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The Backyard Stargazer: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Skywatching with and Without a Telescope [Paperback]

Pat Price

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; First Printing edition (April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592531482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592531486
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 20.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,011,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Easy-To-Read Beginner's Guide 23 April 2006
By Michael Paul Sebek - Published on Amazon.com
As a late-comer to amateur astronomy, over the past three months I've been reading all the "recommended" beginner books for the hobby. After finishing five others, I stumbled across this book. If I had it to do all over again, "The Backyard Stargazer: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Skywatching With and Without a Telescope," by Pat Price, is the book that I would have read FIRST--before attempting to tackle some of the other, more comprehensive astronomy "starter" pubs. In my view, this book contains everything a good first read on a subject should contain: an easy-to-comprehend discussion; easy-to-understand charts and diagrams; and absolutely beautiful photographs and illustrations. This book conveys all of the astronomy beginner "basics" using a friendly, conversational writing style. As with a gripping novel, I became eager to continue reading it all the way to the end. At less than 150 pages and fully packed with photos, I finished it in a little over a day(including copious notes). And you don't need to be taking up amateur astronomy to read this book. It is an excellent primer for anyone who wants to know more about the stars, planets, our sun, comets, eclipses, binoculars, telescopes, and astrophotography. This book tells you how and why "sky things" work, and includes star charts ("Sky Maps") to help you navigate the night sky. The appendices provide a wealth of information regarding online resources and future significant astronomical events. This book has earned my highest recommendation: BUY IT--read it--then tell a friend about it (I will.)
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great! 23 May 2006
By Hazel E. Chadwick - Published on Amazon.com
Pat Price's book, the Backyard Stargazer may be intended for the absolute beginner, but it never once talks down to the reader. Price's lively provocative narrative inspires and informs. Plus for someone with some knowlege of the night sky, it is a welcome guide to putting it all together and making a game plan for getting serious about astronomy. I love the way the information is organized as Price takes us on a journey, giving us some historical information, then introducing us to our own solar system, the moon and the planets, stuff you can do in your own backyard without a telescope, then venturing out into deep space where all sorts of wonders await. What's really great about this book is that Price makes it seem all so accessible and takes some of the mystery out of what it takes to get to know the night sky. The book is packed with information and tons of facts; how to start observing the planets and the moon; what you can do with a pair of good binoculars (which is a lot!!); tips on what to look for in a telescope; whether or not you need to get a telescope, what's out there to see in deep space; plus wonderful sky charts and gorgeous photographs. After her introduction, Price dives right in and gives us observing projects in almost every chapter. The book is never too technical but is always entertaining and informative and because it's easy to read it never bogs down. I would think this book would appeal to all ages and if you're thinking of getting started in astronomy, whether you are an absolute beginner or have had a casual interest in astronomy all your life, this is the book for you!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gazing at The Backyard Stargazer 2 April 2006
By Sky Guy - Published on Amazon.com
There's a lot to learn when it comes to astronomy but you must have a good understanding of the basics and that's exactly The Backyard Stargazer gives us. Starting with a nice introduction to the history of astronomy, we take our first step out under the sky. Under the stars, we're shown how to observe the night sky; how to read its air quality, how dress properly, the use of a red filtered flash light and how to relax when observing.

Now we're ready to use that knowledge for an evening's stargazing, what should we be looking for? Here the author takes us through the easy things like the moon the planets and the sun followed by nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and other members of the celestial zoon and, of course stars and constellations

Throughout The Backyard Stargazer, we're given tid bits to think about such as light pollution, astronomical history, how to safely look at the sun or the stars got their names.

Like any good guide, The Backyard Stargazer, doesn't tell us everything. We have to undertake some self guided studies. At the end of each chapter, we're given some homework to do that augment's the chapter.

For many of us its all about the tools and chapter 10: Adding Optics fill the bill nicely. Here we can drool and dream about the perfect telescope or how to choose a good pair of binoculars.

Capter12 is another favourite: Astro Travel. Astronomical Bed and Breakfasts and astronomy tours have become quite a niche market of late and getting larger and this chapter just touches on things the travelling astronomer can do.

This book is a great book for the budding astronomer. It's one that can be read in a weekend but will take a lifetime to absorb.

Buy it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive! 17 Jun 2006
By Janaya - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book after recieving my first telescope as a gift. I had no clue what I was doing with it. This book taught me to start with the basics. It includes 'assignments' that really help get you some experience. I deffinatley recommend it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great astronomy primer - very highly recommended 28 Jan 2008
By Kevin M. Kershner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think it is everyone's hope when purchasing an introductory book, that it will not only serve as a handy reference for new and unfamiliar topics, but will also work as a framework within which your own curiosities gain direction and purpose. "Backyard Stargazer" achieves this impressively.

It is rare to find an introductory text that covers a sufficient range of topics at the appropriate level of detail. The author must constantly walk a fine line between over-generalizing and providing too many details to properly digest the key messages in the text. Again, "Stargazer" impresses with a well thought-out flow of information that covers topics from the best times to see Mars to qualifying the purchase of optics. To top it off, key information is summarized in tables at the back of the book for quick reference, so it is quite easy, for instance, to find where the nearest and soonest eclipse is relative to your location - without having to thumb through the entire book looking for it.

The icing on the cake is the professional, aesthetically pleasing manner in which the presentation is managed. This book far exceeded my expectations, and it will continue to be an oft-consulted resource as I pursue my new hobby.

My highest recommendations.
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