Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders: From Novice to Master Observer

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 2007 - Nature - 519 pages
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With the advent of inexpensive, high-power telescopes priced at under $250, amateur astronomy is now within the reach of anyone, and this is the ideal book to get you started. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders offers you a guide to the equipment you need, and shows you how and where to find hundreds of spectacular objects in the deep sky -- double and multiple stars as well as spectacular star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

You get a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy, and specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining the equipment required for observing. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders is designed to be used in the field under the special red-colored lighting used by astronomers, and includes recommended observing targets for beginners and intermediate observers alike. You get detailed start charts and specific information about the best celestial objects.

The objects in this book were chosen to help you meet the requirements for several lists of objects compiled by The Astronomical League (http://www.astroleague.org) or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (http://www.rasc.ca): Messier Club.

  • Binocular Messier Club
  • Urban Observing Club
  • Deep Sky Binocular Club
  • Double Star Club
  • RASC Finest NGC List
Completing the list for a particular observing club entitles anyone who is a member of the Astronomical League or RASC to an award, which includes a certificate and, in some cases, a lapel pin.

This book is perfect for amateur astronomers, students, teachers, or anyone who is ready to dive into this rewarding hobby. Who knows? You might even find a new object, like amateur astronomer Jay McNeil. On a clear cold night in January 2004, he spotted a previously undiscovered celestial object near Orion, now called McNeil's Nebula. Discover what awaits you in the night sky with the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders.
  

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Contents

Preface
9
Introductionto DSO Observing
14
Observing Equipment
38
Andromeda The Princess
66
Aquarius The Water Bearer
74
Aquila The Eagle
84
Aries The Ram
90
Auriga The Charioteer
94
Leo The Lion
280
Leo Minor The Small Lion
290
Lepus The Hare
296
Libra The Scales
300
Lynx The Lynx
302
Lyra The Lyre
308
Monoceros The Unicorn
314
Ophiuchus The Serpent Bearer
326

Boötes The Herdsman
102
Camelopardalis The Giraffe
108
Cancer The Crab
118
Canes Venatici The Hunting Dogs
124
Canis Major The Larger Dog
140
Capricornus The Sea Goat
146
Cassiopeia The Queen
150
Cepheus The King
166
Cetus The Sea Monster
178
Coma Berenices Berenices Hair
184
Corona Borealis The Northern Crown
204
Corvus The Crow
208
Cygnus The Swan
214
Delphinus The Dolphin
230
Draco The Dragon
234
Eridanus The River
244
Gemini The Twins
250
Hercules The Hero
256
Hydra The Water Snake
264
Lacerta The Lizard
274
Orion The Hunter
340
Pegasus The Winged Horse
356
Perseus The Hero
362
Pisces The Fishes
376
Puppis The Poop Deck
382
Sagitta The Arrow
392
Sagittarius The Archer
396
Scorpius The Scorpion
416
Sculptor The Sculptor
424
Scutum The Shield
428
Serpens The Serpent
434
Sextans The Sextant
442
Taurus The Bull
446
Triangulum The Triangle
458
Ursa Major The Larger Bear
462
Virgo The Virgin
480
Vulpecula The Little Fox
500
INDEX
509
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Robert Bruce Thompson is the coauthor of Astronomy Hacks, Building the Perfect PC, and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Robert built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.

Barbara Fritchman Thompson is the coauthor of Astonomy Hacks, Building the Perfect PC, and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Barbara worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions, and is also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.

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