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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starting point for stargazers
Having read several books about introductory astronomy, this book brings a fresh approach to introducing the topic and is very accessible. Every thing is explained very clearly and the author has not shied away from including a few advanced topics to take the reader's interest further - you don't have to buy another book once you've learnt the basics!

I would...
Published 18 months ago by CIH_uk

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough information to get started, but uninspiring
As a complete beginner you will certainly find enough information in this book to get started with observing the night sky. However it's a bit constrained by the "Dummies" format designed to look basic. Stargazing is really a topic crying out for large colour diagrams and photographs rather than just simple black and white line drawings.

On the positive side it...
Published 16 months ago by E. L. Wisty


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starting point for stargazers, 22 Feb 2013
This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
Having read several books about introductory astronomy, this book brings a fresh approach to introducing the topic and is very accessible. Every thing is explained very clearly and the author has not shied away from including a few advanced topics to take the reader's interest further - you don't have to buy another book once you've learnt the basics!

I would recommend this to anyone starting in astronomy, wanting to know a little more or have been interested for a while - there is something for everyone. Also included is very good advice on binoculars, telescopes and even astrophotography. It is a good all-rounder!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough information to get started, but uninspiring, 15 April 2013
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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As a complete beginner you will certainly find enough information in this book to get started with observing the night sky. However it's a bit constrained by the "Dummies" format designed to look basic. Stargazing is really a topic crying out for large colour diagrams and photographs rather than just simple black and white line drawings.

On the positive side it could be said that this book provides a simple and uncluttered approach to looking at the constellations allowing you to become familiar with a few at a time. The second half of the book provides chapters on the northern polar constellations visible all year round, and those visible at certain times of the year. These are based on late evening viewing though, so don't tell you what may be seen at other times of the night. It lacks proper monthly star maps for this purpose, as well as detail maps covering areas larger than a single constellation. For these I would recommend the excellent Cambridge Star Atlas.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introductory guide for beginners, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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To be honest, I wasn't expecting a huge amount from this book when I received it, but I have to confess to being pleasantly surprised. The author has written a book that is packed full of clear and concise information on most of the major aspects of astronomy that might be of interest to beginners.

There is information on choosing a telescope and using binoculars as well as guides to viewing the planets, phases of the moon, messier objects, the major constellations and objects of interest within them. What's quite nice about this book is that the author is realistic about what you are likely to be able to see and doesn't overdo the reader's expectations.

Overall, a decent introduction to stargazing for beginners.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read with lots of information, 15 May 2013
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FlowaPowa (Ormskirk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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This is a wonderful insight into the world of stargazing, covering everything from how the planet spins and why we have day and night, through to the complexities of binoculars, telescopes and cameras. And of course there is a lot on star constellations and what time of year you should look for each one.

It is full of fascinating nuggets of information - for example your body enhances your night vision using a chemical called rhodopsin, and that using a red torch will help you to keep your night vision if you really need to shine a light to find something.

The author leads you into the actual business of stargazing very logically, in small steps that are not at all scary.

The only downside to the book is that you can't read it while you're out stargazing because you need it to be dark, so you have to memorise what you want to look for and then go out and look.

I definitely recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for everyone., 15 May 2013
By 
J. Lyne (Forres, Morayshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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The For Dummies books are generally excellent, and this one is no exception. Well written and laid out this is an essential tool for everyone from the budding Astronomers right down to those of us who like to look up at the sky on a clear night.

The book starts with how best to view the sky without any aids and what you can see. It then progresses through binoculars and telescopes for various budgets and levels of interest before covering the more advanced topics of astro photography. Lots of maps and diagrams of the constellations.

As with all of the For Dummies books this is just a starter guide for those embarking on a serious hobby. But in this aspect it hits the mark perfectly, and for the rest of us it will remain a great guide to what we can see when we gaze upwards at night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A No Fuss Guide to the Night Sky, 20 Jun 2013
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Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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In true Dummies style this is a great reference book, with plenty of practical advice for those wanting to spend more time staring up into the night sky, and wondering just what they're looking at. Steve Owens has plenty of helpful tips for budding amateur astronomist - for setting up your telescope, keeping warm in the dark, when and where best to go stargazing - most of which is pretty obvious, but might not necessarily have been something you've thought of before.

True, at times the writing is too simple. I know this is a Dummies book, but really, if you don't why there's a night and a day, or how long a year is, this probably isn't a subject you'd be interested in anyway. Also, the things to look for in the naked eye, binoculars and telescope sections have a lot of overlap. Which is fine for just dipping in at reference moments, but a little repetitive if you're reading it all the way through.

I'll admit the lack of photos is something of a disadvantage (for me) over other beginners guides, because I always find them so inspiring, making me eager to get my telescope out to look for those objects. However, I do think Owens does a great job of inspiring through words, and the star-hopping maps in the third section are beautifully clear, with plenty of information on how to find them and when to look for them.

In all this is a good, handy little guide to the night sky. There are plenty of other guides out there full of bright pictures to inspire a complete beginner, or to encourage someone who is thinking about taking up this hobby. This book, however, is more for those who are ready to get started and just need a few helpful little pointers to make things easy. If you can get past the oversimplified introduction you'll find there's plenty here worth reading, and you'll likely find yourself dipping back into to it time and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dummies or Dunces, 12 Mar 2013
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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All my life since childhood I have been interested in astronomy, and in addition to attempts at identifying stars, planets etc. I have been outdoors to look for eclipses, comets, meteor storms etc. when prompted by the press. I have endeavoured to find an elementary book but even the most basic seem too complex, and my ability has stuck at the level of identifying the Great Bear, Orion and Cassiopeia together with Venus and Jupiter. `Stargazing for Dummies' is a reference manual aimed at novices and at last I have moved on. I am still light years away from being an expert but I have learnt much. Readers should be aware the book is for dipping into rather than reading from cover to cover, and also how information varies in difficulty and intricacy from simple advice to keep warm when out stargazing to tracking the winding travel of Eridanus.

I commenced at the back of the book with Chapter 16 summarising easy stargazing targets to get started like the surface of the Moon or phases of Venus, then in the final Chapter 17 to rather more demanding dark sky sorts of target. Next I relied on the `Introduction' as a foundation before `The Changing Sky' which explains how and why views of the heavens alter with reference to the Earth and its Moon. I skipped the general chapters on preparations for stargazing and use of binoculars or telescope up to astrophotography. The first detailed guidance comes with Chapters 6 and 7 on `fixed' and `wanderer' stars followed by preliminary particulars on constellations and galaxies. After helpful advice on how to use star maps, planisphere etc. the constellations are then specifically dealt with for various periods of the year and for stargazing from different regions of the globe. Diagrams of individual constellations are excellent but only a limited number of groupings are presented to show how these fit into the overall sky. Information on constellations comprises the major part of `Stargazing for Dummies' and it is simplified in operation by a comprehensive `Index'. However in use it is not as plain sailing as suggested when targeting the book at `dummies', and for me navigating the stars was not as straightforward as claimed in publicity blurb. I still find it hard to distinguish between many constellations, and I failed completely to identify others - but my eyes have been opened - my journey through the cosmos may have progressed - but I am still searching for something on astronomy for `dunces'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-presented, enjoyable and highly informative introduction to astronomy, 17 April 2013
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
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Dummies books can be a bit hit and miss. Their quirky style can come over as slightly irritating (and VERY American) and the information imparted is sometimes less than expected. In the case of Stargazing for Dummies, however, I believe the balance between enjoyable accessibility and solid dependable educational material, is just about right.

I've been into astronomy on and off for around 20 years and have slowly but surely worked my way through the Messier catalog. Much of the information herein was already known to me and yet, it is presented here in such a clear and enthusiastic manner that I found it rekindling my interest once again. In particular, the sections on binocular astronomy (always a great start), choosing your first telescope and the Mapping the Skies are sure to prove invaluable to the beginner.

Elements of whimsicality are still there in places - a few not particularly comical cartoons are included as is the occasional 'repeat after me...!' motto, but it grates far less than in my Unix For Dummies book.

It's nicely indexed and has plenty of clear diagrams of constellations and to help illustrate astronomical terms (e.g. the celestial sphere).

All in all, this is a great starter book, which equips you with the basic tools to enjoy all that free entertainment the night sky has to offer.

One final point: this book is slightly smaller than the usual Dummies format and fits quite happily in a jacket pocket - another good point!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thorough introduction, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
I have read quite a few books on Astronomy over the years but have always felt that I had miissed a couple of chapters because they introduced terms and information which I prehaps should have known. I was therefore really pleased when I began reading this book as it starts from the very beginning and assumes nothing. That being said, it introduces the basics quickly and with good detailed explanations which are easy to follow and doesn't bog you down with too much technical jargon.

It manages to cover a lot of ground given the size of the book and gives some really worthwhile practical advice to the novice stargazer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Stargazing For Dummies (Paperback)
New to stargazing and found this book very useful. Pleased I brought it. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys stargazing.
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