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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 ( or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada ( 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.

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 rating Based on 2 Ratings

"A Nutshell guide for DSOs?" - by inewham on 29-APR-2010
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
One of the long standing problems with amateur astronomy has been the expectations of the beginner. You look in books and magazines and all those Hubble shots lead you to expect similar views in your 6" reflector. What you actually see in the lens is a black and white smudge and even when you get over the anticlimax, it can be difficult to find things because they look nothing like those glossy photos. The only book I've seen address this before was "Turn left at Orion" but being a beginner book its rather limited.
Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders however shows you photos that look much like what I see through cheap a 10" dobsonian in a suburban back yard, which is a revelation compared to so many other books. However it doesn't stop at being simply "Turn left..." for more experienced amateurs, this is to astronomy what O'Reilly's Nutshell Guides are to computers. Divided into convenient sections by constellation it gives you everything you need to know; a list of things to see in that constellation including those you'll see with binoculars and in urban locations, a star chart to find them followed by section for each object with realistic photo with commentary on the object and tips on finding it.
Its a sizeable tome so its handy that I can download it to an ebook reader to take on vacationi when I just take a pair of large binoculars.
Highly recommended for intermediate amateurs.

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Math & Science > Astronomy


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