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What is the best astronomy book you have bought?


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What I use most is Burnham's 3-volume Celestial Handbook, but for a newbie, I would say Turn Left At Orion

I really need to buy some books. My last book was the Norton's Star Atlas back in the 90's. What i would really like is the Burnham's set.

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They look like three really useful books. There's no reviews for Deep Sky Observing, how do you find Acey? I couldn't afford your third book but one of the first two would be a good Birthday present to myself next week.

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They look like three really useful books. There's no reviews for Deep Sky Observing, how do you find Acey? I couldn't afford your third book but one of the first two would be a good Birthday present to myself next week.

I think I came across the Coe book second-hand somewhere, and I really like it. There's an introductory part about deep-sky viewing in general, then notes on a range of objects, with apertures ranging from 6" to 13" or more (on occasions even 36"). Unlike many astro books, this is one I still go back to, for various reasons. 1. I really like his writing style (which is quite humorous and at times self-deprecating). 2. There's a nice and quite large range of objects. 3. The aperture range means this is a book I've never "outgrown"; there are things listed that are still challenging for me with a 12" (e.g. Horsehead).

The O'Meara is something of a modern classic, very nicely printed and bound - too nice, in fact, for me ever to want to take it outside. But a wonderful read on cloudy nights - I learned a huge amount from it about the "art of seeing".

But to be honest, if I was going to keep just one book it would be the third, Luginbuhl and Skiff. It's a lot of money, but I reckon that book is worth a couple of eyepieces. It has detailed descriptions of hundreds (thousands?) of northern deep-sky objects: certainly everything you'd expect to see with an 8-inch, and most of the ones you'd be likely to hunt for with a 10 or 12-inch. It was my "bible" while I was using the 8-inch; I took it out with me on every observing session and checked their observations against mine. The detailed charts of Virgo Cluster and other galaxy groups are invaluable.

So if you feel like treating yourself to a really special present, splurge on that. In any case, have a happy birthday!

Andrew

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One?!? I'm struggling to keep it to three:

1. As has been mentioned many times, Pocket Sky Atlas - cheap, small, hardwearing, and yet has enough detail to find you plenty of DSOs.

2. Also ubiquitous: Burnham's - brilliant collection. 'Nuff said.

3. My field observing bible is Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. A plentiful supply of the very best objects in the sky: I'm sure it will keep me going for ages. In my opinion a far better beginner's observing guide than Turn Left because it's more field-friendly, and will take far longer to outgrow.

Andrew

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One?!? I'm struggling to keep it to three:

...Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. .. In my opinion a far better beginner's observing guide than Turn Left because it's more field-friendly, and will take far longer to outgrow.

Andrew

Thanks for all the replies. I have ordered Turn Left and Backyard Astromomer. However, Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders looks good with lots of positive reviews on Amazon .. maybe for my birthday!.

Cheers,

Austin

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I have O'Meara's other 3 (Messier, Caldwell, Hidden Treasures) but have only seen reviews of his H400 book, most of which say it's not in the same league: the entries are of necessity rather short. I'm sure it would be a nice guide though. An alternative (which I do have, and like) is:

The Herschel Objects, and How to Observe Them: Exploring Sir William Herschel's Star Clusters, Nebulae, and Galaxies Astronomer's Observing Guides : ... and Galaxies Astronomer's Observing Guides: Amazon.co.uk: James Mullaney: Books

This has a lot less entries than the full 400, but advocates a list of about 600 based on Herschel's own classification, and gives descriptions (no finder charts) of highlights.

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Antonin Rukl was also the author of a pocket book published by Hamlyn, The Moon Mars and Venus some years ago, his Moon Atlas is reproduced over some 76 plates with all detailed information, it is a extremely good for reference at the scope as well as the added info on Mars and Venus, can be had S/hand in the region of £10 or so on Amazon.

cheers for the advice Glowjet - I have managed to get a copy of this at £5+ delivered. I have done a quick 'pre-use' review http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/103116-book-review-moon-mars-venus-antonin-rukl.html

highly recommended and certainly now is my best moon book!

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I have recently purchased "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" by Dickinson & Dyer, it's feeding me all I need to know to get started again, supported by the "Pocket Sky Atlas" . I think I'm going to hunt down a copy of "Turn Left at Orion" on general recommendation :p

Back in the 1980's however my favourite book and reference was :

"The Amateur Astronomer" by Antonin Rukl (and John Gribbin as consultant editor) ISBN 0706410343 published 1979. I still have this very careworn book, minus its dust jacket, probably about the best few quid ever spent on the hobby for me. The stars and planetary positioning charts, the latter running out at year 2000 which seemed far far in the future :D, were invaluable.

Happy days ;)

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Donald H. Menzel's: "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets" (Pub. 1966).

Very little text, but almost a visual quintessence of astronomy, in photographic [plate!] atlases of the Sky (54 pages) and Moon (12 pages) resp. The tables are dated now, but an (understated) VISUAL treat to fire a then youthful imagination... :D

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  • 1 year later...

The best one I got was Astronomica by Fred Watson, the hardback edition. I got it a couple of years ago from the museum, after coming out from the planetarium. Despite it's size, it's really good because it is so informative! I will be saving it for my kids. I recently bought Mapping the Universe, which isn't bad either. The best thing about it is the many historical documents you can pull out from the pouches within the book. I would say this was the best buy because I saved twenty quid (hallelujah sales :p)

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