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Stephen James O'Meara's Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars: A Simple Guide to the Heavens Paperback – 9 Oct 2008

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Stephen James O'Meara's Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars: A Simple Guide to the Heavens + Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope - and How to Find Them
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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (9 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843155559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843155553
  • ASIN: 0521721709
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.8 x 29.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 868,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'O'Meara's writing inspires and his passion and enthusiasm for observing leaps off the pages.' Sky at Night Magazine

'… O'Meara's book really did keep me interested from the outset. … the reader is left feeling as though they have truly learned about what they have seen. … Within each chapter there is interesting information that covers stars, nebulae, galaxies, star clusters etc. … allows those who have binoculars rather than a telescope to get a great deal of enjoyment out of looking up at the sky.' Astronomy Now

'… a fine book that should encourage any possessor of simple optical aids to go out and seek for themselves what the night sky has to offer.' The Observatory

'… I would highly recommend the book as a thorough grounding in visual observing and in the basic concepts of astronomy. It is well worth the money and my copy will get well used.' Gnomon

'Bit by bit, we are fed with little gems of information that [enhance] our appreciation and understanding of what we are observing. It's for this very reason that I found this book enthralling, and quite enchanting. Stephen is an accomplished observer, but more importantly, he has the ability to put across his obvious excitement … [which] draws the reader into this fascinating subject …' Federation of Astronomical Societies Newsletter

'… there's nobody who does a better job [than Stephen O'Meara] describing what he sees in the sky and helping us experience some of the enjoyment that he has … He's an observer and wants you to be one too.' Bill Pellerin, GuideStar

'… simple but effective layout … clear illustrations appear throughout … don't miss that little spark of interest when newly seeing a bright star in the evening sky. Grab binoculars and Stephen O'Meara's book … to begin an adventure exploring an unlimited realm.' www.universetoday.com

Book Description

This useful guide for amateur astronomers takes readers on a celestial journey to many of the most prominent stars and constellations visible from mid-northern latitudes. A great first-time reference, this book will help beginning stargazers become familiar with the stars and constellations visible from their backyards through inexpensive, handheld binoculars.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. Merritt on 19 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... but some causes for concern.

Firstly, given that the book is clearly aimed at beginners, I think it should explain why most (but, confusingly, not all) of the charts show east and west 'inverted'.

Secondly, I was surprised to read the following, from page 28, regarding the Beehive Cluster:

"At a feeble distance [what is a 'feeble' distance?] of 515 light years, M44 is one of the largest ... clusters. The age of the cluster is estimated to be about 400 million light years, which means the light we are now seeing from its stars left the cluster during the Devonian Period, when the first plants bloomed on land..."

A bit of a howler, this. If it is 515 light years away, the light we now see left it 515 years ago, not 400 million years ago.

With respect to Mr O'Meara, if he and his editors at Cambridge can let this one through, what other misleading information may be lurking in the text?
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By Writer one on 15 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Found the book difficult to understand No explanation as to why east and west were reversed on the maps as opposed to the normal placing This is even more confusing as the first map has east and west in the normal positions Do not think this is much help to a stargazer beginner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book specifically for binocular users. Gives realistic targets so you don't waste time looking for objects which are impossible to see with binoculars. Good advice for those looking for a first pair of binoculars a outs types, sizes and limitations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Don't waste your money 1 Mar. 2009
By C. Lisowy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping to have a guide to see what can be seen through binoculars. The author has very few objects and there is just too much written about the history than where to find the object. The charts are really bad ( raster images ) and illustrations are from huge 10 meter telescope that you will never see in binoculars. I own 3 other fine books from O"Mera and this one is a disaster. The best part of this book is the cover.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An excellent instruction guide to enjoying the wonders of the heavens from backyards to mountain tops 9 Dec. 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Throughout recorded time, and judging by such pre-historical sites as Stonehenge, the night sky with its wheeling starry canopy has been an enduring source of interest for ground level human observation. Even in this modern age of astronomical observatories and Hubble Space Telescopes, there is a great deal of pleasure to be taken from simply observing the ever changing night sky through the various seasons of the year with a simple pair of binoculars. That's where Stephen James O'Meara's "Observing The Night Sky With Binoculars: A Simple Guide To The Heavens" comes in. Especially appropriate and recommended for novice stargazers, "Observing The Night Sky With Binoculars" features informative anecdotes about the stars and constellations, guides the beginning stargazer in locating and identifying the brightest stars in each constellation, colorful stars, double or multiple stars, star clusters and asterisms, nebulae, galaxies, variable stars, and so much more. Profusely illustrated with black-and-white images, "Observing The Night Sky With Binoculars" is specifically recommended to amateur astronomers as an excellent instruction guide to enjoying the wonders of the heavens from backyards to mountain tops.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Starry, Starry Night 27 Jan. 2013
By Jim Schmidt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is much better than the previous book of O'Meara's that I read (Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars)...the lovely prose, explanations of mythology and references to poetry and Christian iconography are still there, and well done, but they do not overwhelm the actual skygazing as they did in the solar system book. The book is organized by seasons with suggested "targets" to observe. Ir is exceptionally illustrated with helpful simulated binocular views, sky charts, and telescopic views...there is no misleading about what you'll actually see through binoculars, but at the same time he offers interesting objects from easy to challenging. It's especially interesting to see the mentions of objects that were once (and may still be in some places) visible to the naked eye but are now obscured by light pollution. Personally I think his books still presuppose a lot of knowledge that the beginning stargazer may not have, and there is no primer on tips on using binoculars, which might be helpful. That said, this is a GREAT book for home stargazing (perhaps not for the field, though) and I am DEFINITELY adding this one to my own library (first borrowed from the public library). And if you don't own a pair of binoculars, here's some advice: get some! You will be ASTOUNDED by what you see when compared with the unaided eye, not so much in terms of magnification of objects, but in how much MORE you see. It's just beautiful sometimes!
Enjoyed this tremendously 14 Nov. 2013
By BigT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. Many helpful hints and so forth. Most useful to me because my binos are my winter back yard observing instruments of choice. If you don't think binos are a good alternative to setting up your telescope for a short observing session, read this. You may become a convert.
Great reference and observing guide 29 Dec. 2012
By Robert Togni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Enjoyed the charts and all the observing insights by a legendary observer. Lots of mythology about the constellations is a pleasant lead in to the observing highlights.
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