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4.3 out of 5 stars
Astronomy Manual: The Practical Guide to the Night Sky
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2010
Star stuff delivered in a easy-to-understand style with superb illustrations. A must-buy for anyone interested in the 'great out there' from beginners to the more advanced.
Thoroughly enjoyable, visually luxurious, a great addition to the reference shelf.
Well done Jane A Green and Haynes.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2010
I brought this book through amazon when it was first published! I am currently half way through it and I have to say I am very impressed! It is very well written and is excellent for all ages! Its easy to understand and has loads of pictures and diagrams to help you understand the subject. I would recommend it to anyone showing an interest in astronomy.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2010
So you think of Haynes as a car repair manual, well with this book think again. It is the size of a standard Haynes manual but thats where the it ends. This book is richly illustrated with fantastic colour photos and diagrams and takes you on a journey through the solar system, stars, constellations explaining each subjsct in an informative but easy way.It also has sections on binocular and telescopes to help you understand and use these pieces of equipment to view the night sky, it also shows how the professionals do it with current and projected projects. Sections on astro photography and home amateur observatories are also covered and gives you the basics to give inspiration for further investigation. All in all as a somewhat novice to astronomy I found this book thoughtful and well laid out. It could be said to be aimed at beginners or an enthusiasts guide, and in that area it excels. If you want an astronomy book to start off with you couldn't go wrong with this one. If the likes of Sir Patrick Moore and Dr Brian May give it a thumbs up than I am more than happy to join them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2010
Great book for the amateur and more advanced hobby astronomer. Published in late 2010 it contains all the latest thinking on things like exoplanets etc. Lot of good info on astrophotography which has advanced a great deal over the last few years with the development of powerfull webcams etc. Recommended reading
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2011
On having a quick glance of this book, and reading the reviews on here this seemed to be the perfect book for a complete beginner like me. The photos and diagrams are simply stunning, the best I've seen in many books. A further glance in the book has sections on telescopes and eyepieces which are invaluable for people like me wanting to know more about astronomy and observing with a telescope.

However, upon reading, and I'm currently half way through i agree with the previous review. There are many simple errors one stating Saturns average distance from the sun as 1.4 million km and I'm guessing it's meant to be billion as on the previous page Jupiters was stated at 779 million km! If like me you are starting out, some topics are not explained thoroughly enough. Previous knowledge upon reading this book would be helpful but this is not the reason I bought this book therefore beginners like me I would suggest you look elsewhere. My main gripe about this book though are the simple errors which anyone can pick out and its a mystery to me how these weren't noticed before printing. Hopefully a second edition will correct these then I would give it a 3/4 star.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2012
Superb up-to-date work. Slight departure from the old Haynes Manuals, but very easy to read with excellent interpretive photos, graphics and diagrams.
I would recommend this as a reference book for youngsters following the National Curriculum, Amateur Astronomers, Astronomy students or any-one with an enquiring mind.
With time some of the text may become out-dated, but the core of the volume should stand out for many years to come.
From Solar System objects, like comets, asteroids and planets to Deep Space objects like Pulsars, Quasars and Black holes. From High energy physics to Dark matter: it's all there in well thought out and descriptive text, backed up by immersive imagery.
Think Professor Cox but without the annoying soundtrack!!!
This works well as a reference book; looking up points of interest, or as a flik and mix; just reading whatever catches your eye but is surprisingly easy to read cover to cover (although if you're a total novice to astronomy you might risk frying your brain: serious information overload!)
My only suggestion to Haynes is that they might consider employing proof-readers who actually know something the subject they're reviewing: not many typo's but a few "hoots" where numbers are involved!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2011
Fantastic book which explains everything in plain English. It covers all the interesting stuff (as if there was anything that WASN'T interesting in the universe!!) and provides a beginners guide to viewing the night sky with binoculars and telescopes. A basic 'point you in the right direction' book with some fantastic photographs. Well recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2011
On the plus side there are a lot of clear explanations, good pictures and a good overview of the general concepts involved.

However, the book is less than 200 pages long, and there is a bit of fluff and padding.

If there was an updated edition, the most useful addition would be to expand the section in "Amateur Viewing" on Star Charts. The book itself says you should have access to a "star chart", and then the following 10 pages contain some useful star charts, but only detail on 15 constellations:

Andromeda / Bootes / Cancer / Canis Major / Cassiopeia / Centaurus / Crux
Cygnus / Hercules / Leo / Orion / Saggitarius / Scorpius / Taurus / The Plough

2000 years ago Ptolemy listed 48 constellations, and I would have thought that at a minimum level, a good Astronomy Manual should have star maps for all the well-known constellations, and now we describe the sky in terms of maybe 88 constellations I see no reason why this book could not include an extra 20 pages to give details of all the constellations. After all we don't want to be less educated than our Babylonian and Greek ancestors! The 88 constellations are listed in Appendix 1, that is it.

I would also add that the appendices 5.1 and 5.2 of Star Maps from the Northern and Southern hemispheres are a great idea, but spreading this over 8 pages instead of squashing it in to 2 pages would have been much more pleasant to view.

Finally, I thought coverage of Radio astronomy and CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) was too slight.

So basically, the book is a great idea, but needs a revised version to beef up the information it provides.
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on 3 April 2013
This is a really great reference book, most significantly for the absolute the novice as well as the more experienced astronomer. The book provides clear advice with excellent explanations and useful pointers on how to get the best from any level of participation in this exciting science/hobby. Also provides very useful information on how, what and when to purchase equipment, how much to spend dependent on your experience, and once you are set up most importantly, where to look.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2013
My boyfriend has always been fascinated by the idea of astronomy and recently borrowed a telescope from a colleague to try it out. I wanted to buy him a book to help him make the most of it and a quick Google brought me to this, which I gave him for Christmas. He really loves it and can often be found perusing it and exclaiming over fascinating facts and images.

Don't think Haynes car manual - this is actually a readable book and a pleasure to browse or read cover-to-cover.
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