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The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide: With Complete Maps, Charts and Tips to Guide You to Enjoying the Most Famous List of Deep-Sky Objects Hardcover – 10 May 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Willmann-Bell (10 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943396549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943396545
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19.7 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Guise on 9 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book for anyone interested in tracking down all the Messier Objects. The charts and diagrams are very clear and there are some detailed and very informative notes. The Telrad finder charts really do make it very simple, provided you are observing from a reasonably dark site.
If you want to try to see all the Messier objcts in one night this book is essential. If like me you are happy to spread things out over many years of observing then this book will give enjoyment time and time again.

Probably worth taking copies of the pages you are interested in on a particular night as the paper pages can get damp in the field.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband who is a keen astronomer has had his head in this book since it arrived. He aims to complete the marathon with the help of this book. It was in excellent as new condition and considerably cheaper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Should become a classic!!! 29 April 2001
By "dhyl" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Using this book for over two years, I've found all the Messiers and learnt a whole lot from this book. The book starts off with briefly introducing the pre-requisites to stargazing, and the geometric estimation method for locating the deep-sky using a Telrad. The book also tells the story of Charles Messier, and the origins of the Messier Marathon. He then takes the reader on a tour of all the Messier objects. Since this book has its focus on the Messier Marathon, the sequence of the objects is based on his observing sequence during the Marathon. However, as Harvard points out, this book does not necessarily have to be used during a Marathon and can be used any time to locate any of the Messier objects. The finder charts proved to be extremely useful, and I found this book becoming the book I refer to the most. The advantage is, I don't have to flip through other star maps looking for the Messier objects I'd like to observe. Its all included in this book. Therefore, I used this book more than my star atlas while observing the Messier objects. There is a little bit of inaccuracy with some of the charts. For example, in the chart for finding M75, I found I had to extend a little further than the distance from the mouth of the teapot to the lower corner of its handle away from tau Sag. to get to M75. Perhaps it was my problem of not using a powered finder (only the Telrad), but I had to try 5 times before I was compelled to move my scope little further east and north when the dim glow of M75 slid into view. This situation is actually clearly demonstrated in any star atlas, M75 is definitely a little further than the estimate.(I did very careful measurements on a printout of a few star chart program and Harvard's estimation method got to 0.6 to 1 degree from M75 depending on the angle deviation from the gamma Sag. - tau Sag. line, so I'm guessing some people may have troubles) Nevertheless, this is a VERY minor complaint for Harvard's method is based on estimation. Getting as near to the object as possible with the simplest method is what matters. My suggestion to any similar situation is to use a star atlas beside this book too to help with objects that don't seem to show up on first or second attempt. Furthermore, if the object is not in view, do scan around a little (which Harvard did mention). In a real Messier Marathon, don't panic (as I did =) and keep in mind that the less detailed charts are mainly for estimation. Overall, an exceptional book, beautifully written and educating. A book that deserves to be on the bookshelves of all amateur astronomers!
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Excellent guide for the Messiers 16 Dec 1999
By "pibbsdog" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
this book is written with one purpose in mind-to get the reader(observer)through the Messier objects utilizing various, and well explained, star hopping techniques combined with in-scale drawings of the objects within their given constellations. It also has some very useful techniques for ligning up a telrad type instrument, calibrating the finder and eyepiece, as well as providing an observer's log for the objects and the Messier catalog. Great book and more than worth the money. Being an "advanced beginner" I have found its techniques easy to follow leading to some incredibly successful observations of these beautiful objects. I only wish it included the Caldwell Catalog, but that may have diluted its very narrow and detailed focus on the Messier objects. Highly recommended!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Best Intro Book to Finding the Messier Objects 10 July 2000
By David W. Chapel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is exceptional for the beginning backyard astronomer. I found 25 objects in one weekend alone using this book. I'm up to 95 objects total with no doubt in my mind that the book will allow me to find the remaining 15 objects. In dark skies, the Telrad finder charts work extremely well. Over a dozen times I have literally been able to line up the Telrad finder per the book's illustrations and look into the eyepiece and see the desired target. In light polluted areas, where I do most of my observing and where the Telrad is not quite as useful, the star charts in the book provide just the right detail to find the target by either star hopping with a conventional finder or moving along lines of constant declination or ascension relative to a known star. Well worth the low $20 price tag.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful and completely useable guide to observing Messie 28 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I spent about 2 hours looking at a borrowed copy of this book at the Table Mountain Star Party and I am ordering it today. The book gives a great overview of Messier and all the Messier objects, but the best part for me were the extremely user friendly charts (especially good if you observe using a Telrad finder), and the excellent PENCIL drawings which really show (better than photographs) what a particular object looks like through a small amateur telescope. I am about half way through my random search for Messier - this is the book I will use to complete my search!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Guide for finding the Messier Objects 8 Aug 2000
By George J. Pattison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After trying run my first Messier marathon with charts that I had prepared myself, I wish I had had this book with me that night. I would have seen alot more. Using this book, I have able to locate many objects that I had not been able to find before with certainty.
This book is excellent resource that I now take along with my telescope to every star party. The charts and object sketches are well oriented to the practicing amateur astronomer. Also covered are telescope calibration, observing techniques, and site selection. The only drawback to this book that I have found so far has been that it is not printed on waterproof paper. So, I had to order another copy to cut up and laminate.
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