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If anyone out there is interested in an amazing read, an adventure spanning a century, and an archeological find that changes our understanding of technological history then this book is a must,
Many have surely heard of the Antikythera Mechanism, no longer is it a mystery ripe with whimsical Alien visitation theories, but a verified and accepted game changer when it comes to understanding our technological evolution through observations of the heavens.
The latest efforts, to crack its secrets, involved scholars at the top of their fields from around the world, and an intrepid company from Britain at the forefront of X-ray technology. the mystery has been largely cracked and results surrounding this astonishing discovery have been published in the worlds most prestigious publications.
This book is an amazing journey, chronicling it’s discovery, and the century afterwards where many have tried to unlock its true purpose, it reads like an adventure because it is. Rarely do I ready 170 pages in one sitting, I received this 300 page book on Friday and was done Sunday,
It not only tells the story of the effort to crack the mechanisms mysteries, but also does a phenomenal job of explaining how ancient civilizations observed and kept records of happenings in the night sky. It’s a journey through Babylon, Ancient Greece, Roman Empire to name a few.
Every amateur astronomer would love this book I guarantee, and no, I didn’t write it lol or benefit from sales (wish I did), I’m just passionate about what stirs me, and love to share my experiences.
I'm off to Kelling Heath Star Party again in a few weeks and I'm having a sort out of stuff to sell at the event. I'll be on pitch 167 (the new area behind the loos on the yellow field) from Wednesday 20th September.
Amongst possibly a few other things, I'm planning to have the following items for sale
Astrotrac (Mk1) with custom polar scope and battery pack. This has given me years of faithful service, but I've realised that, taking only 5 minutes subs with a 50mm lens, I just don't need the accuracy this lovely bit of kit can deliver. I've downgraded to a secondhand iOptron Skytracker which can be mounted on my existing birdwatching/camera tripod and hence take up less room when we go away.
This is the early Mk1 version of the Astrotrac. I works really well and comes with a custom-made polar scope consisting of a EQ5 polar scope mounted in a custom adaptor. It also comes with a plastic box for housing 10 x 1.2v rechargeable AA batteries and the original power lead.
The latest version of the Astrotrac costs >£400 + >£100 for the polar scope. I'm asking £295.
Lunar and planetary webcam user guide - Martin Mobberley - £4
Norton Star Atlas (18th Edition) - Ian Ridpath - £4
A selection of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines from the last two years - FREE to a good home
Buying second hand copies of old astronomy books online is great fun, and what surprises me is how often they have been autographed by the author seemingly unknown to the retailer. Patrick Moore seems to have signed thousands, but I also have got books by other authors who have left their mark; Clyde Tombaugh, David Levy etc. One arrived in the post yesterday which I'd picked up for £2.81 and was signed by Fred Hoyle - it's just lovely to think he once held this copy of my book.
Over the last year I have become increasingly interest in Solar observing and have acquired a Herschel Wedge, a PST and a 50mm Lunt.
I saw this book recently at the Norwich Astronomical Society where a talk was being given on Solar observing, it seemed to cover what I wanted to learn more about so bought it via Amazon, £21.99
Technically this book is excellent, it covers the usual subjects of what the Sun is, how it works etc. Then it goes onto the more interesting subjects such as white light observing, how to classify and record solar activity. There are chapters on chromospheric and Ha observing as well as photography. All dealt with in an easy reading manner. So 5/5 for content.
This is a book published by Springer and their prices are not cheap and true to Springer form the quality of print is vary variable. Some pages the print is nice and black, umbra like, others more penumbral and grayer and more difficult to read. Springer : Don't you have anyone checking quality?
So 2/5 for print quality v price.
The New Cosmos - David J Eicher: CUP ISBN 978-1-107-06885-8
I picked this book up at the Cambridge Univ Press book shop in Cambridge just before Christmas intending to read it over the holiday period. That did not happen.
David Eicher writes for the Astronomy magazine in the US and this rather nice hardback tome is a series of 17 articles on the latest science with regards to many astronomical topics.
It starts with an intro 'The awakening of astronomy' and then proceeds outwards from Earth, 'How the Sun will die', End of Life on earth', How the Moon formed' It covers both planetary and deep space.
Excellent articles on the latest science of the Milky Way, how big is the Universe and then onto Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Black Holes.
Each chapter is stand alone and the book can be picked up and put down, the chapters cover a short history of the subject and then introduce the latest science and thinking.. There are some beautiful illustrations and photos.
There is just about something for everyone and I would give it a 9/10.