This book is designed to satisfy observers who have just become interested in the sky and want to navigate their way around it. By stirring the imagination and putting observation in a framework of personal adventure, the author explains how to explore the Moon, planets, comets, meteors, and distant galaxies through a small telescope. Fully updated, this new 2nd edition includes many new sections. It discusses computer-controlled telescopes and how to use this new technology. A complete new chapter discusses CCD cameras and how they have revolutionized the art of astronomical observation. There’s an explanation of how a new variable star is discovered and studied, based on Levy's personal experience. The book explores topics as diverse as the features of the Moon as they become visible from night to night; how to observe constellations from both light-polluted city and dark sky rural observation sites; how best to view the stars, nebulas, and galaxies; and how to map the sky.
David Levy is one of the world's best-known amateur astronomers. He has discovered seventeen comets, seven using a telescope in his own backyard, and had a minor planet, Asteroid 3673 Levy, named in his honor. As a respected astronomer, he is best known for being the co-discoverer of the famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 Jupiter-impacting comet in 1994. He succeeded Carl Sagan as science columnist for Parade magazine and has written and contributed to a number of books.
Sky & Telescope magazine called the book a “friendly collection of topics that takes the beginner from the ground level of naked-eye sky watching step by step to advanced amateur work. The author is an enthusiast, and he makes it contagious. While reading this book you feel compelled to grab a telescope and go out and look.”
Another review, in Choice magazine said “The book would be particularly valuable to anyone taking up amateur astronomy for the first time. It is an excellent guide, and the author obviously knows the sky well....Overall a delightful book, one every amateur astronomer should have in his or her bookcase. Strongly recommended.”
Paperback, 368 pages, 36 line diagrams, 80 half-tone photos, and 6 tables.
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