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Astronomy - Self Teaching Guide


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Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide Wiley Self-Teaching Guides: Amazon.co.uk: Dinah L. Moché: Books

We used to run a 10 week "night school class" for beginners and novices interested in Astronomy.

The course book we used was Dinah Moche's " Astronomy - A Self Teaching guide".

It covers all the basic aspects of astronomy and has some good questions at the end of each chapter to reinforce the learning.

Looking at a lot of the newbies questions on the forum, I'm sure a weekend with Moche would have answered 90% of them.

Strongly recommended.

Edited by Merlin66
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just to report. I'm three chapters into this book and it's proving the cat's meow so far.

Takes the beginner through the essentials and not too maths or tech heavy. I haven't really thought about anything too geographical since I left school a long time ago. This far in, the book is more jogging my memory than teaching me anything new. But that's no bad thing.

Flicking through the latter chapters, there seems like a lot to learn, that will help when deciding and more importantly, putting into context just what it is I am looking at.

Thanks Merlin66, I can see this book becoming a firm favourite already.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read the book through but didn't do the self tests, I'm now reading it again and doing the tests ( properly no cheating lol ).

The author is very good at explaining tricky subjects in a straight foward and clear manner.

I also bought Patrick Moore' Astronomy ( ISBN 978 1 444 10313 7 ) which is a nice easy overview of many aspects of astronomy. It's not as detailed as Dinah Moche's book but covers the same ground and is worth getting as an alternative.

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I am currently reading through this book and it seems very good. As a beginner it is helping me out a lot and there is plenty of information in this book to keep me going for a while.

I would recommend for any beginner.

Thanks for pointing this out,


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As I said we used it as the course book for introduction to astronomy to a night school class for many years -It was interesting(??) to see the completed question results...

but I never had any complaints - it's a very good book.

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Thanks for the recommendation looks like a good price too :)

Added to my wish list for purchase after I've finished reading "Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe" which I saw recommended on the local Astro Societies website. I've also got my hands "Turn Left at Orion" which I think everyone else has too :eek:

Both seem very good from a complete beginners perspective.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Carrot!

Some folks here on SGL also join my astronomy class (virtually, that is!).

I use Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier by J. Fix. The 6th ed. is out now, so you can pick up a used copy of the 5th edition (almost identical) for very cheap on Amazon.

I have an entire set of class materials to go with - including lab activities you can have for the asking if you are interested in a more formal study of the subject at some point.

PM me if you are interested....


I'll stick this on my wishlist. I've just ordered some astronomy books off Amazon but I missed this one. I'll buy a copy next time I put in an order.
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  • 1 month later...

I thought I'd replace my aging 2nd edition...just to make sure the later ones were "just as good" - picked up a 6th edition for 2.50gbp on ebay.

It's even BETTER than I remembered. An astrononomy 101 course in one book, easy to read and the data is pretty well up to date.

I still recommend it!

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The book that helped me in my strive to learn the skies as seen in a scope, was .......

Star Hopping for Backyard Astronomers.....

Star-Hopping for Backyard Astronomers: Amazon.co.uk: Alan M. MacRobert: Books

Excellent star hops. Rather like "TL@O". I think the later has more objects. But this book, to me, was irriplacable.

Eddie H

Edited by astroeddie
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