Deep Sky Objects: The Best and Brightest from Four Decades of Comet Chasing

Overview

Veteran comet hunter and eloquent popular astronomy writer David H. Levy takes amateur sky-watchers on a fascinating journey into deep space in this enthusiastic and informative survey of the many far distant yet observable objects in the night sky. Light years beyond our solar system, deep sky objects include such intriguing phenomena as double and triple stars, nebulae, galaxies, and quasars. Designed to be accessible for even beginners, Levy’s clear, elegant descriptions will guide astronomy buffs in any ...
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Deep Sky Objects: The Best And Brightest from Four Decades of Comet Chasing

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Overview

Veteran comet hunter and eloquent popular astronomy writer David H. Levy takes amateur sky-watchers on a fascinating journey into deep space in this enthusiastic and informative survey of the many far distant yet observable objects in the night sky. Light years beyond our solar system, deep sky objects include such intriguing phenomena as double and triple stars, nebulae, galaxies, and quasars. Designed to be accessible for even beginners, Levy’s clear, elegant descriptions will guide astronomy buffs in any hemisphere and locale (light-polluted cities as well as dark countryside) to the wonders of our enormous universe.
As the discoverer or codiscoverer of twenty-one comets, including the famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 that crashed into Jupiter in 1994, Levy has devoted many decades of experience to observing the night sky. Over the years he has located over 300 deep sky objects, of which more than 100 "best and brightest" are featured in this book. Levy offers a physical description and a discussion of each object’s history and beauty, as well as a star atlas to aid in finding the objects. Proceeding from objects closest to our solar system to those farthest away, Levy gives readers an awe-inspiring glimpse into the structure of the cosmos.
Complete with both color and black-and-white photos, plus many helpful illustrations, Deep Sky Objects is the ideal guide to the wonders of the universe for both experienced and novice star gazers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[U]nique in the world of amateur astronomy titles, pairing specifics on how and what to observe with a veteran comet chaser’s exciting discoveries."
- California Bookwatch

"…Levy gives readers an awe-inspiring glimpse into the structure of the cosmos."
- Mercury

"...This one is born of serendipity, being a list of fuzzy celestial objects that the comet hunter must be aware of lest they be misidentified as comets…Levy personalizes the objects with an anecdote about how he first observed them over a period extending back to his early-1960s teenage days. His stories reflect the individuality of stargazing--one sky watcher gravitates to comets, another to galaxies--and allow Levy's readers to become better acquainted with their Canadian-born author. Levy loads his book with star maps and locating data—essential information for readers inspired to turn to the heavens."
- Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591023616
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

David H. Levy (Vail, AZ) is one of the world's most celebrated amateur astronomers. He is the science editor of Parade magazine and the author of many critically acclaimed popular science books, including Comets: Creators and Destroyers, The Quest for Comets, and Impact Jupiter.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 13
Ch. 1 Letting the sky come to you 23
Ch. 2 Getting excited about the deep sky 31
Ch. 3 An observing guide to the catalog 37
Ch. 4 Interesting stars - distances : from earth to hundreds of light-years away 49
Ch. 5 Open star clusters - distances : hundreds to thousands of light-years away 73
Ch. 6 Clouds of dust and gas - distances : thousands of light-years away 95
Ch. 7 Nebulae at the end of a star's life - distances : thousands of light-years away 123
Ch. 8 The galactic center - distance : 26,100 light-years away 137
Ch. 9 Globular clusters - distances : tens of thousands to more than a hundred thousand light-years away 149
Ch. 10 Farewell to the Milky Way : the closest galaxies - distances : two to four million light-years away 177
Ch. 11 Where space is filled with galaxies - distances : four to sixty million light-years away 187
Ch. 12 Fainter and farther - distances : sixty to three hundred million light-years away 219
Ch. 13 Of space, time, and dreams - distances : hundreds of millions to seven billion light-years away 241
Ch. 14 David Levy's catalog of comet masqueraders and other objects 267
Deep sky object atlas 309
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