Star-Hopping: Your Visa to Viewing the Universe
With a small telescope you can see thousands of galaxies and star clouds, and billions of stars, but how do you get started on exploring the sky? In Star-Hopping you learn how to read the road map of the stars in easy stages, beginning with simple star patterns, and moving on to the silent beauty of the deep universe in a series of steps. Star-hopping is a technique that uses the brighter stars as markers on a celestial path that leads to fainter stars, star clusters, and the distant galaxies. All new stargazers need to learn these skills, but few books give real guidance on how to relate the baffling view at the telescope to a map in a star atlas. With star-hopping you first locate an easy-to-find bright star. Then you move the telescope in a series of overlapping steps until you reach the target object. You can start star-hopping any time, because the heart of this book is a series of twelve monthly star-hops. Two or more tours are given for each month of the year, but many more can be tried at any time, of course. One chapter is devoted to the popular Messier Marathon, which involves trying to see in a single night more than 100 bright galaxies, star clusters, and gas clouds. The book shows you how to read star charts, to find celestial directions, to select telescope types, and when to use special filters to cut through haze and light pollution. There is basic information on what we know about the universe. Skywatching is as old as civilisation, and we are reminded of astronomy's origins in folklore by accounts of the ancient mythology of the skies. To get the most out of this book you will need good quality binoculars or a small astronomical telescope. If you have tried lookingthrough either and have gotten lost in space, this is the book for you.
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