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How to Observe the Sun Safely (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) [Paperback]

Lee MacDonald
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £31.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 July 2012 1461438241 978-1461438243 2nd ed. 2012
"How to Observe the Sun Safely, 2nd Edition" gives all the basic information and advice the amateur astronomer needs to get started in observing our own ever-fascinating star. Unlike many other astronomical objects, you do not need a large telescope or expensive equipment to observe the Sun. And it is possible to take excellent pictures of the Sun with today's low-cost digital cameras!

This title concentrates on providing practical, on-the-spot advice to the amateur astronomer who is interested in observing the Sun, using commercially available equipment. This book surveys what is visible on the Sun, before describing how to record solar features and measure solar activity levels. There is also an account of how to use H-alpha and Calcium-K filters to observe and record prominences and other features of the solar chromosphere, the Sun's inner atmosphere. Because we are just entering a period of high activity on the Sun, following a long, quiet period, many more amateur astronomers will become interested in observing it.

The second edition includes an update of Chapter 2 to reflect advances in solar observing equipment since 2002, and a section on building a solar projection box, originally included in the main body of this chapter has been moved to Appendix A. Also Chapter 6 thru 8 have been completely revised to give amateur astronomers advice on how to use film to photograph the Sun, and how to use digital cameras. This new edition also includes more than twice as many illustrations as the first and almost half of them new images.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2nd ed. 2012 edition (6 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461438241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461438243
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 827,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

From the book reviews:

“In Macdonald’s book the reader finds different methods and a variety of equipment that can be used for observing our nearest star without any damage to their eyesight and also gets ideas on what to do with the observations. … I found the book very useful … . If you’re thinking of starting to observe the Sun, this is a great book to get more information about all the available options.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, September, 2014)

From the Back Cover

How to Observe the Sun Safely, Second Edition gives all the basic information and advice the amateur astronomer needs to get started in observing our own ever-fascinating star. Unlike many other astronomical objects, you do not need a large telescope or expensive equipment to observe the Sun. And it is possible to take excellent pictures of the Sun with today's low-cost digital cameras!

This book surveys what is visible on the Sun and then describes how to record solar features and measure solar activity levels. There is also an account of how to use H-alpha and Calcium-K filters to observe and record prominences and other features of the solar chromosphere, the Sun's inner atmosphere. Because we are just entering a period of high activity on the Sun, following a long, quiet period, this is a great time to get involved with solar observing.

Still emphasizing safety first, this Second Edition reflects recent and exciting advances in solar observing equipment. Chapters 6 through 8 have been completely revised to allow amateur astronomers to compare observing the Sun using digital vs. film cameras and all the latest advances in image processing. Finally, this new edition also includes more than twice as many illustrations as the first, almost half of them new images.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a splendid second edition of the standard work for amateur astronomers wishing to observe the Sun. The new edition comes ten years after the successful first edition. So what's new? Digital SLR photography has transformed astronomical observing but ten years ago digital SLRs were not an affordable option. In this edition the author takes care to give a splendid introduction to the new photography. Another technique that amateurs have taken up is the use of H-alpha filters and also webcams. There's so much new kit out there it can be quite confusing for the newcomer. Macdonald's book is the place to start because the author concentrates on equipment, gadgets, and gizmos that can easily be obtained, at no great cost, and come ready to run. Fortunately, this is not a book that teaches how to design and build a solar radio telescope from first principles. That's because the emphasis is on practical observing, in a safe manner, using kit that works straight out of the box. Solar observing is a very pleasurable hobby, particularly suited to those who live in cities that are blighted by light pollution. It's suitable (of course!) for daytime projects, like practical astronomy in a school.

Lee Macdonald has a huge reputation in the UK as a great speaker and helpful enthusiast. Professionally he works in the history of astronomy.

The Springer Series of books on practical amateur astronomy has developed into a remarkable library of practical books on how to do astronomy without needing win lottery cash as the first step.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A handy overview of amateur solar astronomy 31 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lee Macdonald is a very experienced UK solar observer and photographer so, as a relative newcomer to solar astronomy during Cycle 24 I was keen to buy the latest edition of his book. It is very comprehensive, covering all aspects of solar observing and imaging and can be recommended to anyone taking an interest in our nearest star. But I was a bit disappointed in the editing of the book. I dont know if this is down to Lee's writing style or that of the publishers to edit it more tightly ( I am increasingly of the opinion that publishers of technical books like this are out of their depth) but I found some parts of his narrative rather sloppy with numerous repetition, saying the same thing, time and time again. It was easy to lose immediate track of his narrative because he refers backwards and forwards so many times that after while the narrative, particularly in the chapters on digital imaging, becomes somewhat confusing.
Kevin J Kilburn
Manchester Astronomical Society
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but expensive 26 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, packed with useful information for all levels of solar observers. Well written, in an interesting and conversatioinal style. I would have given it 5 stars rather than 4 except for the high price, which could well keep it out of the hands of younger amateurs observers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Solar observing 6 Jan 2013
By Brian
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for someone who is wanting to know or start Solar observing, it gives advice on what there is to see and what equipment filters you will need.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Got more than I exspected 16 Feb 2013
By Vander Harris Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book regarding Viewing the Sun, It has many tips and techniques with lots of information I did not exspect and am glad to receive.
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