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Book Review - Moon Mars and Venus - Antonin Rukl


Moonshane
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'A Concise Guide to Moon Mars and Venus'

Author : Antonin Rukl

Publisher : Hamlyn

ISBN 0 600 36219 1

255 pp Hardcover

170mm x 113mm approx.

I think this is the right place for this as although it's not technically equipment - mods please can you move if not in the right spot? Thanks

Having recently started on the Lunar 100, I have struggled with the basic single image map of the moon for some of the smaller features; even some of the larger features were not that easy to trace from the map.

I have looked online and you can possibly download maps etc but I have several times had them blow about in the breeze recently and it's frustrating to say the least. Also, the online maps did not seen detailed enough to help me.

After a request on an SGL thread http://stargazerslounge.com/beginners-help-advice/102580-what-best-astronomy-book-you-have-bought.html someone recommended the book I am reviewing as a cheap and excellent book to have at the scope and work through various areas of the moon.

I checked on Amazon.co.uk: Low Prices in Electronics, Books, Sports Equipment & more and found several copies. I ordered what was described as a 'good' copy and it arrived today, all for the princely sum of £5.67 inclusive! These are therefore my initial impressions of the book without actually using it in the field so to speak.

The book is in very good condition given it is 30+ years old and really is a great book. After a brief summary of the three objects it covers, the mean feature of the book is the 76 plates covering the whole of the Earth-facing lunar surface and the a further six showing Mars in detail.

I am mainly going to focus (pun intended) on the Moon elements as this is the main reason for me buying the book. It is very user friendly having a frontispeace which shows the whole moon split into the 76 plates further on in the book. You pick your area and then turn to the plate concerned. The plates have excellent levels of detail and good markers to guide you to the pages above, below, right and left of the one you are on.

One possible issue with this book is that the numbers on the front plate are printed in red and are quite hard to see with a red capped torch (I just tried this out in my under-stairs cupboard - much to the amusement of my daughter). Personally, I am going to write over the numbers in pencil so I can see them more clearly. Also, the plates have a reddish tinge to them but reading the details on them is far less difficult due to the darker and lighter edging etc. In reality, if you are lunar observing, I don't think that dark adaptation is that much of a problem so you could probably use a dimmed white light in any case. This is my only reservation about the book at this stage.

I am delighted with this book and the fact it is small, cheap, detailed and fits in the pocket, makes it an ideal book to take out to the scope. There is little doubt that it will get plenty of use and I am already forming plans to try and find all the main craters and features on each plate as the terminator makes its way across the surface our our satellite.

Hopefully others will find this useful and the book will help them find all the features they wish to do on their lunar observing forays.

Some photos below show the book and a few plates etc. to give an idea of what you can expect.

Cheers

Shane

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Edited by Moonshane
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nice one guys! you won't regret it, this is an excellent book - even the notes preceding the plates are great and I have learned a lot already.

I may have over-egged the 'problem' re the red tones in the printing but thought it best to mention it. I am sure it is not a major issue, especially as more often than not you'll also have moonlight to see by :D

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It's a real gem. Same great content as "Rukl", but in a more friendly (and cheaper/more available) package!! Good to see that more people are making use of it... I do hope their are enough copies in the world to satisfy the demand.

PEterW

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ha ha

go for it Austin - I am sure Peter's comment was tongue in cheek

it's a superb book and well worth it. the details on Mars are great too as there's detailed maps of the various areas which may help in making sense of the subtle details you can see on the very small disc.

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ha ha

go for it Austin - I am sure Peter's comment was tongue in cheek

it's a superb book and well worth it. ...

Hi Shane.

Ordered!

With Backyard Astronomer, Turn Left, and Nightwatch on their way, I am turning into an armchair astronomer.

Cheers,

Austin

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hi Austin

no not yet, although my avatar (this photo moon on Flickr - Photo Sharing!) was taken with an old 60mm refractor and a cheapo point and press camera held to the eyepiece so I am sure I'll have a go at some point. that said, I cannot see me ever becoming a serious imager as it's just too time consuming for me.

I like the quick point and press single shot insect / macro work I do like this Eristalis pertinax DSCF3801 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I do have an almost ready made nosepiece to enable some prime focus work with a Nikon Coolpix 995 so might have a go at some point.

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Thanks for that tip Shane. I managed to get one of the last copies on Amazon but the price has gone up a bit!

I had the same problem finding a decent source of information about the moon.

You are about six months ahead of me with this game and with us both having the Omni XLT120 your posts have been really useful.

Best wishes,

Nick

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Seems the thread about the astronomy books created some demand for the book. Ordered mine together with a few other recommendations as well last week :D.

Still waiting for a decent night to go out again :p

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  • 2 years later...

Nice to find this thread - just what I was looking for! Ordered a copy at around £7 delivered - still one more at that price on Amazon (April, 2013) should anyone else want one.

Also ordered a moon filter to save my eyes! ;)

Ta,

Matt.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 6 years later...

A bit late for the party, but a belated birthday 'prezzie' 🎁 to myself arrived today; (also posted in the "What did the postman bring?" thread); to replace a mislaid copy that I had years ago.

I cannot believe the prices that this 'pocket' guide book is being sold for today: silly/stupid/serious money... i.e. up to £90.00GBP 😱 (at time of posting). 

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Big Rukl was well over £500 at one point... could have made a profit (if it wasn’t so useful). One would hope that print unavailability would become a thing of the past.... so last century! Glad to hear you found a copy! 

Peter

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On 04/07/2020 at 17:21, Philip R said:

A bit late for the party, but a belated birthday 'prezzie' 🎁 to myself arrived today; (also posted in the "What did the postman bring?" thread); to replace a mislaid copy that I had years ago.

I cannot believe the prices that this 'pocket' guide book is being sold for today: silly/stupid/serious money... i.e. up to £90.00GBP 😱 (at time of posting). 

That's frightening!  I gave a couple of copies of the pocket version away to fellow enthusiasts last year or the year before.  I wonder if theyed fall for it if I sent them an invoice? :icon_scratch:

Edited by mikeDnight
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I've had Rukl's book for many years. There could have been more text on the physical features of the craters rather than describing the characters that the craters are named after.  For outdoor use, the plates should be in black and white. It seems to be more of an armchair book.

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6 hours ago, Merlin said:

I've had Rukl's book for many years. There could have been more text on the physical features of the craters rather than describing the characters that the craters are named after.  For outdoor use, the plates should be in black and white. It seems to be more of an armchair book.

You could photocopy the plates; but that would be infringing copyright... 
or you wait until 13 July 2086 then no problem... Antonin Rukl (b. 22 September 1932 - d. 12 July 2016).

GB/UK 🇬🇧 copyright... https://www.gov.uk/copyright/how-long-copyright-lasts

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I gave all my astronomy and science books to the local library about 18 years ago, except one. My copy of Moon Mars & Venus :) 

I remember having it at school so it's 40 odd years old. I came across a second copy back then, cut out all the "plates" and stuck them to a backing sheet to make a huge wall map!

 

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A classic moon book! I pestered my mum to get me a copy of Moon, Mars & Venus for my 10th birthday back in 1978, it's still on my shelf today. A very useful and very well made book. Lost the dustcover at some point along the way but now have it in a plastic sleeve. This and S&T Pocket Sky Atlas are my  only scope companions.

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