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The Deep Sky: An Introduction (Sky & Telescope Observer's Guides) Paperback – 1 Dec 1997

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Reference for Beginning Amateur Astronomers 21 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The well written content of this book aids the reader in star-hopping to find about 300 of the finest deep sky objects down to 60S declination, using excellent text, photos and sketches to describe their appearance.
The first five chapters contain excellent instructive material, followed by the seasonally ordered descriptive material. The reference material in the back includes useful listings of data on the objects described in the book, the constellations, the Messier Objects, an excellent Bibliography and useful addresses listing many web sites in both cases, in addition to a Star Atlas.
The unusual atlas included at the back is appropriate for the magnitudes of the objects described in the book. Unfortunately the author failed to include a crucial bit of information for each description by omitting a page reference for the location of the objects in the Atlas. Perhaps this will be corrected in a future edition of a book which will certainly merit further printings.
Despite this annoying defect, this is a good buy and a valuable tool for a beginning star observer. Although some of the objects described can be seen with good binoculars and a few with the naked eye, you will need at least a 100mm telescope or better to see many of them.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference work for the amateur astronomer 6 April 2004
By Rodger Raubach - Published on
Format: Paperback
This work by Phil Harrington should be in the reference library of any amateur astronomer. Although it has been to some extent superseded by the author's "Star Watch" , information is provided on a more exhaustive listing of objects.
The general impression one receives upon cracking the cover of this book , is of library quality rather than a "field book" , since the paper stock is of high quality gloss finish. I would use this book indoors to plan my observing sessions and use either photocopies of the star charts appended at the end of the book , or a field type star chart for outdoor use.
More classes of objects are covered in this volume than in "Star Watch" : galaxies , asterisms , star clusters , multiple stars , and quasars are all represented. Rather extensive verbal descriptions are included with directions for finding approximately 300 celestial objects , along with very interesting descriptions and explanations of them. The only criticism I have is that a few of the Messier objects are not included.
In a direct comparison with "Star Watch" , I find this volume to be more difficult to use. For a beginning astronomer , I would recommend this book as a follow-up project once the skies are familiar. "Star Watch" is a bit more user friendly for beginners. I still rate this work 5 stars and recommend it. The author has an excellent approach to finding and explaining celestial wonders.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Go Observing Without It 26 Feb. 2005
By StarsNBikes4ever - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have a well used, copy of this book that I find essential while planning a nights viewing session; I also keep it next to my telescope when observing. As the title suggests, only deep sky objects such as nebulas and galaxies are covered. Objects like the moon and planets are "shallow sky" objects and aren't listed. Most of the objects are probably visible in telescopes of medium size from dark sky locations.

This book is divided into 3 main portions. The first briefly covers various types of objects, and equipment and techniques to observe them. The next part lists constellations seasonally. Deep sky objects are listed along with descriptions and star-hopping methods for locating them. The last part is a Mag 6 star atlas, with all the listed objects shown.

One of the other reviewers bemoaned that the descriptions don't mention the pages they appear in the atlas. I agree it would be a nice touch, and is the one thing that I'd wish for.

In my case, I've scribbled notes and underlined portions of text.

Despite this, I highly recommend this book. I find it one of the better beginner-intermediate selections in this field. It doesn't take up too much valuable space, but lists a number of objects both common and overlooked. I keep it with my charts, and it's one of a very select group of objects I keep with my telescope.
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