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Book Project: Discovering Double Stars


Ags
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I have been working on a book about double stars for light-polluted skies for northern observers, but now that the book is available for download I am starting a new thread so I can put a link to the book into the opening post.

I have uploaded the first public version of the book for feedback. I would greatly appreciate hearing what people think of my efforts, and I am very open to making any suggested improvements.

I have not made the book available for print yet as I want it to accumulate a bit of feedback first. In terms of print formats, I am thinking about a spiral bound versions for budget color printing for use in the field, and a hardback version with premium color and some pretty pictures for my bookshelf.  EDIT: The first version of the book (version 2021.1) is now available as a print version from the below URL.

Note the the PDF is prepared for printing, meaning that blank pages have been inserted to ensure that overview charts start on even pages, so the facing odd page will be either the second part of the overview chart, or the first couple of stars from the overview chart. Of course an online-only PDF does not need the blank pages so I will get round to producing an online version as well.

Information about the book and download links are available from here. As you can see, my company Transtextuals does special editions of public domain English Lit books (definitely NOT a get-rich-quick scheme 🤣), this is our first astronomy book. 

https://transtextuals.web.app/discovering_doubles.html

cover_page.png.fe72162b178bf07b6ccb8f264488ab24.png

Edited by Ags
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Excellent job, I'd say that's very clearly and pleasingly set out,  with a good balance in information between help in finding the target,  and interesting information on what you are actually seeing.

I've not been that enamoured of double star observing so far ... you might just have spurred me into giving it another try 🙂

Kudos for making this a free to access PDF too.

Heather

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I have watched this from the off and can say its a fantastic piece of work, it would grace any Astronomers book shelf or reference I will certainly be getting one.

 You have made a real gem and I thank you for it.

Best wishes

Paul

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I am certainly greatly encouraged by the positive feedback! I have poured days and weeks into this one, and I can say that I have been finding the book helpful, but of course always a bit apprehensive about the wider reception 🤣

So thank you all for your kind comments.

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1 hour ago, Pixies said:

If I can make 1 suggestion: how about an index on the constellation name?

Thanks for the suggestion. I do index the doubles by constellation, but only giving page numbers not double names:

image.png.45a975b37812e1e091f76d50eee94bbe.png

Are you suggesting I add a section to the front of the book listing doubles by their constellation? It is quite feasible, in fact I could list the doubles and their aesthetic description at the front. I'll look at adding that tonight.

 

Edited by Ags
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This is wonderful, I love doubles and will surely want a copy of this book, I love the format and charts. This would be great if it were available in some sort of weatherproof paper maybe laminate? so the pages could withstand dew.

In any case, please let us know when this goes to print and where to buy, I will definitely be buying a copy, it is wonderfully presented.

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15 minutes ago, Ags said:

Thanks for the suggestion. I do index the doubles by constellation, but only giving page numbers not double names:

image.png.45a975b37812e1e091f76d50eee94bbe.png

Are you suggesting I add a section to the front of the book listing doubles by their constellation? It is quite feasible, in fact I could list the doubles and their aesthetic description at the front. I'll look at adding that tonight.

 

I missed that! Not sure how. 🤪

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No issue - if you missed it I didn't do it right 😀 In technical writing we say "The reader is always right!" I will however add a "Doubles in this book" section following your suggestion.

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40 minutes ago, Ags said:

Thanks for the suggestion. I do index the doubles by constellation, but only giving page numbers not double names:

image.png.45a975b37812e1e091f76d50eee94bbe.png

Are you suggesting I add a section to the front of the book listing doubles by their constellation? It is quite feasible, in fact I could list the doubles and their aesthetic description at the front. I'll look at adding that tonight.

 

Here's a random thought , no  idea if it is a good  one or not  ...

When I'm working through a list of targets, I appreciate having a way to record the date I saw them in the specific resource I'm using. It allows me to easily find the relevant entry in my observing log. If I don't  do that, it's easy to lose track of what I have , and haven't seen . Multiple lists with some shared targets confuse me even more , hence this   attempt to cross reference several lists of DSOs

Might the sort of list you are thinking of adding benefit from spaces to record date seen ?  Personally  I'd be reluctant to write in a physical book  though, so perhaps such a list could be a separate PDF ,  enabling folk to print it themselves if they wish as a supplement to the printed book they are going to buy, and fund your dream travel scope . :evil4:

Heather

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This looks excellent Agnes. What a superb project. Congratulations!
I will be ordering a copy when available. For the field version, would be good to have heavy duty paper that can be used in a damp night without it going wrinkly. Not necessarily waterproof tho

 

Edited by JeremyS
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5 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

This looks excellent Agnes. What a superb project. Congratulations!
I will be ordering a copy when available. For the field version, would be good to have heavy duty paper that can be used in a damp night without it going wrinkly. Not necessarily waterproof tho

 

Yes, Jeremy said it better than I, I didn’t mean waterproof or anything as I won’t be observing doubles from the bottom of the Atlantic 😂🤣 just some sort of resistance against elements would be ideal.

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Just now, Sunshine said:

Yes, Jeremy said it better than I, I didn’t mean waterproof or anything as I won’t be observing doubles from the bottom of the Atlantic 😂🤣 just some sort of resistance against elements would be ideal.

Mind you @Sunshine, with the seeing I get round here sometimes, it seems like I’m observing from the bottom of the Atlantic 🤣

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This draft version looks very good to me already! I also observe double stars from urban skies and really appreciate this collection. Definitely going to order the printed version when available.

One suggestion: the position angle and separation change over time and sometimes quite rapidly in just a few years. Perhaps you can mention this in the introduction for the novice who may not be aware of that, and give the epoch of the given data, I presume 2021. 

 

Nik

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Regarding heavy-duty paper, I can choose between two weights on Lulu.com - thin and slightly thicker and coated. I'll go for the latter but also look into more printing options.

Regarding observer notes - I think that is a very good idea and chimes with ideas I have for future books (e.g. a "Messier/Caldwell workbook" with plenty of room for observer notes. For this book, I will look at adding a small space for notes in the "Doubles by Constellation" section.

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@Nik271 I have added the note about position angle and separation being dynamic. I have also change the book versioning scheme to include year to make this explicit on the book cover.

image.png.f15c2b7e31e626162f0d60fd7b42448e.png

Also, added a mention of SGL in the Acknowledgements section.

I am configuring the first print edition now.

Edited by Ags
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6 minutes ago, Malpi12 said:

Great work ! Superb, thank you.

A small thing : am I being old fashioned when I think of RA in hours and minutes, more than degrees ?
 

I hadn’t noticed that, but I agree: RA should be hours mins secs

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