matter than astronomy (astronomy is the main subject) but it's a cracking read about the history of the universe, science and civilisation.

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'UNIVERSE, the definitive visual guide'. Published by Dorling Kindersley. General editor Martin Rees.

I find this book an excellent read and a good general reference for things astronomical. Loaded with good quality images it makes an impressive 'Coffee table Book'. There are a few errors,incorrectly labeled constellations for example but that adds to the fun as you can play 'spot the mistake' and impress your friends with your boundless knowledge! :D

CW

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I've got a couple:

TV Astronomer by Sir Patrick Moore - I got my copy signed by the man himself when he still used a pen for autographs. It's basically the history of The Sky at Night programme.

The Light Hearted Astronomer by Ken Fulton - Only a little paperback published by the same people who published "Astronomy" magazine in 1980's. It's an honest, funny and slightly off the wall look at astronomy, ameteur astronomers and equipment.

John

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'UNIVERSE, the definitive visual guide'. Published by Dorling Kindersley. General editor Martin Rees.

CW

I've got that book, its a very good read. I like to to dip into it randomly when I've got an hour or so spare.

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I'm not sure it's my favourite, but my Sister bought me 'Cosmos: a field guide' as a thank you for helping her move a couple of weeks ago. A weighty coffee table tomb with loads of images processed within an inch of their lives with a bit of info in it. Very, very pretty book.

The one I've read the most is 'Stargazing with a Telescope' by Robin Scargell as it covers pretty much all the bases for newbs and as it was on my bedside table until last night (I've lent it to my Brother-in-law), it would normally get a few pages scanned before bedtime.

Tony..

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My favorite is "First On The Moon". :D

Described as a 'voyage', it's an exclusive story by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, written with Life magazine's Gene Farmer (senior editor) and Dora Jane Hamblin (staff writer)... epilogue by Arthur C. Clarke.

It's not just about technical NASA stuff although there's plenty of that, including lots of quoted transmissions.. fabulous bit of history, that. The book's also about the experiences of the astronauts' families, and everyone involved with "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth".

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Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Covers a little more subject matter than astronomy (astronomy is the main subject) but it's a cracking read about the history of the universe, science and civilisation.

If i remember right that was the name of he's TV debut, he had just the right voice and technique for that i found it absolutely mesmerising.

Jeff.

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So "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawkin is out then? :D

Ron.

Actually I read and thoroughly enjoyed that book! Not TOO in depth although his writing style was a bit dry.

"Moore on the Moon" I have and enjoyed a lot. "Bang!" I got free for subscribing to SAN (actually, I got "Moore on the Moon" for the same reason, great people those S@N guys!).

I'm having a look on Amazon for some of these other recommendations.

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Over the years I have enjoyed a lot of books on astronomy.However the last 2 I picked up were both a great read, both by PM

Astronomy with a budget telescope( my scope is very budget!!) and

Mars. This is one of the best books on the subject I have ever read.

For your info.I have just bought a couple of astro.paperbacks in "The Works."

They were 2 for a fiver!Always worth checking this shop out.

Regards to all ,

Pete

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Reminded me that my first "serious" book was "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets" by D.H.Menzel. Doubtless thoroughly outdated, but the photographic charts of the moon and Constellations (complete with H.A.Rey lines!) fired my imagination as no other book at the time. :)

I learn, to slight chagrin, they are displayed as "Historic Exhibits" now! :D

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"The Planet Observers Handbook" by Fred W. Price.

Now in it's second edition, I believe. I have a copy of the first edition and it is very good - about as 'in-depth' as most people would want to get, without working at JPL.

Lee.

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The 2 I'd mention are 'The Night Sky: Discovering astronomy from Alhpa Centauri to Quasars' by Giles Sparrow, and 'Liftoff: The story of Americas adventures in space' by astronaut Michael Collins.

'The Night Sky' is a good toilet book, in that it is one of those big and bright books with lots of illustrations and colourful diagrams and spends each double-page spread covering one subject. Each visit to the loo you can read up on a single subject and get an overview of what it is. It covers hundereds of things like star classifications, quasars, galaxy types, RR Lyrae stars, Wolf Rayett stars, T Tauri stars, black holes, etc, etc. Not an in-depth read, but still interesting in small doses.

'Liftoff' is Michael Collins account of the history of American space history from the beginnings up until about 1988 and the aftermath of Challenger. It starts with his own account of his trip to the moon as the CSM pilot of Apollo 11, and then goes on to give first hand accounts of lots of real space history and the people behind it. What makes the difference is that he was there for much of it and knew the people behind the news, and it's an excellent read for those interested in space travel. His accounts of the Gemini missions are stuff you never really hear about these days, but they played a huge part in developing the technology and techniques needed for the more famous Apollo missions. Definitely a recommended read.

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Must admit I have a few books as such but in book form I collect star maps, I know that after a while they all start to look the same but I got a copy of the Atlas2000, must be 3 foot by 2 and a half feet and it is awesome, just having something that big on the floor to look at gives hours of pleasure. For a book, well I have the 3 copies of Burnhams celestial guides which are very good for specific information use and my nicest one is visions of the universe by Dr Raman Prinja, some very good photographs.

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'The Night Sky' is a good toilet book, in that it is one of those big and bright books with lots of illustrations and colourful diagrams and spends each double-page spread covering one subject.

Yeah, but that shiny paper isn't very absorbent though :shock: Oh sorry, that's not what you meant :wink:

My favourite is the "Deep sky observer's guide" by Neil Bone and published by Philip's. It has chapters on all the usual categories of DSO's, (e.g. galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters, planetary nebuale, etc.) explains what they are and then lists a number of each that can be seen by a small telescope. Jam packed with useful stuff including lots of tables listing DSO's by constellation, magnitiude, season and so on. Dirt cheap too (Amazon had one for £6.99).

Martin

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'The Messier Objects' by Stephen O'Meara

Cracking observer's reference book. I haven't had chance to read through it cover to cover yet - just had a quick read of various bits. Looking forward to reading it properly when I find the time.

I got the follow up books too: The Caldwell Objects and Hidden Treasures - should keep me busy for a while :wink:

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I think thats the beauty of those books (I have the Caldwell one as well), you can either use them as a reference, dip into them object by object or just read them. Is the 'Hidden Treasures' book worth buying?

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I think thats the beauty of those books (I have the Caldwell one as well), you can either use them as a reference, dip into them object by object or just read them. Is the 'Hidden Treasures' book worth buying?

Well it completes the set :wink: which is why I bought it. It's twice the thickness of the first book but covers another 109 objects not included in the first two books - according to the author all are visible in a 4-inch refractor (as are all the objects in the first two books) but he does have access to exceptionally dark skies unlike most of us and his observational skills seem second to none.

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