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The Backyard Astronomer's Guide Hardcover – Jan 1 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; Revised Edition edition (Jan. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0921820119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0921820116
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 23.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,796,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6 1998
Format: Hardcover
Astronomy can be an intimidating subject for the beginner. This book makes it all clear and covers all the important subjects for the beginning astronomer. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
My only small gripe with this book is that it repeats verbatim several chunks of Nightwatch, Dickinson's first book. Overall, this book provides more depth to subjects like buying telescopes, lenses, and more detailed descriptions of what you can see. I didn't find the format as visually pleasing as the spiral bound Nightwatch. Still, the pictures are great, the information written in the same clear style as Nightwatch -- there's something here for everyone. Beginners have a lot to learn, but even the advanced sky enthusiasts will pick up new and useful information. A good overview.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you are just getting into the hobby of astronomy, or a long-time observer, The Backyard Astronomer's Guide is an excellent reference for:
buying telescopes or binoculars
learning the skies
any natural phenomenon, like the green flash
daytime observing
buying accessories for telescopes and binoculars
finding how the different types of telescopes work and what to look for in purchasing one
This book has detailed descriptions on every aspect of astronomy along with spectacular pictures of various Messier objects, daytime phenomenon, the Milky Way, famous nebula, star clusters, galaxies, and everything you could ever wonder about astronomy. I very strongly recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in astronomy.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a novice amateur astronomer who bought this book as a reference. When it arrived, I found myself reading every page, cover to cover. Whoa! Turns out to be much more than a reference after all. The authors aren't afraid to go out on a limb and <gasp> give their opinions, not just the facts. They cover every topic a novice would need, and do it in such a way as to make the reading extremely interesting. I can honestly say that this book has heightened my excitement about getting into amateur astronomy and I now feel well prepared to do so.
Even if you aren't a "serious" hobbyist, buy this book if you buy nothing else on the subject.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm actually just starting in on the hobby, but I can tell that this book is going to be a MAJOR asset throughout my learning experience. As soon as I bought it, I came home and could not put it down at all, I was so drawn in to the amount of great info in it. I'm very grateful that I picked this up before I got any binoculars or a telescope. The chapter on buying equipment is worth the cost of the book alone! Two words: Buy It!!
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By A Customer on May 21 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the best guide to amateur astronomy PERIOD! Objective advice on the purchase of equipment, from basic items like introductory scopes and binoculars to the most obscure specialty equipment available. This book will grow with you as you advance in the hobby. It also covers some aspects of viewing, but that is not the book's focus. If you want a sky guide, look elsewhere; if you want a detailed equipment and user guide, this is it.
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Format: Hardcover
Because Dickinson is such a well known writer on the subject of astronomy I ambled to this book with the feeling I was in the midst of a herd of heat-seeking sheep. And because I'm familiar with his work, I felt somewhat delinquent for waiting so long to join the crowd. I'm glad I finally did.
A book like this is not only perfect for the beginning novice who hasn't a clue about astronomy or the tools to engage it, but will also serve to enlighten the veteran observer, either by filling gaps in general knowledge, or by enhancing stale techniques.
There is nothing left out. Both basic and advanced perspectives, and everything in-between, including a comprehensive glossary of terms. Want to know the true definition of an Airy disk in easy to understand language? How about Wave analysis? Is 1/20th wave really that much better than 1/4? Several times I have gone back to this book to clarify an issue, or to answer a question, either for myself or for the benefit of a fellow observer. There are useful things here - for everyone.
It's a big book; an armful with which to unwind in a sofa or with a reading lamp in bed. It finds a place comfortably as a coffee table book, or something for the footstool until you arive - a great companion to that easy chair in the corner - and makes for cozy relaxation in almost any venue. It's a nice book to return to, and one that should maintain a place in the center bookshelves of our homes for decades to come.
There used to be five books on my list of essential reading for the amateur astronomer. Now there are six.
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By Chad Hicks on Nov. 11 2000
Format: Hardcover
I received this book for Christmas last year, and I love it! I have to agree with the statement from a previous reviewer, though; beginners should read this before purchasing a telescope! True, some of the info is dated, but the descriptions of the telescope designs (their pros and cons, specifically) will help you to choose the instrument that will best suit your needs. Additionally, the book is easy to read, and not full of reams of undecipherable "techno-babble". I highly recommend that you buy this book if you are interested in amateur astronomy!
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