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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better, 16 Jan 2008
This review is from: Astrophysics Is Easy!: An Introduction for the Amateur Astronomer (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
[This review also appears in 'Astronomy Now' magazine]

The mere word `astrophysics' is enough to frighten the living daylights out of many people. This offering from Springer's Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy series sets out to change all that. And an admirable task it is, too.

Sadly, the book is less reader-friendly than it might be, often reading more like a dull scientific paper. It makes the immediate mistake of assuring the reader that only a little maths is required to understand the subject, then progresses to stick four equations in the first three pages! OK, they aren't very difficult equations to comprehend. But if they'd been put into boxes alongside the main text, that may have been less intimidating to those of us who give maths a wide berth.

The book does have a good stab at encouraging readers to go out and look at the various classes, colours and pairings of stars. But again it falls down with bland, often confusing listings of objects. For example, the author insists on using obscure symbols to represent the ease of observing various emission nebulae, instead of a simple "easy, moderate, difficult" scale (which is used later in the text). In some cases, there seemed to be a bias towards objects located in the northern hemisphere, and an assumption that everyone has access to an expensive CCD-equipped 200mm (10") telescope to see the fainter objects.

There are plenty of clear diagrams to aid understanding, but several of these, like graphs of blackbody radiation and the Hertzprung-Russell diagram are made less useful by the lack of colour printing; a greyscale `rainbow' just doesn't work very well!

A good attempt, but Inglis seems to have forgotten his amateur background and put his professional astronomer's foot forward on this one. Having also read and studied the superb Open University's "Stars and the Interstellar Medium", I felt it was a big disappointment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not appear to have been proof read, 29 Aug 2011
By 
Reverend John C. Cossins "John Cossins" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Astrophysics Is Easy!: An Introduction for the Amateur Astronomer (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
This would have been an excellent overview for someone with limited knowledge. Unfortunately it is spoilt by the very large number of errors and misprints, unusual from a publisher that can usually be trusted for accuracy. A revised edition with the errors corrected would be helpful.
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