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Book recommendation for a back garden beginner please


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I’ve just received an absolutely beautiful book as an early Xmas present.  It’s The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide.  It looks to be a real labour of love, including everything from eyes only observing, through to binoculars, then telescopes. It then moves on to cover astrophotography too.  The book is not cheap, at £35, but it’s worth every penny.  It weighs a ton, and is littered with lavish photos on premium paper.  I’ll get lots of pleasure from this one:

image.jpeg.0053be519608817250b78f6bca212c03.jpeg

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Backyard-Astronomers-Guide-Terence-Dickinson/dp/0228103274/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ONJT27PQPTN8&keywords=backyard+astronomers+guide&qid=1639332671&sprefix=Backyard+%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-1

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53 minutes ago, wibblefish said:

+1 for the backyard astronomers handbook

I also can recommend Nightwatch (also by Terence Dickenson) though its less “telescopey” than the backyard one.

I’ll bear that one in mind for my next purchase 🙂

Edited by Ande
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On 11/12/2021 at 11:12, Spaced Out said:

Hi All

Can anyone recommend a good book, for a total beginner, interested in looking at the night sky from their garden please. Just naked eye stuff at the moment.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

If you keep it simple to begin with, you'll soon find your way around the stars. It can be a thoroughly relaxing hobby, so enjoy yourself.  Below is a nice little book that will introduce you to the night sky, as well as keep you up to date with events throughout the year. You dont need a telescope, but if you eventually get a pair of binoculars, you'll be set for a real adventure.

Mike ☺

545304138_2021-12-1219_40_42.thumb.jpg.08de47680a81510624f9f1926b62c5d7.jpg

Edited by mikeDnight
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2 hours ago, Ande said:

I’ve just received an absolutely beautiful book as an early Xmas present.  It’s The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide.  It looks to be a real labour of love, including everything from eyes only observing, through to binoculars, then telescopes. It then moves on to cover astrophotography too.  The book is not cheap, at £35, but it’s worth every penny.  It weighs a ton, and is littered with lavish photos on premium paper.  I’ll get lots of pleasure from this one:

image.jpeg.0053be519608817250b78f6bca212c03.jpeg

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Backyard-Astronomers-Guide-Terence-Dickinson/dp/0228103274/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ONJT27PQPTN8&keywords=backyard+astronomers+guide&qid=1639332671&sprefix=Backyard+%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-1

Lucky you, I had to buy my own copy! 😊.

It's the fourth edition, and I bought them all as soon as they were published. Easily the best book to get into practical astronomy, and it will be useful for years to come as you gain more experience. Also the best illustrated practical astronomy guide.  If anyone buys just one guide, this is the one you should buy. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 05:12, Spaced Out said:

Can anyone recommend a good book, for a total beginner, interested in looking at the night sky from their garden please. Just naked eye stuff at the moment.

Thanks

Everyone recommends their own favorite and no one says why or why not some other by comparison. Probably the best advice started out on a different tack:. wulfrun from Wolverhampton opined: 

Quote

How about a planisphere? Inexpensive and an "everlasting" calendar-based tool. Things like "Turn Left At Orion" seem to expect binoculars as a minimum. Not sure about others.

TLAO would be my personal favorite. I stress that personal favorite. Books are like cars or friends or anything else: highly personal. My honest recommendation is to use your public library and your best local bookstores. Browse the shelves. Read the books. Buy the one (ones) that speak to you.  I borrowed Turn Left at Orion several times from my local libary and still do not own my own copy.  I do, however, have several planispheres, including one that came along with maps of the Moon and the Sky as a package from Cambridge Press. But I found it at a used bookstore here in town.

If you want to know which "brands" to trust, look for the Patrick Moore label from Cambridge Press. They are not all stellar. (I just gave one a bad review for the poor editing. They let the author down. But I was a writer long before I was an editor.). 

Best Regards (and clear skies),

Mike M.

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Congratulations @Spaced Out you best decision has been to start with the naked eye and learn your way round. I go with the Philips Planisphere as the instructions are so good. Then choose a book by browsing in a good bookstore, most have an astronomy section.

Oh and best to get or make a red torch to keep eyes dark adjusted when looking at the planisphere. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

And I thoroughly recommend that you download stellarium. It’s a free planetarium software for laptop/PC that shows the night sky for s given time-date-location with the ability to zoom in and out. Very easy to use and excellent value for money at that price!

it shows the constellations, moon, planets and deep sky objects with an attractive and simple to use interface. 

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On 12/12/2021 at 18:25, Ande said:

I’ve just received an absolutely beautiful book as an early Xmas present.  It’s The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide.  It looks to be a real labour of love, including everything from eyes only observing, through to binoculars, then telescopes. It then moves on to cover astrophotography too.  The book is not cheap, at £35, but it’s worth every penny.  It weighs a ton, and is littered with lavish photos on premium paper.  I’ll get lots of pleasure from this one:

image.jpeg.0053be519608817250b78f6bca212c03.jpeg

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Backyard-Astronomers-Guide-Terence-Dickinson/dp/0228103274/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ONJT27PQPTN8&keywords=backyard+astronomers+guide&qid=1639332671&sprefix=Backyard+%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-1

Definitely a great option - I got a copy for Christmas and I have a feeling it'll keep me going for a long time.

Virtualastro's book The Secret World of Stargazing is a nice option for a smaller book to use in addition to a planisphere or app, or with the naked eye. It has info about the constellations themselves and some simple illustrations. 

MiladyB x

 

Edited by MiladyB
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My personal favourites are Turn Left at Orion and The Backyard Astronomers Guide. I've just purchase the fourth edition of the latter and it's a cracking resource, starting as already said with naked eye viewing. A decent planisphere is a definite to get your used to what you're seeing above you.

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7 minutes ago, NorfolkGazer said:

My personal favourites are Turn Left at Orion and The Backyard Astronomers Guide.

Have to also agree on Turn Left at Orion, also has online resources. Have not read The Backyard Astronomers Guide but will be looking at purchasing later.

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"Walk through the heavens" is my pick of beginner books.

I think you have to remember that as a beginner you really need something that covers the basics well and build up the knowledge in a steady and stepwise fashion. TLaO is too advanced by itself for a beginner IMO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I prefer apps over books but that’s just me. I like sky safari and star walk. I have the book Night Sky Pocket Atlas but it’s a little much for a beginner and I’m just learning how to use it. But it’s a great book for finding DSO’s. I have the Messier Marathon book and have found it the most useful for learning the night sky with all its charts. I don’t intend on doing the marathon, just find some of the easy Messier objects, I have too much light pollution. Lastly Sky and Telescope magazine is loaded with information with a monthly sky chart. 

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