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Deep-Sky Companions: Hidden Treasures

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  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521545501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521545501
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Praise for Deep-Sky Companions: 'Steve O'Meara has done it again. [This book] is a beautifully written, personal guide for observing 109 of the most beautiful objects in the night sky, plus 20 more personally chosen deep-sky treasures. Coupled with O'Meara's own meticulous observations, the rich observational history and current scientific knowledge of each object bring this book to life, and the depth of O'Meara's writing makes it a real gem.' David H. Levy

'An indispensable guide for anyone who observes the night sky with a quality amateur telescope from a reasonably dark place. Here are tips for viewing - and understanding! - more than one hundred entrancing galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae available to the backyard enthusiast. With its wealth of scientific and historical information, and its poetic sensibility, the book gave me immense pleasure even before I left my easy chair.' Chet Raymo

'… there is no better guide than Stephen O'Meara's book. For each object there is a photograph, a finder chart, basic data, a discussion of what is seen through small telescopes, and some history of telescopic ideas. This is not a treatise on astrophysics, but an observer's guide, a worthy and superior successor to previous attempts.' Stephen P. Maran, Nature

'Steve O'Meara says the purpose of the book is to provide new and experienced observers with a fresh perspective on these objects. He has succeeded brilliantly.' Astronomy & Space

'… impressive … contains careful descriptions of each object, finder maps, telescopic drawings, and photographs. The text is spirited and informed, and the result is a must-have on the bookshelf of deep-sky enthusiasts.' Astronomy Magazine

'… packed with useful advice, historical facts, and interesting anecdotes.' Robert Argyle, The Observatory

'… this is an excellent book and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of both the novice and experienced amateur astronomer.' Journal of the British Astronomical Association

'All in all, the book lives up to the author's claim about offering a new perspective and is thoroughly up to date and very readable book on the subject. I feel that it offers all deep sky observers something. Highly recommended.' Faith Jordan, Webb Society Quarterly Journal

'Hidden Treasures is not the sort of book you would pick up and read from cover to cover. Instead, you'll just keep it and delve into it when you need to, which you will do repeatedly. In fact, it's such a quality addition to your library that you may be reluctant to take it out at all, in case you accidentally ruin it.' BBC Sky at Night Magazine

'This is the third volume in the Deep Sky Companions series that Stephen O'Meara has written for Cambridge, and perhaps the best … packed with detailed information and written in a most approachable style by a highly experienced and skilled visual observer … O'Meara presents a varied list to explore with 38 open clusters, 35 galaxies and 14 planetary nebulae supported by an assortment of other deep sky challenges. Each of the 109 objects has a substantial entry, on average covering five pages, with a chart, photographs and a drawing by the author … I thoroughly enjoyed this volume, and shall refer to it often.' Nick Hewitt, Journal of the British Astronomical Association

'Anywhere on Earth labelled 'hidden' or 'undiscovered' can brace itself for an influx of visitors. The 'hidden treasures' described in this book will undoubtedly experience an upsurge of interest too, the difference being that you can visit them all without seriously enlarging your carbon footprint. Given the size it is remarkable that the publishers have kept the price down to an affordable level.' The Observatory

'… new and exciting observing guide … stunning photographs …' Spaceflight

'… this volume follows a similar format to its immediate predecessor, with some treasure hunting embellishments, as the book makes various references to a quest and actually includes a Treasure Chest at the very end, in which to record your 'finds' … This book … has certainly stimulated my desire to search out the treasures listed within, and to possibly seek out some of my own, and I suggest that it will do so for all of its readers, and thoroughly recommend it to all with an interest in astronomy.' F.A.S. Newsletter

'Deep-Sky Companions: Hidden Treasures succeeds on several levels. It provides a well-written and well-researched guide to objects often overlooked by observers. The emphasis on objects accessible to those with modest instruments means it will appeal to most telescope owners and binocular observers. In describing his experiences observing these objects Mr O'Meara includes advice on observing techniques that will surely appeal to beginners … But perhaps of greatest importance is the sense you get, while reading the book, that this is a joyful pursuit.' Thomas Watson, Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews

Book Description

Stephen O'Meara's new and exciting observing guide spotlights an original selection of 109 deep-sky objects that will appeal to sky-watchers worldwide. Stunning photographs and beautiful drawings accompany finder charts and detailed visual descriptions of the objects, which include their rich histories and astrophysical significance.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Prof G. J. Parker on 15 May 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this one on pre-order with Amazon for over a year. Twice the publication date was put back it seems - but the wait was well worth it.

The third, longest, and heaviest book in the Stephen James O'Meara trilogy now sits proudly on my astronomy bookshelf.

With 584 high-quality pages you need to pick up this tome with both hands. Again we have an Index (thank you Stephen) that was suprisingly absent in "The Messier Objects" and made its first appearance in "The Caldwell Objects".

Similar format to the other two books with a nice B&W image plus a sketch of the object as seen by O'Meara through a small refractor - and an addition! This time we also get a small star map of the region the object is located in for reference - very useful - and a very welcome addition. Also once again the highly informative prose accompanies each object, and I really like the way O'Meara writes, so for me it adds a great deal to the enjoyment of the book.

A number of well-known and expected entries such as the Pac Man nebula, Kemble's Cascade, and the Flame nebula - but a much larger number of nebulae, star clusters planetary nebulae and galaxies that I'd not heard of before. None of the 109 "Hidden Treasures" are included in the Messier or Caldwell catalogues of course!

As a deep-sky imager this book has provided me with dozens of new exciting targets.

You simply must buy this book to complete the trilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Whitney on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this to find uncommon things in the night sky with my binculars. It tell all the background info and how find the objects in the night sky. I looked to Kemble`s Casscade up and tells me how to find in the night sky with a good sketch of what to look for (looks good on kindle and detail enough for bincular use) with info on its discovery. I used it instructions on how find it and guss what? It worked. Tip: Use a sky atlas or star chart to help you with this book and as a reference of what near the objects for easy of finding it. FORGET IT`s A PART OF THE SERIES/ TRILOGY OF BOOKS. WORKS AS A STAND ALONE BOOK. Well worth the price tag. Good for keen amateur astronomer. Not good for newcomers of astronomy but will likely want this book later on in the hobby.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A somewhat self-indulgent O'Meara, but an O'Meara nonetheless 13 Aug. 2008
By Pierre Dessemontet - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let's begin with the goodies.

After 2 similar books, Deep Sky Companions: The Messier Objects (Deep-Sky Companions) and Deep-Sky Companions: The Caldwell Objects (Deep-Sky Companions), O'Meara has done it again by giving us a list, this time its own, of 110 objects that aren't included in the Messier or Caldwell catalogs. As always, each object is lavishly illustrated and described in the text and you will know everything there is to know about them. The selection of objects is very good and as such the book gives us amateurs 110 more objects to study. So far, five stars.

But obviously O'Meara seems to be as enthralled by piracy history than by his subject, and boy does it show: every object is compared to one or another pirate's story, up to the title (hidden treasures?) - if you're not into that, it becomes quickly rather irritating. I would have preferred O'Meara staying on track and talking about astronomy, like he did in his two first essays: after all, that's what this book is supposed to be about. Another disappointment concerns the finder maps - they certainly aren't as good, by a wide margin, than they were in the two preceding books. You will need better maps than that to locate objects at the telescope.

In all, well, mixed feelings: an O'Meara allright, a very good and beautiful selection of object for us all to see and seek by one of the best visual observers alive - but one that has seemingly grown a tad too pleased with himself for this reviewer to be completely comfortable.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great Book! 3 Sept. 2007
By Eric M. Strang - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
O'Meara has put together another great book. Here he takes us off the beaten path somewhat in search of deep sky treasure that many observers may neglect. In addition to the NGC and IC catalogues, he also ventures into lesser known catalogues such as Melotte, Trumpler, and Collinder as well as one of his own objects. As with previous volumes in the Deep Sky Companions series, each object is given a photo, drawing, and a finder chart as well as complete historical information. In addition to observations made with his trusty Tele Vue Genesis 4" refractor, observations from other observers using larger scopes are also included. All done in a writing style that is one of the most enjoyable today. Highly recommended for the deep sky observer!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Bigger but not quite better 1 April 2010
By William F Doehler III - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an amateur astronomer with 4 on-and-off decades of dark sky observing, i can appreciate a cloudy-night reference like the rest of you. I have all three of the Deep-Sky Companions series, and have read through them, though for reference i use other sources: Luginbuhl and Skiff's Observing Handbook and Catalog if you can find it, and Burnham's 3 volume Celestial Handbook is still full of information, if somewhat dated now. I bought, one after another, the Deep Sky Companion series because i respect the observational skills, draughting ability and elegant writing style of Mr. O'Meara, as i had seen in Sky and Telescope magazine.

Each book in the series has its strengths; the first Messier volume surpassing the previous comparable standard (Mallas & Kreimer's Messier Album) with the only exception of a lack of complete original catalog facsimiles. In each, the combination of visual descriptions and bxw sketches achieved with the author's voluntary self-restraint using a small (albeit excellent) telescope as seen by a trained observer (with excellent visual acuity, from an excellent observing site) will be useful for comparison by readers with their own specific equipment and viewing considerations.The author's choice of objects seems on the whole balanced, and with few exceptions, explained both in the introduction as a process and in an appendix as a comparative source study. Perhaps understandably, some of the extra objects in the previous books have been folded into this volume. All of the three books in the series have a historical biographic appendix of high quality (written by others) which put these generally bright objects in context.

Besides the odd typo, I am critical of some editorial decisions that were made with this book. First noted, it includes no overall starcharts or index of objects inside the covers as in the previous two volumes in the Deep-Sky Companions series (Caldwell does this in the most thorough manner of the three). Hidden Treasures has simply left blank pages. In addition there are several blank pages at the end of the book, ostensibly for the readers' observing notes (tho' any serious observer will write his/her observations in a log). Several photographs (eg: HT 46, 62) were either reproduced or chosen poorly. The finder starcharts are sparce ( for reasons explained in a generally apologetic preface) They use an "x marks the spot" for the Hidden treasures which are much less informationally useful than the standard deep-sky object-specific symbols used by both previous books. Here, despite different publishers, continuation of a good tradition would have been in order. The finder charts and some photos also use archaic and hard-to-read fonts for star mag.'s and compass roses. They are copyrighted by the author but an editor should take responsibility for a writer's misjudgement. This is not intended as a field handbook, so the general thickness of it is not practically relevant, but perhaps indicates a less elegant use of language in this volume, as contrasted to the previous two. It would have been nice if the Bedford Catalog / Willmann Bell) had been also cited as a bibliographic reference, since that 1840 source was quoted, and the conversational style of both are arguably comparable. My title page was printed wrinkled, but i don't care.

The writing in this book is of generally high quality, as in the previous two. However, in this one, Mr.OMeara has taken a whimsical metaphor of 109 hidden pirate's treasures to lure the (younger?) reader to tack through the Sargasso Sea of skyhunting. J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan is cited twice. Given the sketches, information and historical background included, for me this type of material is not necessary to maintain my interest in the book. There is a certain amount of redundancy in the intro and through the book, self-promoting the completion of a trilogy of essential references. In Hidden Treasures (following earlier precedent in Caldwell and , to a lesser extent, in Messier), several of the sketches have fanciful cloudlike patterns or connections between stars, especially star clusters, which are intended to assist the viewer to identify the shapes the author imagines the object to have. As an observer and sketcher of nebulae as well as clusters, i find this unnecessary and intrusive. Finally, altho' i am in the opposing camp concerning the "missing M102" controversy, i appreciate Mr. O'Meara's magnanimous citation of Frommert's work, which presents a compelling argument for the opposing view.

All in all, given my huge respect for the author, bigger but not quite better
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
After Messier, this is the one catalog you need! 7 Aug. 2007
By G. Yanez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Amateur astronomers surely agree that Messier and Caldwell catalogs missed many wonderful objects in the sky (north and south). Why not just ask a REAL deepsky observer to build a list of the missing gems? Well, that is exactly what this book offers. The 109 objects listed were observed by the author in a moderately small refractor telescope under dark skies. I have only observed a sample of objects in the entire list but do believe that the remainder are worth a try. Every object is introduced with such passion and in such an enthusiastic way that you really feel like going outside and give it a try.
5 stars!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another O'Meara Great 12 Dec. 2007
By Kinchen J. Searcy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a large book (586 pages with appendices) that is a nice follow-on to his other books on the Messier and Caldwell objects. It is a nice blend of modern observing notes and rich history. It is very well written. I haven't worked through the book yet, but by inspection some objests are known and most are hidden. As in the other books, he describes the view from a 4-inch refractor. He quotes from Star Clusters by Archinal and Hayes, which is a plus.

Get the his Messier book first, and then work through this one.
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