- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Philip's; UK ed. edition (Sept. 8 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849074259
- ISBN-13: 978-1849074254
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.6 x 23.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,044,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Philip's Month-By-Month Stargazing Paperback – Sep 8 2016
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About the Author
Heather Couper is a past President of both the British Astronomical Association and the Society for Popular Astronomy. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics, and a former Millennium Commissioner, for which she was awarded the CBE in 2007.Nigel Henbest has been Astronomy Consultant to New Scientist magazine, Editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, and Media Consultant to the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The month-by-month catalogues of stellar, planetary and other sights (e.g. comets, meteoroids etc) occupy most of this short (64 page) book. The final half-dozen pages are to some extent a summary of the monthly stuff, and in some ways I would recommend reading these pages first. They do not exactly read like Agatha Christie, but neither do the earlier pages. I suppose there must be citizens who know nothing and care less about the basics of astronomy, but it is hard to think why they would bother with this book in the first place. The book is for enthusiasts possessing at least a modicum of knowledge, and there is practical advice offered for owners of expensive amateur telescopes and cameras, as well as more modest aids such as plain old binoculars, so people who take their stargazing that seriously will expect to be taken seriously by astronomical writers.
It all takes me back to my own boyhood as an obsessive for astronomy and for the lighter kinds of science fiction, such as Vargo Statten. In those days Pluto still had the full status of a planet, but it has vanished from our text here. I still remember the Children’s Encyclopedia telling me solemnly that interplanetary travel was impossible, so we should erect some kind of communication, presumably pictorial but maybe even standard English – that after all is spoken by the most remotely-based aliens in Startrek – on suitably open tracts of our own planet’s surface.
I would call this a very handy and helpful reference-book. It is not hard to read at any point, even when, after using the standard rating of brightness, whereby the lower the number the brighter the object, without comment, they innocently draw attention to that point in the last section. Indeed innocence is one of the attractive characteristics of this slim volume. Its tone is not patronising (though I for one would not have minded), and the innocence shows particularly in the fairly frequent use of exclamation marks, much as if they were saying ‘Now just fancy that, then!’
Indeed I have just noticed that entire book is crowned with a final exclamation mark. It’s a pity that the authors have not followed that with a final index. The lack of that is my only reason for withholding a fifth star.