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NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe [Hardcover-spiral]

Terence Dickinson , Timothy Ferris , Adolf Schaller
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 35.00
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Book Description

Sept. 12 2006

Revised Fourth Edition: updated for use through 2025.

The first three editions of NightWatch sold more than 600,000 copies, making it the top-selling stargazing guide in the world for the last 20 years. The key feature of this classic title is the section of star charts that are cherished by backyard astronomers everywhere. Each new edition has outsold the previous one because of thorough revisions and additional new material.

NightWatch has been acclaimed as the best general interest introduction to astronomy. The fourth edition has improvements over the 3rd edition in every chapter, including:

  • The famous charts, ideal for stargazers using a small telescope or binoculars
  • A complete update of the equipment section, including computerized telescopes
  • An enlarged photography section, including how-to instructions for using the new generation of digital cameras for astronomical photography, both with and without a telescope
  • The tables of future solar and lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions and planet locations, updated through 2025.

This edition includes star charts for use in the southern hemisphere. There are also dozens of new photographs throughout the book that show the latest thrilling discoveries made by current space observatories and probes.

Frequently Bought Together

NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe + The Backyard Astronomer's Guide + Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas
Price For All Three: CDN$ 72.02

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[Review-of-previous-edition:] [Nightwatch was] a clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing that also managed to convey the excitement of astronomy. This fantastically revised edition continues that tradition, but now includes sky maps for observers in the southern hemisphere and a guide to celestial phenomena up to 2018. The best introduction around. (Ivan Semeniuk New Scientist 2007-01-20)

Renowned author and astronomer Terence Dickinson took Grade 5 and 6 students from the [North Bay] area through the universe to make snowballs from water and ice particles that make up Saturn's rings, and visit the red liquid methane lakes of its moon, Titan.... "I'm hoping that they'll walk away with excitement about the universe," he said." It's a subject that young people are not discarding. They're living with it. They're interested in it. And they know a lot." (Maria Calabrese The North Bay Nugget 2008-09-11)

Aspiring stargazers will find everything that they need to unlock the secrets of the night sky in this newly updated edition. Public and school libraries will certainly want to update their collections with this book. (Amy Luedtke VOYA 2007-06-00)

A "must" for any night-time observer. (Diane C. Donovan The Midwest Book Review 2007-03-01)

A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist. (Mike Lynch St Paul Pioneer Press 2006-12-17)

General interest introduction to astronomy now in its fourth edition... bends the mind with information. (Barbara Julian Victoria Times-Colonist 2007-01-14)

This is probably the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. (Drew Monkman The Examiner (Peterborough) 2007-12-11)

New, better-quality photos; amped-up sections on astrophotography and using amateur telescopic equipment; and a new chapter on the skies visible from the Southern hemisphere. (Lynn Andriani PublishersWeekly.com 2006-09-05)

This fourth edition of the essential guide for amateur stargazers is newly updated, lavishly illustrated...and packed with facts...and a cosmic closet-full of other astronomical delights. For anyone who ever looked up and wondered what's out there, Nightwatch puts the heavens at your fingertips. (Neil Pond American Profile 2006-11-26)

It may be hard to justify upgrading from later printings of the third edition, but NightWatch remains one of the best sourcebooks to introduce beginning astronomers to the night sky -- and to keep them interested. (Stuart J. Goldman Sky and Telescope 2007-01-01)

[Globe and Mail 2006 Holiday Gift Book selection] Remains perhaps the best book available for amateur astronomers, and makes fascinating browsing even if you never put eye to telescope. (Globe and Mail 2006-12-09)

NightWatch remains the best single source on sky watching and astronomy equipment for the backyard enthusiast. (Randy Groundwater Windsor Star 2006-12-10)

This classic title has revisions in every chapter. (Mercury 2006-11-00)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] A great all-round astronomy guide. (Glenn Chaple Astronomy 2002-12-01)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] Easily the best in its field. ... Highly recommended for all libraries. (Choice 1999-04-01)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] Highly recommended as the best of its kind. (Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canad)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] This is a book you can confidently recommend to anyone who is just starting out in astronomy. (Astronomical League)

[Review-of-previous-edition:] Absolutely the best book for beginners. (Library Journal 2003-05-01)

A paramount book of sky objects... easy and understandable. This practical guide is a must for the science classroom teacher, the beginning or amateur astronomer, and young and old students of the night. The author gives a sensible, realistic perspective on night sky viewing. I believe this is the best book in its field available to amateurs. (Teri Cosentino The Science Teacher 2008-01-00)

With this book, viewing the night skies can become fun again, and a family affair.... A must-have book, to stimulate interest in the heavens above, and away from video games and less productive activities. (Shelf Life, Tenth Anniversary Edition 2008-01-00)

If Canadians look at the sky more than anyone else in the world, it's thanks to one of our own....NightWatch, now in its fourth edition, has become a staple in many Canadian cottages and amateur astronomers' bookshelves along with his popular The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. The book has also quietly gone on to be the bestselling stargazer's guide in the world, having been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek and other languages, and selling a stead 25,000 copies or more a year around the world. (Ian Elliot The Whig-Standard 2008-06-07)

This book is widely regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers. If you buy this book for no other reason that to help you find the North Star, so that you can take images of Star Trails, then it'll be worth your money. (Garry Black Garry Black Photography (GarryBlack.com) 2006-01-00)

Another must-have.... (Becky Ramotowski, SkyWatch My San Antonio Times (mysa.com) 2008-12-08)

This is a fantastic introductory book chock full of information and charts. Well written and engaging, it is sure to provide all the information to get Dad started looking at the night sky. (John Kulczyzki suite101.com 2010-05-10)

About the Author

Terence Dickinson is the best-selling author of 14 other astronomy books, including The Backyard Astronomer's Guide and Hubble's Universe. He has received many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Science Book of the Year Award.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cover to cover read. Nov. 23 2008
I purchased this book as recommended by the retailer who sold my telescope to me. I paid $35 and have not regretted it. Very simple and straight forward. In the months since, I've purchased several other books on the subject and this is still the one I reference most. The star charts in the back are great, just detailed enough to get you around, but not so much that you get lost. Included are sections to help purchase a scope and information on northern and southern hemisphere skies (although the book was written in the northern and it shows). Very much worth the money on amazon (once again see my comment above -$35, no regrets!), and the book is built to last. This is the best first astronomy book I could've asked for. The sequel is "The backyard astronomer's guide" which takes the foundations built in this book and expands on them, also highly rated.

Five stars seems an exaggeration whenever I see it in the ratings, but this is one book I emphatically would impress them upon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beginners Must Have Oct. 20 2009
This book lives up to all the reviews I had read. It is easy to follow and the photographs are stunning. Should be in every beginning astronomers library.
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Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of meeting a Sidewalk Astronomer and viewing the Moon through his telescope. It was awesome! I explained I had bought a telescope quite a few years ago, but only encountered frustration. He explained tgatvtge book Night Watch was like an astronomer's bible especially for those who want to get started as it explains numerous facts associated with astronomy and star gazing, including tips on purchasing telescopes and binoculars for viewing the night sky. I am happy that I followed his advice, the book is well written and understandable and has renewed my interest in amateur astronomy. I would most ddfinitely recommend this book to others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Feb. 1 2014
By LisaHD
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my hard-to-please husband and he loves it! He actually has been keeping it on our dining table for several weeks and he refers to it often. Great purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for beginners! Jan. 30 2014
By kass
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
I have always wanted to start astronomy as a hobby and finally decided to get started. This book is perfect beginners book. Doesn't confuse you with jargon and is simplicity at its best!

Once you start reading you cannot stop and I will be definitely be purchasing other books by Terence Dickinson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The go to book for every amateur astronomer. Jan. 21 2014
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
This is a very well done and complete book. This is astronomy from a A to Z. Great for adults and even more kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference Jan. 2 2014
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
Love the star charts. Great publication, very helpful for beginner telescope users. I would recommend all of his books. Yep.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for budding astronomy buffs July 20 2013
By Al T Stiff TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
An excellent book with simple terms, explainations and maps that point you the right way. A must for any one just staring out in the astronomy hobby.
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