The Practical Astronomer

Front Cover
Penguin, May 17, 2010 - Science - 256 pages

For anyone who's ever looked at the night sky and wanted to know more about the galaxy around them, The Practical Astronomer offers a comprehensive guide to discovering and understanding the mysteries of the solar system and beyond.

Illustrated with specially commissioned photography and artwork, and using clear, easy-to-follow text, The Practical Astronomer takes you on a step-by-step journey from the basics of what can be seen with the naked eye from your own backyard, to how you can view more distant objects such as the planets of the solar system, and even galaxies far, far away.

The book opens with an explanation of the fundamentals of astronomy, detailing when, where, and how to look at the night sky. It goes on to cover the necessary equipment and clothing that the amateur astronomer needs, reviewing optical equipment such as binoculars and telescopes, how they work and how to use them. A special section focuses on photography and covers the "how-to's" of capturing beautiful images of what you see.

The Practical Astronomer aims to foster an awareness and understanding of what you're looking at-be it a planet, star, or asteroid. Different sections are devoted to looking at how the night sky changes, whether that's because it's viewed from a different place in the world or at a different time of year.

Star charts and detailed maps of the night sky are included to aid budding astronomers in their quest to know more about this fascinating subject.

 

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Contents

Introduction 6
6
1 Understanding the Universe 8
9
2 Looking Up 30
31
3 Observing and Recording 46
47
4 Pathfinders 70
71
5 the Solar System 172
173
6 Star Charts 206
207
7 Reference 234
235
Index 246
246
Acknowledgments 255
255
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