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Venus and Mercury, and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) Paperback – 5 Feb 2008

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From the reviews:

"Covering the physical characteristics of Mercury and Venus and then outlining the instruments and techniques employed to observe them in a single book was always going to be ambitious. … Peter Grego has had a good stab at it and the resulting text contains hardly any filler in its 262 pages. … it’s an approachable read that you will return to again and again. Hopefully, it will inspire more astronomers to observe and record the inner planets." (Grant Privett, BBC Sky at Night, June, 2008)

"A new guide to the two inferior planets of the solar system. … Grego provides instruction in how to observe these bodies, and describes their origins, ‘geography,’ and qualities unique to each planet. The work is useful to the beginner and experienced alike in the use of optics, recording methods, and specifics for each planet. A short Internet resource guide, black-and-white and color photos, a subject index, and planet-specific feature indexes enhance the book. … Summing Up: Recommended. All readers/libraries." (M. V. Golden, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (11), August, 2008)

From the Back Cover

Mercury and Venus - known as the "inferior planets" because they are closer to the Sun than the Earth is - have always been regarded as difficult and even dangerous targets for amateur astronomers.

Recent advances in commercially-made instruments have, however, brought them within range of only moderately experienced observers, and certainly Mercury and Venus are by no means inferior in terms of visual delights, observing challenges...and mystery. Venus and Mercury and How to Observe Them offers a wealth of detailed practical information on every aspect of observing, from safely targeting the two planets, through visual observing, to sketching and electronic imaging.

This is of course much more than a book about observing.

We now know a lot more of the origin and evolution of Mercury and Venus, and Peter Grego describes the most recent theories of their probable formation, geology, and history. Not only does this include a lot about the surface of the planets, but also their internal structure, magnetic fields, and atmospheres.

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Evening Star, Morning Star; how disappointing you are!! 9 Sept. 2009
By Busy Bee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Venus; brightest of all planets and the closest in size to planet earth was named after the Roman goddess of beauty. For many amateur astronomers, Venus becomes one of the first few targets for their telescopes but Alas; for all you can see is a bright fuzz ball. Venus is shrouded by a veil of impenetrable clouds of carbon dioxide and sulphur compounds blocking all visible light from its mystic and turbulent surface. Mercury, does not fair better under the gazing eyes either; a small dark and greyish fuzz ball that is quiet disappointing visually. If like me you got accustomed to ignoring these two planets and even avoiding them then you are in for a surprise! This books while it does not alter the laws of nature or do the impossible of making viewing these planets as easy as looking at the Moon or as exciting as Saturn, it does shed a glimmer of hope and revive any lingering interest in taking another look at the inferior planets [no pun intended].

The book dedicates a large portion of its pages to the exquisite scientific details and pictures available on both planets, this by it self is a wonderful read and worth getting the book; but as the title of the book indicates, Observing these two planets is the goal. Valuable pictures, charts, equipment and observation hints help prepare you for re-attempting to pick the telescope and maybe your camera and head out there again aiming to take another look!

Visual observing, imaging and recording your observations effectively is explained in greater details whether it be Naked eye, binocular, telescopes or imaging. Transits and occultations and some of the available methods and filters that can help get some degree of meaningful images and data from these planets are listed. There is enough material in this book to reignite your interest in viewing these two planets and make sense of the data collected. Take a look, it's worth it!!

Realistically, all you can do is look at them regardless of the physical limitations; enjoy them as best as you can; and let your imagination loose and of course wait for more space exploration missions to visit these two planets and expose their mysteries. Maybe you will be one of those who will get interested enough to dedicate your life to space exploration and join the space adventure. Enjoy!!
Fantastic Service!!! 30 Mar. 2015
By Mike Robinson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully done and highly useful!!!!
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