From the introduction:
This book is for the occasional stargazer, who doesn’t necessarily want to be labelled as an “amateur astronomer”. If you end up with a thirst for more, then you won’t be disappointed in the range and wonder that astronomy can bring, but you might be quite satisfied with a few moments enjoying the night sky every once in a while.
There are plenty of books out there for those who are extremely keen observers. People that want a full-geeky, technological run-down of what they need in order to photograph x-ray sources or see the dreadfully dull galaxy UGC 10891.
That’s great for them, but for a lot of us, the idea of a telescope is quite simple: to uncover the amazing nature that surrounds us at night. A telescope will allow us to get a closer glimpse of the craters on the Moon, to see the rings of Saturn, the Orion Nebula or the beauty of the Pleiades - all of which are tantalisingly just beyond the reach of our eyes.
So, for those ordinary curious folk who have ever said to me, “I’m thinking of getting a telescope, any suggestions?”, this is the book.
What you can see with the eye
How a telescope enables us to see much more
A side note about binoculars
Things to think about before buying a telescope
The most and least important things
Telescope designs and how they work
Minimum specifications you should consider
Other just as important things: eyepieces, the Barlow lens, finders
Mounts and how they work
Looking after your scope
Preparing for the first night outside
Some telescopic marvels to observe