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How to Use an Astronomical Telescope: A Beginner's Guide to Observing the Cosmos [Paperback]

James Muirden
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 14.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 1988

Astronomy has never been a more popular pastime than it is today. The increased availability of less expensive, more powerful, and more sophisticated telescopes has given rise to a new generation of stargazers. And for these beginning astronomers here is the comprehensive book covering everything from the difficult task of selecting an instrument to the equally daunting choices that arise when a telescope is turned to the heavens.

Renowned British astronomer and author James Muirden takes the fledgling astronomer by the hand in his new book, offering tips on:

* the purchase, assembly, and orientation of your new telescope
* how to observe and chart the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and comets
* how to investigate the deep-sky objects -- clusters, nebulae, and other galaxies beyond the Milky Way

The final chapter, "Windows into Space," explores ten carefully selected regions featuring noteworthy examples of double stars, galaxies, and nebulae, as well as more obscure objects seldom examined by astronomers.

How to Use an Astronomical Telescope offers completely revised and updated location charts with detailed coordinates, tables, appendixes, and numerous illustrations and photographs, making it the essential volume for one's first exploration of the cosmos.

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How to Use an Astronomical Telescope: A Beginner's Guide to Observing the Cosmos + Philip's Stargazing 2014: Month-by-month guide to the northern night sky
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Product details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; Fireside ed edition (1 Jun 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671664042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671664046
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.4 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James Muirden is the author of eleven books on astronomy, including The Amateur Astronomer's Handbook. He spent nine years working as an astronomical optician making telescopes before receiving a teaching degree at Exeter University, and is now Project Publications Officer for the Schools Health Education Unit at Exeter. He lives with his wife and two children in Exeter, England.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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What is a telescope? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to use an astronomical telescope 12 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is clearly written by someone who knows his stuff and is passionate about sharing with people his interest.
Putting a telescope together tends to be a very maker-specific so a book like this one is never going to be a substitute for the instruction manual.

To get past this, contact your local astronomy club, who will be of great help.

Once you've got your scope up and running, the rest of the process will be a joy with this book. James's observational priorities are fantastic and you will be master of all you survey in no time!
Well, master of some..... knowing it all would be no fun at all, would it?

James's advice on where you point your scope is the most important part of this book. The "Choosing your telescope" section is a little out of date. Prices have dropped significantly, and the later Maksutov type telescope isn't dealt with, but is useful. Care and precautions are dealt with well.

However, any gaps in this book can be easily sorted with information and help from your local club and perhaps excellent magazines like Astronomy Now, Sky & Telepscope and the latest BBC Sky at Night magazine.

So, a bargain, after all! Buy it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clear and understandable 6 July 2004
A good basic book, concepts increase in complexity as the reader builds knowledge and understanding, gives good instructions on how to actually *find* something in the sky.
Bought my husband three separate telescope books, and this is his favourite. He is an amateur with a decent telescope, and found this book made it easier to use and understand how the scope worked as well as learning landmarks in the heavens.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Astronomy in every day English 2 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This is a book for beginner's of all ages. In every day English Muirden opens the scince of Astronomy,I could not understand Right ascension till I spent ten minutes reading this book one lunch time.If you want to start observing the night sky or just understand the basic consepts, this book is a very good first step
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am a bear of very little brain ... 18 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent service, book in 'as new' condition. Just a touch too technical for my poor brain! I will struggle on!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best 1 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This is possibly the best "How to" book available.
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