Stargazing With a Telescope, revised edition

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Buying a telescope is crucial for enhancing your enjoyment of astronomy. With so many choices available, how does the beginner choose? This book supplies the expert objective advice needed to make a smart telescope purchase.

Stargazing with a Telescope is a practical guide to choosing and using a telescope. It makes the process of buying a telescope less of a mystery if you’re relying on your own research, rather than letting a telescope dealer guide you through the maze of telescope types and models. The features and advantages (and the disadvantages) of the different types of scopes and their accessories are discussed fully and clearly. Color illustrations help to clarify the choices. The author, Robin Scagell, was formerly the Vice-President of the Society for Popular Astronomy and is the author of six astronomy books.

The equipment covered includes binoculars, refractors, reflectors, and catadioptric telescopes (Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains). The discussion of each telescope type includes a range of choices for astronomers of any skill and experience level. The book provides brand names and model numbers, including pictures of many. While the book is a Canadian publication, and a many of the telescopes discussed are more easily found in Canada than the United States, the major U. S. brands are well represented – Celestron, Meade, TeleVue, Lumicon, Vixen, etc. In any case, the general advice on selecting products applies to all brands, not just those specific models covered. There is also valuable advice on how to instantly spot misleading labels and claims on low-end telescopes. These are often bought for young, aspiring astronomers who quickly become discouraged with the telescope’s poor performance. This book will help you avoid making a buying mistake that will end up with your scope stuck in the back of a closet, unused.

The intricacies of lens size, focal length, focal ratio, and much more are explained with clear diagrams and non-scientific text. Also covered are suitable accessories such as eyepieces, filters, mounts and supports; suggestions for photography through the telescope; and the choice of camera and film types. Useful tips are provided on setting up and using any telescope as well as a review of objects to look at with different sizes of telescope. The book contains little in the way of long lists of what to look for, or maps of how to find those objects, but is full of truly useful information on how to use a telescope, and how to get the most out of your observing accessories. Many consider it a must for newcomers to astronomy whatever their age.

Paperback. 192 5” x 7.75” pages. 100 color photographs, maps, charts, glossary, and index. Previous published as the “Cambridge University Guide to Stargazing with a Telescope.” Revised and republished in 2005.

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Firefly Press - Stargazing With a Telescope, revised edition

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Firefly Press - Stargazing With a Telescope, revised editionSample pages, showing two of the pages covering telescope types in the 55-page chapter on “What’s Available” in telescopes and binoculars.Sample pages, showing part of the deep space section in the 27-page chapter on “What to Observe and How.”Sample pages, showing two of the pages covering the different brands and models of German equatorial mounts in the 55-page chapter on “What’s Available” in telescopes and binoculars.Sample pages from the 27-page chapter on “What to Observe and How,” showing the section on observing Mars (with photos showing the relative size of Mars during various oppositions).
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This practical guide to choosing and using a telescope makes buying a telescope less of a mystery if you’re relying on your own research, rather than letting a telescope dealer guide you . . .





. . . our 34th year