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David Levy's Guide to Variable Stars, Second Edition Paperback – 15 Dec 2005
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'… as a simple guide for the novice observer, this volume has no rival.' Astronomy Magazine
'A well-written guide, by one of this country's most enthusiatic amateur astronomers …' Andrew Fraknoi, Mercury
'If you think variable star observing is boring, this book will convince you otherwise. Most importantly, Observing Variable Stars will get you outside looking at the sky.' Deep Sky
'This new book is delightful … The work is well researched, thought out, and executed … For those of you who have not yet been introduced to variable stars, enjoy this introduction. For those already acquainted with 'variables', give yourself a few cloudy nights with this delightful book!' The Strolling Astronomer
'This is a quality book throughout. I recommend it highly to amateurs everywhere who feel that they have passed the 'star gazing' stage and now wish to make their own personal contribution to human knowledge. The publishers are to be commended for giving David Levy the chance to make it available to a wide audience …' The Reflector
'The text is very anecdotal and easy to read, with many lessons for us all in the process.' Gnoman
'… there is always the promise that the observer will make a truly important astronomical discovery. … this book provides all the necessary advice and instructions for the variable star novice … also offering some interesting reading for those already acquainted with this topic. … here is a real opportunity to leave your mark in the heavens.' Astronomy & Space
'This is by far the most accessible book for beginning variable star observers in print. Everything you need to know to get started in variable star observing is laid out in an easy to follow, logical progression. Levy describes things in a non technical manner that makes it understandable to everyone. More importantly, his enthusiasm for the subject is infectious and his personal stories and experience make the book that much more readable. …If you are just getting started, or contemplating observing variable stars, buy this book first. By the end you will be hooked … and well on you way to enjoying a hobby that will keep you busy and happy for years to come.' American Association of Variable Star Observers Bookstore
'Illustrated with some interesting light curves, many finder charts and a few photographs, this inspiring introduction to variable star observing gives the beginner an excellent start and an incentive to investigate further. It has brought some interesting stars to my notice.' Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Variable stars are fascinating objects to observe and can be seen with even the most basic of equipment. In this highly accessible book David Levy teaches the reader how variable stars work, and how to observe them. This book will serve to motivate anyone to begin observing these fascinating objects.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Levy's guide is a a recommended introduction to this topic.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What has changed with this edition is an updating of the earlier with a new chapter on CCD photometry. Also added is a section on Clyde Tombaugh and TV Corvi (a cataclysmic variable star). Missing from this new edition is an anectdote about a bet Levy made over SS Cygni (another cataclysmic variable). Otherwise, execept for a slight change in layout and smaller text size this is essentially the same book as the aforementioned "Observing Variable Stars".
Those like myself who would (in my case did) purchase this believing it to be more or less different in content than Levy's earlier book might want to take note.
But make no mistake, whichever edition you get, this is an excellent and inspiring guide to the newbie variable star observer.
One last piece of advice. Whatever book on variable star observing you get, you should go to the official AAVSO website to obtain the latest, most accurate comparison star charts to use. [...]
Some, such a the charts for the star R Leonis (which I was trying out from his book) have had the magnitudes of the comparison stars revised since the publication of even this updated edition of the book.
As a note, occasionally the AAVSO chart generator gets the data wrong for a star since it relies on the current version of the General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS) for its data and any error there gets propagated to the chart generator. I actually used an old chart from Levy's book which had the correct magnitude range from visual observations to correct my computer generated chart. One of the joys of the computer age is how bad data and a search engine can make a single error prevalent worldwide at the speed of light. Having an independent reference is a good thing.