General Astronomy

*** NEW ***

Binocular Astronomy, 2nd Edition

Tonkin, Stephen: Binocular Astronomy, 2nd Edition

The first edition of this title was praised for its suggested objects for observation and especially for the finder charts for each object. In this second edition, this section is expanded in three ways. There are new objects, more information on each object, and a re-organization of the objects for binoculars for easier selection.

Binocular Astronomy 2nd Edition puts an emphasis on understanding binoculars and their use. The additional content reflects the latest developments in technology, new testing techniques, and practical ideas for binocular use. It also responds to the substantially positive reviews of the first edition, and is now even better suited to its target readership.

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Top Recommendations

Night Has a Thousand Eyes

Upgren, Arthur: Night Has a Thousand Eyes

This is, quite simply, the best introduction to naked eye astronomy yet written. Upgren weaves a remarkable book that takes the reader to a greater depth of understanding and knowledge than any other book aimed at a similar readership. The style is captivating and the explanations have a simplicity that comes from a mastery of the subject matter.
Highly recommended.

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Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines

Al-Khalili, Jim: Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines

A superb book which will appeal to anyone from interested teenager to someone well-versed in physics and cosmology. Al-Khalili is the pre-eminent populariser of the physical sciences in Britain today and this entertaining and exceptionally well written book, which makes no concessions to "dumbing down", shows why. This new (2011) edition incorporates recent findings in cosmology and partical physics.

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Karttunen, Hannu et.al. : Fundamental Astronomy

An undergraduate level book with marvellous breadth and depth, and which is very readable. Not for the novice amateur. Now in its 5th edition, this is one of the books I would not be without.

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Ridpath, Ian: Dictionary of Astronomy

A very thorough quick reference, written in the clear, understandable style that we have come to expect from Ridpath.

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Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham, Robert: Burnham's Celestial Handbook : An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System

An absolute treasury of information, including related history and mythology. This book is very obviously a work of love for astronomy.

Volume 1 (Andromeda through Cetus)
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Volume 2 (Chameleon through Orion)
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Volume 3 (Pavo through Vulpecula)
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Turn Left at Orion

Consolmagno, Guy & Davis, Dan: Turn Left at Orion

The new edition of this excellent book, packed with viewing tips and clear instruction. Also realistic drawings of what you can expect to actually see.

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Photo-Guide to the Constellations

Kitchin, Chris: Photo-Guide to the Constellations

The photographs of the sky as it actually looks under a variety of conditions, coupled with a detailed guide to star-hopping and other useful techniques, will enable you to quickly and easily gain a working knowledge of the constellations.

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***

Levy, David H.: Skywatching

An attractive and comprehensive introduction for the beginner, with charts by the lauded Wil Tirion. Suitable for about age 12 to adult.

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***

Malin, David & Frew, David: Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes

This exquisitely illustrated handbook is a must-have for those able to observe the magnificent sights of the southern skies. It is currently out of print and difficult to get hold of, but is worth the effort!

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Minnaert, Marcel: The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air

Compulsive examination of the naked-eye optical effects which produce some of the most beautiful sights in the sky. You'll never again look at a humble shadow in the same way!

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Collins Gem: Stars

Ridpath, Ian and Tirion, Wil: Collins Gem: Stars

This little "gem" is often overlooked by serious astronomers, but its small format (8cm x 11.5cm) gives you a star atlas in your shirt pocket! Separate chart for each constellation, down to mag 5. Lots of DSOs, including the Messiers, are marked.

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Tirion, Wil: The Cambridge Star Atlas

Now in its 4th edition, this classic star atlas is ideal for both beginning astronomers and more experienced observers worldwide. The clear, full-color maps show stars, clusters and galaxies visible with binoculars or a small telescope. The atlas also features constellation boundaries and the Milky Way, and lists objects that are interesting to observe. This new edition features a clearer map of the Moon's surface, showing craters and features; a second Moon map, mirror reversed for users of telescopes with star diagonals; enhanced index charts showing the constellations more clearly; and a new data table listing stars hosting planetary systems. It is now spiral bound, making it ideal for use at the telescope.

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Binocular Astronomy

Tonkin, Stephen: Binocular Astronomy

The physics and physiology of binocular visual astronomy is followed by an in-depth description of how to choose, test, and buy the best equipment. This is followed by details of care and use your binocular. Finally, there introductory lists of several hundred of the most exciting objects for 2-inch (50mm) and 4-inch (100mm) binoculars, complete with finder charts and descriptions.

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Tonkin, Stephen: AstroFAQs

THE quick reference to get you up and running in practical astronomy; an enormous amount of concise, practical information.

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The Invisible Universe Revealed

Verschuur, Gerrit L. : The Invisible Universe Revealed: The Story of Radio Astronomy

Excellent account of the story of radio astronomy, this well illustrated and very readable book is an excellent introduction to the ideas, discoveries and techniques in this field.

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Van Zyl, J.E. : Unveiling the Universe

This is, perhaps, one of the most complete introductory astronomy books ever published. Van Zyl assumes an intelligent reader, but explains everything from first principles. This is an outstanding book which, despite its age, deserves to be far better known. It is its price alone that keeps it out of the "Top Recommendations".

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Zeilik, Michael & Gregory, Stephen: Introductory Astronomy & Astrophysics

An extremely good advanced text. The "prelude" addresses the mathematics and physics necessary for the rest of the book. The authors have a knack of making complex concepts easy to understand without trivialising them.

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