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Celestial Harvest: 300-Plus Showpieces of the Heavens for Telescope Viewing and Contemplation (Dover Books on Astronomy) Paperback – 21 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (21 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486425541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486425542
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 21.3 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,871,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Morris on 28 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Knowing the quality of James Mullaney's writing in his other books, I was really looking forward to receiving this book. I have to say I was disappointed when it arrived. Rightly or wrongly I was expecting a volume containing colour and B&W photographs of the objects with a detailed analysis of each object with viewing hints (cf O'Meara, Deep Sky Companions) and above that the objects would in order of awesomeness or at least month by month (cf 1001 Celestial Wonders), or at the very least in RA order. They are in fact in alphabetical constellation order and it is very difficult to tell when one constellation end and the next one starts as they are in a continuous list without any breaks. The book is bound portrait but the text is landscape, a long portrait binding would have been better. Given the layout a spiral binding (cf the Pocket Sky Atlas) would have been much better. Furthermore the text is made up of short quotes (presumably Mullaney's own notes although this is not made completely clear) which makes it very bitty and again not easy to read. I do not wish to be completely negative. Mullaney is a very experienced observer, he does give the reader a good idea of what they will see (but there should be much more about the desirable magnification, aperture and seeing conditions, this information is very patchy) and his enthusiasm is evident. And there is space to make notes. It is difficult to know who this book is aimed at. Certainly not beginners, armchair astronomers, or astro-imagers, possibly the more experienced visual observer but they are likely to have other Deep Sky guides to hand (e.g. Burnham or the Webb Society Guides).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Fine Catalog of Stellar Showpieces 29 May 2003
By Joseph A. Bergeron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mullaney does a fine job of sifting through thousands of deep-sky objects to select those most likely to impress users of small telescopes. His descriptions are enjoyable, if occasionally overly florid, with an annoying overuse of exclamation points. His bias for double stars is evident, but I have no real complaint about that. Doubles are pretty and charming and often underappreciated. Mullaney apparently composed the manuscript using some primitive word-processing software that forced him to include additional objects at the back of the book instead of in the main constellation listings.
Overall, the sincerity of the writing, plus the intelligence of the 300 or so objects selected, makes this perhaps the best available list of objects that goes beyond the Messier catalog (better than the spurious Caldwell list, for example).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best of Show winner for Small 'Scope Stargazing. 23 May 2014
By Rainguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Celestial Harvest is a treasure trove for those of us who prefer the portability and ease of use of small 'scopes, and who also live beneath a heavy light-polluted canopy. Too many "small 'scope" guidebooks serve up stargazing samplers that are just not accessible for those of us who don't have Takahashi or TeleVue multi-thousand dollar telescopes and look skyward from Mauna Kea. Or some similar ink-dark sky.

Unlike far too many stargazing books, Celestial Harvest does not try to impress us with page after page of Hubble-esque photos, depictions of a deep sky world we will never come close to actually seeing through our Orions or Celestrons; instead, Mr, Mullaney is a Real World celestial trail guide for mainly backyard observers with ordinary equipment looking up into ordinary skies. Look here, he says, and this is what you have a good chance of seeing.

Messiers, NGC objects, double stars. CH gives you a nicely varied menu.

Moreover, Celestial Harvest not only points me to objects I have a reasonable chance of actually seeing, but the extensive and varied notes for each object are just outstanding——providing some idea of what a given object actually LOOKS like, what kind of pattern(s) define its shape, and what size glass you need to catch it along with the ideal magnification. For those like me who have been at this only a few years and whose academic background is history and the humanities, and who rarely has anything even close to good seeing, I need these specifics. Along with The Pocket Sky Atlas, CH constitutes an absolutely essential resource for the unwashed.

If you are a beginner to intermediate stargazer, you NEED this book.
Outstanding guide 30 Dec 2012
By Carol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book arrived quickly, and the writing is superb! I'll have it with me at the telescope while observing the delights he points out to me.
though (because I like James Mullaney's other book {Celebrating the Universe}) and I ... 21 July 2014
By Mark L Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not for Kindle at all! The type was too small! I did buy it in physical form, though (because I like James Mullaney's other book {Celebrating the Universe}) and I am sure that it will be enjoyable when I get it in the mail.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book 18 April 2011
By Steven D. Forrest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I hear that a friend or acquaintance has just bought their first small astronomical telescope, I immediately recommend this sweet little book. Mullaney's enthusiasm for the sheer joy of observing is contagious. Astronomy can also be overwhelming, and he does a fine job of sorting out the best objects for someone just getting started -- someone not "in Kindergarten," but more like in the third grade. What I mean is, now that I've seen M42, M31, and the Pleiades, what's next?
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