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A Beautiful Beginner's Guide
on 19 June 2010
I borrowed this book from my local library - amazingly, they acquired it 3 days after it was published. This is, without doubt, one of the most beautifully illustrated astronomy books I have ever read. It covers a wide range of topics for newcomers to astronomy, as well as 88 pages of guides to constellations - all accompanied with photographs of prominent stars and maps to guide you. Basic concepts of astronomy are explained in terms that make sense, and there is also extensive discussion of the cosmos and space physics - but the key is in the simplicity and straightforward approach of the book. On top of this, there are also guides to using the naked eye, binoculars, telescopes (purchasing and setting up) and astrophotography.
I have only just begun looking up at the night sky, having just purchased a telescope for my father's birthday back in April. I have to say that this is one of the most helpful books I have read on the subject - so much so that I intend to purchase a copy, because I don't want to be without it. Advanced astronomers might skip this book, simply because they have the information elsewhere (though the photographs in this book are oustanding, as is often the case with DK books), but for beginners it's a superb purchase.