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on 25 December 2011
I have an earlier copy of this book - it is a "must have" for everyone who has an interest in practical astronomy! Forget glossy, colourful, Hubble - quality images; instead you get simple, black and white drawings - why? The book replicates what you can expect to see in the eyepiece in the field whilst observing. In fact, the pages have been designed to be visible whilst using red light, so you can pack it with your scope for use at the eyepiece!

If you do not want to be reliant on a GoTo telescope system, then you learn to "Star hop" and this book is without doubt the best way to learn to see the most interesting objects in the night sky with a small telescope. For those starting out, this is a practical guide to help you "learn your way around the sky".
You get a section on "Where to look" an "in the finderscope" diagram and description to help you find the object and then an "in the telescope" description and diagram. The book is broken down into seasons, so you will not waste time looking for something that is below the horizon.
Does exactly what it says on the cover.
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on 17 December 2011
quite simply the best book a novice can have by his/her side when looking at the heavens.
very well presented. realistic drawings and diagrams.
each object shown through the apeture of small scope(3-4") as well as larger apetures(8-10")
large sections on the moon and planets,when and how to observe them.
this should be packed with every new telescope ,it really is that beneficial to a beginner .
large pages,large text ,spiral bound.and all tables up to 2024.
brilliant .
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on 1 March 2012
Too often people get interested in astronomy on the back of some excellent TV program or other, think Prof Brian Cox, only to lose interest. They seem to think everything is in glorious technicolor and will be absolutely huge. This is the book not only for them but for established astronomers as well. It takes you gently and clearly into an understanding of just what there is to see,how to navigate to the areas and a realistic description of what you will see. I would thoroughly recommend this to anybody thinking about taking up astronomy, get it even before you get a telescope. I have even turned off the computerized controls on my own telescope and gone back to basics with this book and had some great nights observing. This is not a book just for the library it's something you should take with you every time you go out. And on those oh so frequent UK cloudy nights, plan your next observing session and learn a bit more about the phenomena you will be seeing, without being blinded by science.
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on 29 December 2012
This review is for the Kindle edition.

As the other reviews say, this is an absolutely superb book. It explains things clearly and describes exactly what you can see, when to view and exactly what to expect. Too many astronomy books show glossy pictures taken using large professional scopes, leaving you with a sense of disappointment. This gives it to you how it really is.

Now for the bad news. The tables, pictures and diagrams are too small and of too low resolution to be read easily, many cannot be read at all.

This, of course, is no fault of the authors, but is a failing of the publisher's transcription to ebook. Yet again a good book fails on Kindle because the publisher cannot be bothered with quality control.

So, while it makes me sad to do so, I give the Kindle edition only 3 stars because of the poor quality of the scanned images and tables.
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on 16 February 2012
Quite simply, this book delivers what is said on the box.

This version is bound into a spring binder as opposed to a conventional book spine, so it lays flat and neatly on a collapsible table next to the telescope (a favourite arrangement of mine when observing).

There are plenty of comparisons of the merits between the various types of telescope at the start before the book moves on to cover what the main topic is about - planets, moons, stars and other heavenly structures.

It's a pity that telescope manufacturers do not include this book with the equipment they sell. I'm sure their sales would increase as a result.

I'm the fourth reviewer of this book and the three previous ones have all given it a rating of five, and this is well deserved.

A great buy for the novice (like me now) and advanced users (like the one I hope to become!).
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on 17 November 2013
I had just bought a very nice telescope (8" SCT).. but after struggling with simplest of alignments etc I had to do some reading. And this book was exactly what i needed. All the reviews said the same thing (about how good this was) so i was i little sceptical - it can't be that good. But they were all right. This book is simple easy (yet very very informative) and the maps included are simply brilliant.

NOTE: I had first bought this as a kindle addition, and that was useless. Not that anything was missing or that, just you have to have the big open book physically in hand to make any sense of it. Don't by the kindle addition, and even if you have get the real thing you won't regret it.
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on 5 January 2013
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. My daughter, aged 11, asked for a telescope for Christmas so we decided to buy a beginner scope - a Skywatcher Heritage 130 - and some books to go along with it. I read other reviews about this book and based on them we purchased it too. It really is what you need when you buy a telescope, it has superb sections on the moon, the most important stars to learn your way about the night sky, and it shows what the sky will look like to the naked eye, through a finder scope or binoculars and a telescope - this is its unique feature that sets it apart from other books. There is enough in this book to set you going in the hobby and keep you at it for years to come. A must buy.
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on 20 April 2012
This book was recommended to me on a stargazer's forum and it's the best astronomical purchase I have made since the telescope. There are clear diagrams to help you find lots of interesting objects, including double stars, star clusters and galaxies. It can be hard work: depending on the set-up of your scope you may have to follow the diagrams in mirror image. However I can testify that there is immense satisfaction to be gained from following a trail from this book and finding a faint smudge of light in exactly the right place to be another galaxy. It has to be more fun than using Goto mounts, and a lot cheaper too!
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on 6 December 2013
I originally bought the eBook version as I'm a big fan of the eBook concept but this eBook version is almost unusable.

1. The text flow is occasionally random and some passage arbitrarily repeat so it's very hard to follow the text.
2. The illustrations seem to have the wrong captions
3. The resolution of the illustrations is very much inferior to the hard copy

After two days of trying to read the eBook version I gave in, returned it for a refund and went and bought the hard cop, which is fantastic. I can also fully understand why this is such a bad eBook adaptation as the original is not your average book for an eBook conversion, There are illustrations on every page and often as many as 10 per page each with a caption and often a piece of explanatory text which is distinct from the main text and the main text often plays second fiddle in layout terms to the illustrations and accompanying explanations. My only surprise is that it made it this far without someone realizing it was never going to be a good enough facsimile.

Great book in hard copy, just a terrible eBook.
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on 20 January 2016
I bought this on the strength of the reviews here as I am considering getting into astronomy and might buy myself a telescope. Opening this book I immediately felt drawn in by the friendly style, engaging text and loved the layout. I quickly found myself armed with a working understanding of some ideas that had evaded comprehension previously and couldn't wait to get started. From the infectious enthusiasm of the author I went straight outside with my bird watching binoculars and immediately found the Andromeda Galaxy, a smudge in the sky, billions of stars in a galaxy like our own Milky Way, easy to find when you know where to look, and also when you know what it is going to look like. That's how easy it is to get started with this book. Pick it up, and ten minutes later you are doing astronomy. I am looking forward to exploring the sky, now that I have an authoritative guide. Perfect gift for the scientifically curious. Should be given out free to every 10 year old child at school. When I can afford it I will probably be getting a 200mm Newtonian reflector with an equatorial mount that can be upgraded with a motorised mount and a finding computer added. There are fabulous images in books and online from big telescopes that show the hearts of galaxies in beautiful detail. These can be compared with images in this book of what you will actually see through binoculars or a telescope together with instructions on how to find them.
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