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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I returned an expensive present once I read this book...
Did you know that a 'spotter' scope with fantastic zoom capabilities may not be the best telescope for viewing the stars? I didn't until I read this book - so I returned an expensive gift and reinvested the refund in something more suitable. You can save yourself hundreds (and possibly thousands) of pounds reading this short, handy book before buying a telescope...
Published on 2 Jan. 2002

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
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Published 12 days ago by j a krause


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I returned an expensive present once I read this book..., 2 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Did you know that a 'spotter' scope with fantastic zoom capabilities may not be the best telescope for viewing the stars? I didn't until I read this book - so I returned an expensive gift and reinvested the refund in something more suitable. You can save yourself hundreds (and possibly thousands) of pounds reading this short, handy book before buying a telescope.
As well as some easy to understand basics about telescopes, Scagell provides excellent case studies of what type of telescope are suited to particular owners, based on budget, where you live and how you think you might use it. Do you really need expensive and complex computerised tracking? Do you plan to use your telescope to take photos? What accessories do you need right away, and which are 'nice to have' and worth waiting for? Are you prepared to compromise on portability and maybe buy - or even build - something that may give better stargazing than a flashy, more expensive and more temperamental alternative?
One of the best pieces of advice (and difficult to swallow, if you've already been browsing telescope catalogues!) is that you may just be better off with binoculars to start with.
Scagell backs all of this advice with great stuff on what to look for when you finally find the telescope that's right for you: finding your way around the constellations, gazing at the moon, planets, satellites, etc, etc.
This is a great foundation for a backyard astronomer. For the price of a couple of astronomy magazines, you may well prevent a once-cherished telescope gathering dust under the bed because it was never meant to do the job you wanted it to do.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for, 26 Nov. 2000
A book pact with enthusiasm for the subject, and being new to astronomy it has given me all the info I need to buy a telescope (which I now have) and launched me into this wonderful world, Buy it before you buy a telescope.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn to use a telescope,get this book, 4 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
If you want to learn constellations, how to use a telescope to the best of it's ability, or you are looking to buy binoculars or a telescope, don't bother with other books, just buy this one. It is very useful for both someone who has never touched a telescope and those who are a little more seasoned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy a telescope before you read this...., 26 Mar. 2013
By 
Doccox "ian_cox9" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip's Stargazing with a Telescope (Paperback)
Star gazing with a telescope Robin Scagill

My first foray into astronomy was back in 1960's and guided by Patrick Moore's "Observers Guide to Astronomy - 1962 " , I checked for options to buy a telescope - his unequivocal views were - based on equipment available at the time - either a 3" ( 76.2mm) refractor or a 6" ( 152.4mm) reflector - both of which were beyond my means. People also made their own telescopes , grinding their own mirrors in those days. These were viewed as minimum apertures for useful work
Fast forward 50 years - there are now many options available ( different equipment types , sizes , prices - from the USA ( with the unfortunate $ to £ scam when you buy in the Rip off UK ) , Russia and the far East ( mainly China) ).Equipment can be used for planetary , deep sky work , comet searching and , using latest CCD technology , photography of the heavens. There are even smaller aperture telescopes made with improved designs which may be worth considering
NOTE - unless you spend megabucks you are NOT going to get images like the Hubble Telescope shown on TV or in Astronomy Encyclopaedias
In order not to generate another unused ( sometimes expensive) white elephant a practical guide is required - this book fits the bill for choosing and setting up telescopes , their strengths and weaknesses for planetary and deep sky ( fuzzies like nebulae ) work .There is practical advice as to possible problems. At the end is a list of items to see and links to many other websites.
Best advice I got from the book - If possible get to a "star party" with a chance to see equipment in use , decide what you want to see in the skies , decide if you will really use it ( Britain is cloudy / damp or clear skies are very late in summer or freezing in winter) , What are you really willing to afford and how dedicated you are going to be. Motorised kit exists ( at a price and not always robust in the longer tem) but it will not make anyone a perfect astronomer.
There is also a short section on binoculars ( also covered in a separate book by co authored by the same author)) Some times the best advice is to try binoculars first ( a relatively low cost option) then add a telescope later . Most ( amateur) astronomers will do initial sky scans with binoculars anyway.
This is at present my route with a purchase of 15 x 70 binoculars to supplement my 8 x 42's - also useful for bird watching .
Still waiting for the skies to clear here in SW England ( Spring 2013)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well presented, Lots of good info too!, 24 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
Top Class Book, well formatted.
Very useful information, including Binoculars, Reflectors, Refractors, etc. Helpful buying guide for secondhand and new telescopes with case histories on some popular telescopes. Good information on viewing the night sky, which eyepieces and filters to use for what purpose, using planispheres and maps, viewing the sun, basics of astrophotograpy, even tips on drawing what you see! A list of interesting objects in the sky is also included along with some good Internet links.
Cracking!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point, 5 Oct. 2002
By 
John Mount (Immingham, N.E.Lincolnshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Written with the beginner in mind this is an excellent book for people about to embark on a new venture - stargazing.
If you own a telescope and find the whole thing perplexing then I am sure this book will help. For me, however, its strength lies in its information aimed at people about to buy thier first instrument. Unbiased, to the point and very well explained it is one of the best starter books I have read in a long time. I feel confident that I now know what it is I am looking for to suit my needs and I can shop armed with all the information I need . Highly recomended
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great stuff, 3 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
i would advise any person wanting to buy a telescope(especially the beginner) to read this book before handing over your cash.it will save you alot of money in the long run (& disappointment) & it will tell you exactly what you should be looking for when buying a telescope depending on your interests.well worth it!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Without it's like the Blind Leading The Blind, 27 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr. G. P. Hare "RedRumER" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip's Stargazing with a Telescope (Paperback)
As a noob to Astral Telescopes i made the common mistake of buying my telescope first then this secondly !! My advice again as a newbie get this book first Then with the advice and help in the book choose your telescope later.
Even so and after saying this i did find that with my brand new Celestron PS EQ127 telescope would have been about as much use as a Wet Suit and Water Ski's in the desert..
I could have been one of the many who buy a telescope only to pack it back in the box after their first attempts at using it,when in actual fact take the time to read the book and forget the cost of the book !! its worth ten time its price when you read and use the information contained it will show you how to set up your instrument the correct way and give you the ability to use it as intended.
Loads of other hints and tips willl show you how o find what your looking for and just as importantly how to maintain your valuable telescope, stuff like collimation of mirrors etc might scare you sh@t@ess at first yet with help here it really can become just routine like checking your tire pressures on the car..
I think even old hands at stargazing could learn a little from the book but if your new then its essencial
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 19 Mar. 2005
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D. Ormrod "david11622" (England) - See all my reviews
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An absolutely brilliant book, highly imformative and easy to read, an essential purchase for anyone considering taking up astronomy and extremely useful for the experienced amateur. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars philips stargazing with a telescope, 16 Nov. 2011
By 
STEVE FULLER - See all my reviews
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i bought a half decent telescope about 6 months ago which cost me £120 and although i have hrdly used it i needed a book of stargazing so i chose this one,it was 1st printed in 2000 so it is not an up-to-date book but it is a realy helpful book on stargazing/telescopes.if you are thinking of buying a telecope buy this book 1st as it will advise you on which telescope to buy,i will now buy a philips planisphere which helps you find the planets in the heavens at the time of year.i would recommend buying this book BEFORE or when you get your telescope.
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Philip's Stargazing with a Telescope
Philip's Stargazing with a Telescope by Robin Scagell (Paperback - 17 Oct. 2011)
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