This is an informative, up-to-date, and well-illustrated 448-page soft cover guide to planetary observing for amateurs. Written by Fred W. Price, with a forward by John Westfall, the executive director of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), the book contains 82 halftone photos and drawings, 140 line diagrams, and 28 tables. After brief chapters on the solar system and the celestial sphere, the text explains how you can choose, test, and use a telescope with various accessories and how to make observations and record results.
For each planet and the asteroids, Price gives details of observational techniques, together with suggestions about how you can make observations of sound astronomical value and how to report them. From the book’s general description and detailed observational history of each planet, you can learn how to anticipate what you should see through your telescope and how to assess your observations.
New to this 2nd edition, published December 2000, is a chapter on planetary photography that includes the revolutionary use of videography (digital cameras, camcorders, etc.), charge coupled devices (CCD cameras), and video-assisted drawing. Another new feature is a section on the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. Other chapters on making maps and planispheres and on photoelectric photometry round out the book’s up-to-date treatment, making this indispensable cloudy night reading for both casual and serious planetary observer alike.
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