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Stargazing Basics: Getting Started In Recreational Astronomy Paperback – 9 Oct 2008
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'Difficult astronomical concepts are explained clearly, there's an excellent glossary and the text is broken up with useful pictures and information boxes.' BBC Sky at Night
'Stargazing Basics: Getting started in Recreational Astronomy presents a brief primer on the equipment used by amateur astronomers, its limitations and how to decide what (if any) new kit you should buy. Author is an amateur astronomer himself and clearly familiar with the challenge of selecting from the dizzying range of possibilities. He wisely avoids recommending particular models … Instead, the book offers tips on telling flashy but poor-quality features from those that will enhance an evening's stargazing.' physicsworld.com
'The extensive glossary is a real jargon buster and will be a great help for the absolute beginner. I enjoyed this book hugely and recommend it very strongly. Kinzer is a true enthusiast. If he does not get you out there and looking up, no one will.' The Observatory
'I highly recommend this well-written book for anyone interested in learning about the night sky, using and/or purchasing binoculars or a telescope, and desiring to learn how to become a knowledgeable stargazer.' Sky and Telescope
'This book is nicely designed so as not to intimidate the beginner. … There is good coverage of binoculars, spotting telescopes … and the author avoids discussion of large or expensive equipment and explains how to avoid poor and over-sold telescopes. … There is a nice section on star parties and astronomy clubs. … The book's subtitle 'Getting started in recreational astronomy' is a very fair summary of this very sound book - recommended.' Gnomon
'I was given a telescope in my youth, but despite studying Astrophysics at university I have lacked the confidence to use it for the best part of two decades, but it seems I was not the only one, according to the author's personal anecdotes. A lack of clear and suitable information available to the novice spurred the author on to produce this excellent guide for all those would-be amateur astronomers like myself … This book does exactly what it says on the tin; it is a simple (yet informative) guide to get you started, or what the author describes as allowing the readers to 'dip their toes into recreational astronomy before deciding whether to take the plunge'. This is the perfect guide for anyone thinking about embarking on taking up astronomy as a new hobby.' Federation of Astronomical Societies Newsletter
'This book does a good job of covering most of the aspects of starting recreational astronomy, from naked eye observing to purchasing and using a telescope … the author has done what he set out to do by condensing the basic information together into one book as a general guide.' Hazel Collett, Journal of the British Astronomical Association
How do I get started in astronomy? This wonderful informal guide has all you need to know to take the first steps into this fascinating hobby. It explains the basic techniques for observing the night sky, and gives sound advice on purchasing affordable binoculars, telescopes, and accessories.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It also has some good info on the planets and on Deep Sky Objects. However, it did not go into enough details on how to find these delights.
The book starts with a section on naked eye viewing which was really too short. Anyone wanting to start astronomy should be made aware just how much can be seen and learned with their own eyes without any equipment. In this regard the book did not do enough.
In summary the book was fairly good on choosing equipment but a bit light on explaining what is there to be seen.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Caveat: Friend of author.
- guide to chose starting binoculars/telescope
- stargazing basics
- short for the price
- maps look poor on Kindle
Explanations and tips what to look for on starting binoculars/low aperture telescope are well done with practical examples and pictures that help to imagine what you will get and what you will see through it. If you have small or no knowledge on this topic this will help you to avoid mistakes.
Nice introduction to stargazing that will guide you through basic Solar system objects (planets) including basic facts about where to find them and how big they look (angular size). This continues to very basic introduction to deep space objects which can help to point you in the right direction.
At the end there are 8 basic star-maps, one for each season for north and south hemispheres. However on Kindle they look bad lacking detail or sharpness. At least they zoom-up when you turn to landscape and on large Kindle DX they are barely usable. But you can't zoom to arbitrary size like with PDF.
The book would greatly benefit by including chapter on stargazing from light-polluted areas (urban/suburban) and a bit by extending the chapter on deep-space objects.
Overall good purchase for anyone starting with (casual) astronomy. One star down for maps and rather short (but sufficient) size. If you already have good background on choosing telescopes substract one star. If you already know basics of star-gazing substract another one.
Recommended for young adults as well as us older folks starting in this great hobby.
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