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Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe Hardcover-spiral – 12 Sep 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Hardcover-spiral, 12 Sep 2006
£25.48
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Product details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; 4th ed. edition (12 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155407147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554071470
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 2.2 x 27.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,290,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] Absolutely the best book for beginners.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] Highly recommended as the best of its kind.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] A fine beginner's guide to observational astronomy.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] An excellent resource for aspiring astronomers and astrophotographers.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] Easily the best in its field. ... Highly recommended for all libraries.

[Review of previous edition: ] One of the best all-around general astronomy books ... simple to understand.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] An accessible reference for all amateur astronomers ... Packed with practical information.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] This is a book you can confidently recommend to anyone who is just starting out in astronomy.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] One of the top stargazing guides in the English language, gives novices just the right information.

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] I believe I've found the best beginners [astronomy] book ever.... nothing short of awesome. -- Bob Burris "Sailsbury Post" (05/14/2005)

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] An ideal first book for the backyard astronomer ... one that will grow along with the observer's skill. -- Chet Raymo "Sky and Telescope"

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] Wonderful book...The kind of guide that takes you by the hand and leads you to all the good stuff. -- Jim Quig "Calgary Herald" (04/11/2005)

ÝReview-of-previous-edition: ¨ Absolutely the best book for beginners.

ÝReview-of-previous-edition: ¨ Highly recommended as the best of its kind.

ÝReview-of-previous-edition: ¨ Easily the best in its field. ... Highly recommended for all libraries.

ÝReview-of-previous-edition: ¨ A great all-round astronomy guide. -- Glenn Chaple "Astronomy" (12/01/2002)

ÝReview-of-previous-edition: ¨ This is a book you can confidently recommend to anyone who is just starting out in astronomy.

Remains perhaps the best book available for amateur astronomers ... fascinating browsing even if you never put eye to telescope.

This classic title has revisions in every chapter.

A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist.

The essential guide for stargazers... lavishly illustrated... A cosmic closet-full of astronomical delights. [that] puts the heavens at your fingertips.

A "must" for any night-time observer. -- Diane C. Donovan "The Midwest Book Review" (03/01/2007)

A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist. -- Mike Lynch "St Paul Pioneer Press" (12/17/2006)

A 'must' for any night-time observer. -- Diane C. Donovan "The Midwest Book Review" (03/01/2007)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] A great all-round astronomy guide. -- Glenn Chaple "Astronomy" (12/01/2002)

Another must-have.... -- Becky Ramotowski, SkyWatch "My San Antonio Times (mysa.com)" (12/08/2008)

A 'must' for any night-time observer.--Diane C. Donovan"The Midwest Book Review" (03/01/2007)

Newly updated, lavishly illustrated...packed with facts...and a cosmic closet-full of other astronomical delights. Nightwatch puts the heavens at your fingertips.--Neil Pond"American Profile" (11/26/2006)

[Astronomy] is a subject that young people are not discarding.....They're interested in it. And they know a lot."--Maria Calabrese"The North Bay Nugget" (09/11/2008)

A clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing... fantastically revised... The best introduction around.--Ivan Semeniuk"New Scientist" (01/20/2007)

NightWatch remains one of the best sourcebooks to introduce beginning astronomers to the night sky, and to keep them interested.--Stuart J. Goldman"Sky and Telescope" (01/01/2007)

If you buy this book for no other reason that to ..find the North Star...then it'll be worth your money.--Garry Black"Garry Black Photography (GarryBlack.com)" (01/01/2006)

This practical guide is a must ... I believe this is the best book in its field available to amateurs.--Teri Cosentino"The Science Teacher" (01/01/2008)

NightWatch, now in its fourth edition, has become a staple in many Canadian cottages and amateur astronomers' bookshelves.--Ian Elliot"The Whig-Standard" (06/07/2008)

[Globe and Mail 2006 Holiday Gift Book selection] Remains perhaps the best book available for amateur astronomers, and makes fascinating browsing even if you never put eye to telescope.

It may be hard to justify upgrading from later printings of the third edition, but NightWatch remains one of the best sourcebooks to introduce beginning astronomers to the night sky -- and to keep them interested.--Stuart J. Goldman"Sky and Telescope" (01/01/2007)

RQ[Review-of-previous-edition:] Easily the best in its field. ... Highly recommended for all libraries. [Review-of-previous-edition:] Highly recommended as the best of its kind. [Review-of-previous-edition:] This is a book you can confidently recommend to anyone who is just starting out in astronomy. [Review-of-previous-edition:] Absolutely the best book for beginners.

This book is widely regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers. If you buy this book for no other reason that to help you find the North Star, so that you can take images of Star Trails, then it'll be worth your money.--Garry Black"Garry Black Photography (GarryBlack.com)" (01/01/2006)

A paramount book of sky objects... easy and understandable. This practical guide is a must for the science classroom teacher, the beginning or amateur astronomer, and young and old students of the night. The author gives a sensible, realistic perspective on night sky viewing. I believe this is the best book in its field available to amateurs.--Teri Cosentino"The Science Teacher" (01/01/2008)

With this book, viewing the night skies can become fun again, and a family affair.... A must-have book, to stimulate interest in the heavens above, and away from video games and less productive activities.

[Nightwatch was] a clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing that also managed to convey the excitement of astronomy. This fantastically revised edition continues that tradition, but now includes sky maps for observers in the southern hemisphere and a guide to celestial phenomena up to 2018. The best introduction around.--Ivan Semeniuk"New Scientist" (01/20/2007)

Renowned author and astronomer Terence Dickinson took Grade 5 and 6 students from the [North Bay] area through the universe to make snowballs from water and ice particles that make up Saturn's rings, and visit the red liquid methane lakes of its moon, Titan.... "I'm hoping that they'll walk away with excitement about the universe," he said." It's a subject that young people are not discarding. They're living with it. They're interested in it. And they know a lot."--Maria Calabrese"The North Bay Nugget" (09/11/2008)

Aspiring stargazers will find everything that they need to unlock the secrets of the night sky in this newly updated edition. Public and school libraries will certainly want to update their collections with this book.--Amy Luedtke"VOYA" (06/01/2007)

A "must" for any night-time observer.--Diane C. Donovan"The Midwest Book Review" (03/01/2007)

A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist.--Mike Lynch"St Paul Pioneer Press" (12/17/2006)

General interest introduction to astronomy now in its fourth edition... bends the mind with information.--Barbara Julian"Victoria Times-Colonist" (01/14/2007)

This is probably the best handbook for the beginning astronomer.--Drew Monkman"The Examiner (Peterborough)" (12/11/2007)

New, better-quality photos; amped-up sections on astrophotography and using amateur telescopic equipment; and a new chapter on the skies visible from the Southern hemisphere.--Lynn Andriani"PublishersWeekly.com" (09/05/2006)

This fourth edition of the essential guide for amateur stargazers is newly updated, lavishly illustrated...and packed with facts...and a cosmic closet-full of other astronomical delights. For anyone who ever looked up and wondered what's out there, Nightwatch puts the heavens at your fingertips.--Neil Pond"American Profile" (11/26/2006)

NightWatch remains the best single source on sky watching and astronomy equipment for the backyard enthusiast.--Randy Groundwater"Windsor Star" (12/10/2006)

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] A great all-round astronomy guide.--Glenn Chaple"Astronomy" (12/01/2002)

If Canadians look at the sky more than anyone else in the world, it's thanks to one of our own....NightWatch, now in its fourth edition, has become a staple in many Canadian cottages and amateur astronomers' bookshelves along with his popular The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. The book has also quietly gone on to be the bestselling stargazer's guide in the world, having been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek and other languages, and selling a stead 25,000 copies or more a year around the world.--Ian Elliot"The Whig-Standard" (06/07/2008)

Another must-have....--Becky Ramotowski, SkyWatch"My San Antonio Times (mysa.com)" (12/08/2008)

This is a fantastic introductory book chock full of information and charts. Well written and engaging, it is sure to provide all the information to get Dad started looking at the night sky.--John Kulczyzki"suite101.com" (05/10/2010)

[Review-of-previous-edition: ] [Nightwatch was] a clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing that also managed to convey the excitement of astronomy. This fantastically revised edition continues that tradition, but now includes sky maps for observers in the southern hemisphere and a guide to celestial phenomena up to 2018. The best introduction around.--Ivan Semeniuk"New Scientist" (01/20/2007)

About the Author

Terence Dickinson is the best-selling author of 14 other astronomy books, including The Backyard Astronomer's Guide and Hubble's Universe. He has received many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Science Book of the Year Award.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Jan. 2004
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I am a beginner; I have other astronomy books, but these always seem to be impenetrable hence I was an unsuccessful and disillusioned beginner.
Within an hour of reading the book I was navigating my way around the sky with good success and growing confidence. The information is well laid out and guides you easily in simple steps. It also avoids the "list everything" approach of my other books and details those things that are worth the effort to look for (whether with binoculars or smaller telescope). I am sure that this information is in other books - but the layout of this makes it considerably more useable. Physically its ring bound; so you can fold the pages back and orientate the sky maps. Secondly it leads you step by step from a guide constellation to get an orientation and mapping this to the sky maps. Once you know what you are looking at the maps help you to see what is *worth* looking at with the equipment you have.
I am sure that I will grow out of this book at some point in time and need to use my other more encyclopaedic books - but the point is that without Nightwatch these other books would collect dust forever.
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Format: Spiral-bound
This book is very well thought out. It is not only well written, well structured and illustrated, but even the spiral bound format is excellent for using the book while star-gazing. The charts are excellent, the stars of the Big Dipper, Orion and other constellations are used as pointers to other stars, constellations and deep sky objects. This format is a boon to those of us just learning the stars.
The seasonal star charts show the night sky in two formats on opposing pages. One is annotated with the constellations, star names, a few deep sky objects and the pointers to other objects(mentioned earlier), the second chart shows a rendition of a deep blue sky with the stars and no annotations. This combination of charts has been very helpful to my wife, children and me as we learn the night sky.
Later in the book there are twenty, more finely detailed charts showing the locations of more galaxies, nebulas and star clusters.
The book also introduces "deep sky objects" (galaxies, nebulas and star clusters) and explains each type. These objects are what have actually sparked my interest in astronomy even more than the stars and planets.
The book covers several other astronomical subjects, inluding: the planets, sun and moon, eclipses, comets, meteors, and auroras. The chapter on stargazing equipment is very useful if your trying to choose a telescope. The second chapter "The Universe in Eleven Steps" is mind-stretching journey starting at the Earth and expanding to the breadth of the physical universe.
My wife received "Night Watch" from me as a gift, and for Christmas she got me "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide," also by Terence Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson's writing style and clarity brings this lofty subject down to earth for those of us who are not astrophysicists or astronomers.
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Format: Hardcover
Interested in astronomy? Thinking of buying a telescope? Please buy this book first. It will tell you everything you need to know about the different types of telescopes and all the different accessories including eyepieces and mounts. It is very easy to waste your money buying the wrong type. This book is one of the most comprehensive guides available. In my opinion it is THE guide. As well as being an equipment guide is also an excellent introduction to actual observing.
After you buy your telescope have a look at Turn Left at Orion.
These two books are the ones recommended most often to beginners on astronomy forums.
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Format: Spiral-bound
As a new beginner to Astronomy, I bought two books, this being one of them, and the other being "Turn Left at Orion".
Both have their individual merits. TLAO is great for providing fine detail to how to find the object that you are searching for, and shows what it should look like in the telescope and/or binoculars. This is something thats missing from Nightwatch.
NW does however provide very good star maps based on individual constellations, and seasonal skycharts, all of which provide general locations for all major objects. This is what is missing from TLAO.
Used in conjunction, both books work well, however Nightwatch is the book that I prefer. Reason being, that Nightwatch is a much more complete reference book for the "seeable" cosmos. Fantastic background material and pictures of the major objects which serve to whet the appetite for scope viewing. I have located many objects through use of the constellation maps. If I have trouble finding them, that is when I turn to TLAO. NW also has the advantage of having a spiral bound format which makes the book highly user friendly in "the field"
I would highly recommend this book to anyone having a passing interest in the night sky for its sheer completeness.
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Format: Hardcover
"Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe" is an excellent accompaniment to complement to Terence Dickinson's other book (co-authored with Alan Dyer) on popular astronomy, "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide". "Nightwatch" concentrates more on observing techniques, and includes useful charts covering both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. I particularly like Dickinson's annotated star charts which show at a glance the most interesting celestial objects within a given constellation with useful data and personalized comments. The general level of discussion and easy narrative style is aimed at the practising amateur astronomer, and the high quality paper in a spiral bound hard-cover book format makes it very convenient for use whilst observing outside. The thirteen chapters cover an amazing spread of topics, from the large-scale structure of the Cosmos, through deep-sky objects, the Planets, Sun and Moon, to comets, meteors and auroras. For completeness, a chapter is dedicated to stargazing equipment, but this is covered in much more detail in the Backyard Astronomer's Guide. Overall, the book is to be highly recommended for both novice and experienced astronomers alike.
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