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Asteroids and Dwarf Planets and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) Paperback – 3 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2010 edition (3 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144196438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441964380
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,259,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the reviews:

“A step-by-step guide to visual observing shows how to find and follow asteroid images. … Dymock’s book is full of good illustrations, many in colour. … the book is a broad overview of current asteroid science … . it will give interested amateurs some good ideas about how they could contribute, and will point them to sources of more detailed information. Heartily recommended.” (Edward Bowell, Journal of British Astronomical Association, Vol. 121 (2), 2011)

“Roger Dymock has all the knowledge necessary to instruct a newcomer in the art of asteroid observing. Fortunately, he has had the patience to assemble this excellent observing manual for any potential student of minor planets and the more distant dwarf planets too. Owning the book is like having Roger as your personal mentor. … Roger’s book ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ and will be invaluable to all asteroid observers, even those with some mileage on the clock.” (Martin Mobberley, Astronomy Now, June, 2011)

“Dymock, an accomplished optical observer, asteroids offer the opportunity for amateur astronomers to enjoy challenging celestial targets and to augment the scientific research of professional astronomers. … guides readers through the modern technology and software with step-by-step instructions, and includes an exhaustive set of references to related Web sites. This is a truly outstanding manual for anyone who has an interest in studying these relics of the birth of the solar system. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Primarily amateur astronomers, but also lower-division undergraduates and professionals/practitioners.” (D. E. Hogg, Choice, Vol. 48 (10), June, 2011)

“You get two books for the price of one here. The first 60 pages gives the formal definitions of small Solar System bodies … . The remaining two-thirds of the book discusses how the amateur can observe these objects. … There are certainly many excellent hints and tips. … Relevant websites, software packages, and books are listed in the Appendices – and there are useful links to sources where you can select your own targets. … I like this book.” (Fiona Vincent, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1226), February, 2012)

From the Back Cover

ASTRONOMERS’ OBSERVING GUIDES provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observing techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ We live in a violent universe. The media constantly remind us of the possibility of an object suddenly appearing and hitting Earth. A hit by an asteroid is believed to have spelled the end of the dinosaurs. Such a collision by an object from space could cause another extinction event, if the object were large enough. And such objects are definitely out there. Often called “the vermin of the sky,” asteroids roam our Solar System often unseen. Many have been tracked, and their orbits calculated. But there are still many to be discovered and assessed. Many amateur astronomers are helping in this effort, sometimes even working with professional astronomers, to contribute to our knowledge and avert danger. Some people just enjoying locating these or the dwarf planets, such as Pluto, and then following their paths. Whatever your interest, Asteroids and Dwarf Planets and How to Observe Them will help you get started. It will tell you what you are looking at and why you should look. It will also help you learn how to look. This is definitely an area where amateurs can make a difference. Roger Dymock, in clear, engaging language can help you get started right now!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr La on 20 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well written book provides you with a very good, if slightly UK-centric, introduction to asteroids and asteroid observing. It covers asteroid types (spectral types, orbital types, asteroid "families" - although I was missing a table with family member criteria) and their origins. It covers almost all types of observations possible on asteroids, from astrometry to lightcurves to asteroid occultations, and from simple visual observations to CCD lightcurve determinations. I encountered only a few mistakes in the book, none of them very important.
My main complaint about the book, significantly influencing my rating, is the very shoddy print quality. The copy I have was shoddily bound and cut, with parts of the tab texts on the page margins (meant to be a guide when leafing through the book) being cut in half. Some pages were cut slightly oblique The print quality of some (not all, but still too many) of the images in the book is very poor: several have a noise-like pattern consisting of fine white streaks over them, completely ruining these images. A pitty, as the book is rich in generally well-chosen illustrations.
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By Amazon Customer on 3 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not sure what happened to the other reviewer's copy, but mine was in perfect condition and well printed. This book is a must for anybody who wants to learn more about the scientific study of asteroids available to amateur astronomers.

The first part of the book covers the different types of asteroid bodies in the solar system and what makes them different - this part can be read and easily understood by someone completely new to the subject, but gives enough detail for anyone who already has some knowledge.

There is a good section giving descriptions of amateur setups for asteroid imaging. They range from low tech cameras on clock drives to telescopes that would not look out of place in an international observatory. This section gives a great insight into how you can have a go at imaging asteroids yourself, by DSLR and CCD.

Next up is an introduction to astrometry and how you can go about getting an observatory code from the Minor Planet Centre (with the help of this book I was able to gain my own observatory code). After reading the process description I contacted the author, Roger, to further pick his brains as I was still as the reading stage and had not yet purchased the telescope and mount. He was happy to answer my questions and is clearly passionate and very knowledgeable about his subject.

The latter part of the book is given over to light curves and more detailed study of asteroids. While some of this still goes over my head when I try to read and understand it, it just goes to show how valuable this book is and how much has gone into the writing of it. This title will be on my bookshelf for years to come. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A quick one over 9 Feb. 2013
By Cattastrophe - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a quick reference book for asteroids and dwarf planets. If you don't have any background, this will work for you. If you already know about asteroids, it may be good for a quick reference, but Asteroids III would be a better buy for the more advanced asteroid lovers.
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