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Books for beginners in Astronomy


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Hi All

Looking into buying a book on Astronomy, so I can learn more about the night sky before I buy my first telescope and came across Turn Left At Orion ;). It sounds like a good book for beginners in Astronomy, has anyone read the book or other books? Any suggestions welcome, thanks :(

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its a cracking book, also you could try 2010 year book of astronomy (2009 is nearly over), it has a month by month acount of the night sky, tutorials and reference data.

Hi Thanks for suggesting the 2010 year book of Astronomy, going to look into it, I came across another book 'The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Terence Dickinson' it sounds like a great book for beginners in Astronomy and it sounds good for advice on different Telescopes and Astrophotography ;). Have you read the book?

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Turn Left at Orion was my first book (recommended by SGL) and it is great. Having a non-goto scope, I like the way it teaches me to find things. I can also see most of its targets from very light polluted west London.

I also like to read the magazines (Sky at Night and Astronomy Now) as they can give you some ideas for good thingsto find each month.

I've recently bought the Cambridge Double Star Atlas, which apart from being great for double star targets (obviously), it is a pretty good all-round star atlas.

Andrew

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Most people recommend "Turn Left at Orion".

I would recommend "Nightwatch" by Terence Dickinson, I have both books, and personaly I much prefer "Nightwatch" due to its size and the amount of useful information as well as its very good sky atlas/constellations layout.

Dave

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I use The Monthly Sky Guide by Ridpath.

Gives a full sky map each month and a selected constellation of interest. The detailed constellation also lists all DSO's etc within that constellation.

Slight problem is that each guide last for about 5-6 years and the odd fact that many of the stars are refered to by name - Almaak, then the text refers to the same one by a reference like Gamma-Andromeda and not the name. ;):D:D

I have TLAO but find that in many instances it gives a portion of the constellation.

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Books are the one piece of equipment you can never go wrong with.

Haven't read TL@O but I'm sure it's fine.

Books go out of date quickly regarding equipment, gradually regarding astrophysics, and never with regard to observing.

Here's one I got early on and still use:

A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets Peterson Field Guides: Amazon.co.uk: PASACHOFF: Books

It contains a detailed atlas as well as a lot of astronomical info. I liked it so much I got two: one for the shelf and one for outside. I sliced all the info pages from my outside copy, leaving only the atlas.

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Just bought TL@O myself. Older version so eclipse tables etc out of date but excellent starter book to get to grips in learning the night sky and position of 100 most popular objects. Useful also as objects can be seen with naked eye, bino's as well as scopes.

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Most people recommend "Turn Left at Orion".

I would recommend "Nightwatch" by Terence Dickinson, I have both books, and personaly I much prefer "Nightwatch" due to its size and the amount of useful information as well as its very good sky atlas/constellations layout.

Dave

I agree with Dave here, "Turn Left " and "nightwatch" are great books.

You mentioned "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide " I also own this book and while it is a fantastic book and one which I regularly "dip into" for bedtime reading I dont think it is anywhere near as essential as the first two mentioned for beginners.

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Hi All Thank you very much for your help choosing a book for beginners in Astronomy, I really appreciate it, I've ordered Nightwatch: A practical guide to viewing the universerve by Terence Dickinson, looking forward to getting in the post :icon_eek:

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Hi Thanks for suggesting the 2010 year book of Astronomy, going to look into it, I came across another book 'The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Terence Dickinson' it sounds like a great book for beginners in Astronomy and it sounds good for advice on different Telescopes and Astrophotography :icon_eek:. Have you read the book?

re the backyard astronomers guide, as yet i have not read this book, but it sounds great. i usually type astronomy into my google tool bar and go through the list, it depends on what you wish to do in astronomy, ie star gaze, planet watch, moon observation, deep sky, or astrophotography, there are books listed for all "branches" within astronomy, usually i would start at finding your way around the night sky, so turn left at orion is a good choice, followed by your choice of the backyard astrononomers guide or the 2010 year book, then start to specialise in astrophotography or deep sky. hope this helps.

peter.

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"Turn Left" and "nightwatch" are light enough to take out into the garden/field easily but "Backyard astronomer" is a fairly hefty tome, as I mentioned earlier its more of a cloudy night read, or bedtime reading, beautifully illustrated and loads of interesting stuff in it ,

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Like Orion I have both books, where The Backyard Astronomers Guide leans to wards general Astronomy and equipment, Night Watch will be of assistance to find your way around the night sky, both books are a good read.

John.

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Hi guys Thank you for the advice and suggestions on what books to get on Astronomy, I really appreciate it :icon_eek:. I got the Nightwatch book in the post today, it's a really good book for beginners, I'm enjoying learning about different galaxies and the chapter on Stargazing equipment has helpful advice on telescopes.Since seeing the photos of galaxies, I'm more motivated to go into photographing galaxies. Even though it'd be cool to be able to photograph planets as well, the galaxies are more colourful, sorry for waffling lol :)

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Natasha,

Having recently bought, and read, TL@O I'd say it's a great reference for when you do buy a scope. It has sketches for what you would expect to see through the finderscope and also how the same view would look depending whether you had a small refractor or a medium sized reflector (just back to front or upside down and back to front). Even with the naked eye west is to the right - I had to read that chapter 3 times!! Not too bright...

It explains seasonal skies, the moon and planets, and has a 5* rating system which really helps you plan. It also uses phrases like 'find this, then go down a bit' - which I really like, and it teaches you how to 'star hop' - great fun

Good luck with your choices - Tim

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