Star Clusters and How to Observe Them / Edition 1

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Star clusters are among the most spectacular objects for amateur astronomers to observe and image. They represent the beginning, the present and the future of the universe, from sparse open clusters containing only a dozen stars, to giant globular clusters, each replete with a million suns.

Part one of this detailed book provides a comprehensive review of star clusters – including open, globular, extragalactic, and even cluster remnants – along with their evolution and physics.

Part two is about observing. The larger clusters can be observed through the most basic equipment – normal binoculars or budget telescopes – but Mark Allison talks about instrumentation and accessories, for observers from beginner to expert. Finally there is an observing guide and a comprehensive observing list for a wide range of telescope apertures.

This one book provides all you need to observe star clusters, and to understand the many and varied objects that fall under this classification.

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Editorial Reviews

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From the reviews:

[The] writing style is lucid and eminently friendly, and conveys a virtually contagious enthusiasm for the subject. If, after browsing through this book, you haven't felt the urge to sweep the skies for some of the magnificent star clusters detailed in the text, then you aren't at all interested in viewing the skies. I thoroughly recommend this book.

—Peter Grego, in Popular Astronomy, April-June 2006

"Mark Allison is clearly an enthusiast and keen amateur observer of the Deep Sky, and in Star clusters and how to observe them … . His style is friendly and welcoming to the newcomer to the field. … The observing aspect of the book is more successful than the astrophysical which has many interesting things to say … . for the newcomer to star clusters looking for a relatively inexpensive alternative, it may serve." (Nick Hewitt, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 116 (4), 2006)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846281907
  • Publisher: Springer London
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Astronomers' Observing Guides Series
  • Edition description: 2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents

Stars: The Ingredients of Star Clusters

The Milky Way: Home to Star Clusters

Open Clusters.- Globular Clusters

Stellar Associations


Extragalactic Clusters

Cluster Remnants

Misfits & ‘Non-existent’ Clusters


Equipment & Accessories

Observation Planning & Resources

Observing Guide & Techniques

Imaging & Recording Objects

Comprehensive Observing List

Catalogues & Cluster Data

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