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on 25 January 2012
This is a great book for calculations that are relevant to astronomy. It covers aspects of calendars and time (Julian dates, sidereal time, ephemeris time etc), the major coordinate systems (and conversions between them), as well as the positions of the Sun, Moon & planets. Despite being a book of calculations, it does come with some background information on the topics covered to set the scene in each section.

Like a culinary recipe book, I tend to come to this book already knowing what I want to do (e.g. calculate the position of the Moon in the sky) and then just follow the appropriate calculations. The recipes sometimes require you to refer back to previous sections but they are always clear to follow. The worked examples are also very useful to check against if you've transcribed the calculations into your own software.

All-in-all a nice update to the original edition.
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on 28 November 2015
Not bad. However...

I was looking for a source book to help me build a dynamic orbital simulation. This is not it.

As it turns out all you need is the equation for gravity, "centripetal" acceleration, and the fact that a body not under acceleration in orbit traces an equal area in equal time (badly expressed). Does not include the basic facts about the (this) solar system, e.g. the mass, orbital parameters and so forth of the planets and their satellites.

For the kind of thing I wanted, I should have bought Orbital Motion, Fourth Edition which is brilliant and explains everything superbly and has most of the necessary orbital data. Oh well, you live and learn, so they tell me...
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on 9 November 2012
This book is a mix of the simple - introduction to spreadsheets etc to the very complex.
I would like a little more of the theory for some of the calculations rather than just having them presented - but there again it is not designed as a text box.
It was a great help with doing GCSE coursework
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on 6 January 2014
Coming from an engineering background, and having an interest in astronomy, I find this book to be perfect in terms of its detail, thoroughness and presentation. Being interested in celestial navigation, I bought this book as a more detailed follow on to Astro Navigation Demystified. Through the calculations presented I can create my own questions without having to refer to the Nautical Almanac. I am thoroughly impressed and the downloadable Excel spreadsheets are a really welcome addition. I highly recommend this book.
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on 17 May 2012
I purchased the third edition of this book many years ago. At that time it did not include speadsheets. The spreadsheets included in the current edition are excellent and produce more accurate results than before. They can all be downloaded from the website given in the book which takes all the hard work out of the process. A truely excellent book.
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on 7 September 2015
Good explanations but not enough details in the equations - everything is too approximate, which is a shame as spreadsheets today can calculate very accurately.
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on 27 January 2015
good book
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