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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition of classic observing guide
That this observing guide has survived into its fourth edition is testament to its quality. Clearly one of the best companions to practical astronomy, for all levels of interest (including simple naked-eye observing). It is in the usual format, based around monthly star charts for both northern and southern hemispheres, and then more detailed constellation and lunar maps...
Published on 15 July 2011 by Simon Esposito

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collins Guide
Goes into far more detail at this stage than what I really needed. However as I get more into astronomy and star gazing then no doubt it will come more into use.
Published 5 months ago by The South Lincs Geoff Brown


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition of classic observing guide, 15 July 2011
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
That this observing guide has survived into its fourth edition is testament to its quality. Clearly one of the best companions to practical astronomy, for all levels of interest (including simple naked-eye observing). It is in the usual format, based around monthly star charts for both northern and southern hemispheres, and then more detailed constellation and lunar maps with their accompanying text briefly describing the most interesting objects. The depth of coverage is surprisingly high, so the book is really inexhaustible. I had the second edition, and it was an inspiring guide when I was first learning the sky. But it has proved to be a permanent companion, even after going on to more detailed atlases and observing handbooks, since no single book matches its convenience and beauty for casual stargazing.

Another section gives a good introduction to the science of astronomy - particularly as it relates to the universe which a backyard amateur sees! On the other hand Ian Ridpath's accounts of constellation mythology and lore are especially insightful, and he explains many more star names than other similar books do.

I definitely found the new edition worth buying, mainly for the improved star charts - they give much higher contrast between stars and background in both low light and red light. Don't be deceived by the relatively 'washed out' appearance of the background in full daylight! Even then, there is a beauty to these charts that grows on you. (The addition of colour to the brightest stars in the monthly charts is another beautiful touch.) The text is generally just a little bit improved and updated. It is probably for the best that the five-year planetary finder charts are removed to a companion website - not enough years' worth can be included to match the life of the book - although I think they CAN still be useful as an illustration of the type and SCALE of motion of each planet across the sky.

P.S. Just a note on using the monthly charts. They are cleverly drawn (taking advantage of being split across two pages) to give a very realistic sky-view - without the distortion of normal one-sided planispheres. To make good use of them instead of a planishere, though, you need to remember that the 12 charts also represent the sky through a single day, moving FORWARD at two-hour intervals. So the September chart shows the sky at 10 p.m. on the 15th: for midnight on the same day go to the October chart, for 8 p.m. go to the August chart. This wasn't explained in the book, and it took me ages to cotton on! (It's a pity that the charts weren't put into separate blocks for each hemisphere, to make it easier to flick between the months for an animated sky view!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential kit for the stargazer., 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Great book. Fairly sizeable but can still be easily shoved into the pocket of my combat jacket to use in the field whilst out with the telescope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed and interesting, 31 Dec 2013
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E. Gillum "lizzieg" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
This book has lots of detail, with diagrams & pictures. There are also good photos. My teenaged son received it from his Grandma for Christmas (via my Amazon account!) and is very pleased with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just bought a telescope, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Having just bought an astronomical telescope before knowing much about the night sky at all, I bought this as an introduction. It is well-written and very detailed - hard to get your head around some of the statistics! It has extensive photos and charts and I am sure will be of use always, not just to get me started. Although the book said "used", it is clearly new and undamaged and came virtually by return - very pleased.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good companion for basic star-gazing. You can look up all the brightest objects in each constellation and get good info., 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Its a very simple format - most of the book gives a list of all the bright stars and deep space objects by constellation, with brief details of each. So when I'm out at night with the telescope (especially with friends), we can easily look up different stars etc and get basic facts about what we are seeing. The only slight downside is that it seems to lack one or two obvious things that could add even more value - e.g. star spectral classes are given only in words ("yellow/white" which I assume is class F but it would be nice to have that stated).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide), 11 May 2013
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Collins have made very good guides over the years [especially when I was younger] and this is no exception!

2/3's of the book is about sky maps and the 88 constellations with the remaining 1/3 to do with the Solar System, with a bit on star formation and telescopes. There are good maps on the moon and a bit on Mars too.
The maps/constellations section is excellent, the 'Planets' section could have done with a bit more info, but the book is already 400 pages long so they would have had to make it a two volume set!

This copy is a paperback and because of this will get creases down the spine and general wear and tear if well used.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Astronomy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collins Guide, 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Goes into far more detail at this stage than what I really needed. However as I get more into astronomy and star gazing then no doubt it will come more into use.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting book, 10 Jan 2013
This review is from: Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) (Paperback)
Es compacto, pero está lleno de información, imágenes... y se hace bastante ameno de leer. Cualquier libro de Collins es recomendable!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collins Stars And Planets, 17 Jan 2013
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I have only had a quick look at this book,but I think I will it will be well worth it.
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Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide)
Collins Stars and Planets Guide (Collins Guide) by Ian Ridpath (Paperback - 3 Mar 2011)
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