Practical Astronomy

Practical Astronomy

by Storm Dunlop
     
 

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Attractive, clearly written and includes all that a beginner would need to know to get started.
--Popular Astronomy

A concise, illustrated guidebook for amateur astronomers.

Practical Astronomy covers all the basics amateur astronomers need to know. It explains how to observe, whether with the naked eye, binoculars or a

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Overview

Attractive, clearly written and includes all that a beginner would need to know to get started.
--Popular Astronomy

A concise, illustrated guidebook for amateur astronomers.

Practical Astronomy covers all the basics amateur astronomers need to know. It explains how to observe, whether with the naked eye, binoculars or a small telescope, and where and when to look. Aspiring astronomers will be able to get outside right away by finding constellations and visible planets before locating more challenging phenomena.

The book features:

  • Full coverage of comets, planets, major stars, constellations, nebulae, the Milky Way and other galaxies
  • The best of the new telescopes and accessories for beginning astronomers
  • Planetary and solar eclipse tables
  • Spectacular color photographs and clear and informative diagrams
  • Star charts
  • Maps by renowned celestial cartographer Wil Tirion
  • The latest images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Practical Astronomy is organized in two parts:

Part 1 Beginning Astronomy explains how to navigate the sky by "constellation-hopping," how to use star maps and planispheres, and how to record observations with drawings and photographs.

Part 2 Exploring the Sky looks in more detail at all the objects the amateur can view, from aurorae and meteors (shooting stars) to the Moon, Sun, planets and comets, and beyond to stars, nebulae, the Milky Way and other galaxies.

Practical Astronomy is an ideal astronomy how-to manual for beginners.

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Editorial Reviews

E-Streams - John Dupuis
[Review for previous edition] As good an introductory book as you would want... a perfect book for the budding astronomer or any precocious student.
Pulsar - Duncan Class
[Review for previous edition] For both novice and experienced amateurs... very informative and handy to use... perfect gifts for any amateur astronomer.
Sky and Telescope - Stuart J. Goldman
[Review for previous edition] Colorful and lucid diagrams and numerous photographs help make this well-rounded sky guide a good choice for the casual observer.
New Brunswick Reader - Curt Nason
[Review for previous edition] An excellent primer.
Children's Literature
This field guide size publication makes it very clear that astronomy or stargazing is something anyone can do without special equipment. There are many celestial objects that can be seen with the naked eye. A great way to get started is by learning to navigate the sky, which is easily done. Perhaps the most spectacular experience of naked eye observing is to see our Milky Way Galaxy in a dark, unpolluted sky. The major constellations are the roadmap to the night sky. A planisphere is a flat projection of the sky with a rotating mask. It can be set to any date and time to show which stars and planets are visible at that time and where they are located. Constellations are grouped and visible primarily by season. Binoculars are even more useful for beginning astronomers than a small telescope. Viewing through binoculars, stars are easier to access and compare to star charts. This extremely informative publication is full of star charts, illustrations of telescopes and how they work, and detailed instructions for keeping records of stargazing. 2004, Firefly Books, Ages 8 up.
—Kristin Harris
VOYA
Originally published under the title Astronomy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Night Sky (Collier, 1985), this revised book provides an introduction to the night sky, constellations, observing equipment, and methods, suggesting objects in and beyond the solar system that can be observed. Dunlop claims to target "amateurs who are just starting to make practical observations," but amateurs are not this book's audience. This title is for people who have a strong grounding in photography or astrophysics and who want specific information for serious astronomical observations. The unexplained terminology (noctilucent, precession) and the profusion of poorly explained ideas assume that the reader already knows most astronomical concepts. Sadly, the author's extensive knowledge of astronomy is poorly conveyed. The book is dense and technical, especially in the introductory chapters where clarity is essential. The impenetrable logic of sentences like "It may be regarded as the celestial equivalent of the observer's meridian of longitude on the surface of the earth," will drive away amateur observers. Helpful features in the 1985 edition, such as bold definitions, clear diagrams, and page references, have been removed in the update, and Briticisms such as lamp (for flashlight) and spectacles (for glasses) will have young readers shaking their heads. The chapter on equipment is useful and specific, and this book would be an acceptable additional title for well-read astronomy buffs looking for specific observational techniques. For amateurs, try New Astronomer by Carole Stott (DK, 1999), Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson (Firefly, 1998), or H. A. Rey's perennial favorite, The Stars (Houghton Mifflin,1973). VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P S A/YA (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Firefly, 208p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading., Ages 15 to Adult.
—Caitlin Augusta
E-Streams
As good an introductory book as you would want... a perfect book for the budding astronomer or any precocious student.
— John Dupuis
Pulsar
For both novice and experienced amateurs... very informative and handy to use... perfect gifts for any amateur astronomer.
— Duncan Class
Sky and Telescope
Colorful and lucid diagrams and numerous photographs help make this well-rounded sky guide a good choice for the casual observer.
— Stuart J. Goldman
New Brunswick Reader
An excellent primer.
— Curt Nason

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770851436
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
09/27/2012
Edition description:
Second Edition, Updated and Revised
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,317,130
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)

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