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Howdy,

As the current cloud cover / rain / fog here seems to be continuing unabated (1 clear night in the last 2 weeks and counting!) I am currently trying to read some books on Astronomy so when there is a good night I will have some clue what to look at / what I am looking at! 

I have currently read:

"Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe" - Terence Dickinson

- I found this book very engaging, very accessible and a great overview of a bit of everything and a handy spiral bound format for using some of the included charts. 

"The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" - Terence Dickinson & Alan Dyer

- This was amazingly in depth, covered a lot of detail on telescopes, setups, choice, eyepeices etc as well as what to see and some history. It was perhaps a little more advanced than where I am in some areas but I am hoping subsequent re-reads with a bit more experience will let me get more out of it / use it as reference.

"Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope – and How to Find Them" - Guy Consolmagno & Dan M Davis

- Highly recommended on every astronomy board for beginners and for good reason, it is packed with well detailed sky maps of various sights as well as ratings for suitability for using  binoculars / small refractors / dobs. It also shows what you are likely see in the telescope view and so help temper the expectations and hopefully help prevent beginners being disappointed with what they see. I haven't had a chance to use this book in the field yet but I am looking forward to it!

To that end I am curious what books people would recommend to keep up some interest whilst the wait goes on?

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After scouring various forums / best lists I also have the following on my list as potentials (though I appreciate some are just star maps rather than reading material)

- "Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders" - Robert Bruce Thompson & Barbara Fritchman

- "Astronomy Hacks: Tips and Tools for observing the Night Sky" - Robert Bruce Thompson & Barbara Fritchman

- "Stars & Planets: The most complete guide to the Stars, Planets, Galaxies, and Solar System" - Ian Ridpath & Wil Tirion

- "The Cambridge Star Atlas" - Wil Tirion

- "The Cambridge Photographic Star Atlas" - Axel Mellinger, Ronald Stoyan

- "Philips 2021 Stargazing Month-By-Month Guide" - Heather Couper, Nigel Henbest

- "The Stars: A New Way to See Them" - H A Rey

- "Collins Stargazing: Beginners guide to astronomy" - Royal Observatory Greenwich & Radmila Topalovic

- "50 Things to see with a small telescope" - John A Read

- "The Practical Astronomer" - DK 

- "100 Things to see in the night sky" - Dean Regas

- Moongazing: Beginners guide to exploring the moon - Royal Observatory Greenwich & Tom Kerss

Edited by wibblefish
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27 minutes ago, jambouk said:

If you’ve read those books you are already well equipped.

What exactly do you want to learn more about? 

As I am new to all this and the nights seem very few and far between at present so I guess am trying to find some books that will peak my interest in what's out there whilst I wait and help to give me some confidence to be able to navigate / know what I am seeing to make the most of the times I am able to get out with the telescope. If the ones I have currently read are the most useful at this stage I will just re-read them :D

I do think a lot of what I am currently struggling with will actually be resolved more practice, familiarizing myself with the telescope controls as well as being able to work out what the different stars are and where with reference to star maps - TLAO looks perfect for this (I use my phone app at present and while its fantastic I feel like it might be a bit of a crutch!). I also find it hard to differentiate star magnitudes / colours of celestial object at present and navigate off of known "bright stars" to where I want to go but I suspect itll come with experience!

Edited by wibblefish
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I don’t think there is any harm Re-reading what you have.

I love this book which is old but still pertinent:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astronomy-Explained-Gerald-North-1997-08-08/dp/B01K0S8292/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=astronomy+gerald+north&qid=1608111660&sr=8-3

The other thing to do is to use software like Stellarium and set the time and date to your location, and just learn the names of the very brightest stars, and the names of the constellations they reside in. The accompany this, there is an even older book, another of my favourites, written just about the nature, cultural significance and physics of the 21 brightest stars in the night sky:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brilliant-Stars-FRAS-Patrick-Moore/dp/0304349038
 

James

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I see that you got a 90/660 refractor recently, and a very nice kit at that.

I have a copy of "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide", and enjoyed it.  It was damaged some years later, along with a lot of other books I had. 

These days I like to read these types of books on astronomy...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=patrick+moore&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=1

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@jambouk appreciated, Ill add them to my list! I expect much rereading will happen 😎 Good idea on the app side I had forgotten you could switch dates around will have to have a play.

@Alan64 I was fortunate to get it before the xmas rush though it was a bit of a hit and hope as I couldn’t find any reviews. It seems to be good so far (at least to my inexperienced self!), it would be interesting to know what a more experienced person makes of it though. Thanks for the link, yes I probably should read some by Patrick Moore, lots of positive reviews on his books being quite accessible.

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  • 7 months later...
On 14/12/2020 at 07:01, wibblefish said:

Howdy,

As the current cloud cover / rain / fog here seems to be continuing unabated (1 clear night in the last 2 weeks and counting!) I am currently trying to read some books on Astronomy so when there is a good night I will have some clue what to look at / what I am looking at! 

I have currently read:

"Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe" - Terence Dickinson

- I found this book very engaging, very accessible and a great overview of a bit of everything and a handy spiral bound format for using some of the included charts. 

 

I'm reading this book now and enjoying it.

Agreed it is very accessible and engaging! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 16/12/2020 at 15:40, Alan64 said:

I see that you got a 90/660 refractor recently, and a very nice kit at that.

I have a copy of "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide", and enjoyed it.  It was damaged some years later, along with a lot of other books I had. 

These days I like to read these types of books on astronomy...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=patrick+moore&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=1

After reading this I've just pre-ordered the 4th Edition of the Backyard Astronomers Guide, cheers all.

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10 minutes ago, NorfolkGazer said:

After reading this I've just pre-ordered the 4th Edition of the Backyard Astronomers Guide, cheers all.

No doubt it has come a long way, updated, since my copy from the early 1990s; 1992 if I'm not mistaken.

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