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177 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it very much
I received one of the first copies hot off the press and took it and a good pair of binoculars with me on a recent vacation with dark skies.

The book is compact (6 ˝ x 9 inches), spiral bound, and the cover folds back flat for easy handling in the dark. Print quality is excellent, text is easy to read in the dark (with a red flashlight!) and illustrations are...
Published on February 19, 2007 by S. D. Haas

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89 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay compilation of articles from Sky & Telescope magazine
As a long time binocular astronomer, I always look forward to a new book on the topic. This book, a compilation of articles that have appeared over the years in Sky & Telescope magazine, is a nice addition to my library, although it is not the best book on the topic. Still, it offers some good charts (again, copied from the magazine) to highlight the articles themselves...
Published on February 17, 2007 by WDavis


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177 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it very much, February 19, 2007
By 
S. D. Haas (Columbus, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
I received one of the first copies hot off the press and took it and a good pair of binoculars with me on a recent vacation with dark skies.

The book is compact (6 ˝ x 9 inches), spiral bound, and the cover folds back flat for easy handling in the dark. Print quality is excellent, text is easy to read in the dark (with a red flashlight!) and illustrations are sharp and uncluttered. The pages are coated to prevent damage from dew and the book seems very durable for field work. Overall the quality and design is excellent.

There is an introduction followed by a concise illustrated chapter on choosing binoculars for astronomical viewing, which explains important topics such as understanding magnification and the size of the objective lenses for a pair of binoculars, field of view in the night sky, making binocular choices, other binocular features to look for, tests for sharpness and optical alignment, and special types like image-stabilized and big binoculars. This is a nice section for those who know little about binoculars to help guide them into making good choices and avoiding problems.

The main portion of the book is essentially a compilation of many of Mr. Seronik's excellent Binocular Highlights columns from Sky & Telescope magazine. There are 99 Highlights, presented 1 on each page, all visible from North America. They are roughly divided up into four sections based on which time of year the object is best seen - December to February, March to May, June to August, and September to November. Each page is divided in half - on the top half there is a close up section of a star chart which shows the highlight. A circular binocular "field of view" with a black background on the chart shows what to expect when you are viewing. The bottom half of each page contains the text description of the object and other points of interest. These are well written, clear and enjoyable. To get you oriented to the right part of the sky there are fold-out star maps inside the front and back covers which show the entire sky, one for each season, with all the highlights for that section marked with a numbered red circle.

It's easy to find your way around. Pick the right star chart (February in my case) fact south and the sky roughly matches the chart. Then refer to the detailed chart on the highlight page for final directions. Since binoculars show you a right side up, correctly oriented image, there's little confusion. Some of the highlights were very, very easy to see and are great confidence builders, like the Pleiades , the Hyades, the Beehive cluster, Orion's Sword, and the bright star Betelgeuse in Orion. Several required a little attention to the star chart but were easily visible (open clusters M41 in Canis Major, the Double Cluster of NGC 884 and 869 in Perseus, and the clusters M46 and M47 in Puppis). Others were more challenging, like Kemble's Cascade in Camelopardalis, and the red carbon star U Hydrae, but I found every one I looked for with a little perseverance. In the end I enjoyed wandering through over half the objects in the book - the ones that were visible at the times I was observing. Some will be easily visible even in light polluted city skies; others will obviously require better visibility in a dark sky with no moon.

Final thoughts: if you have a pair of binoculars and can see the sky at night you should try this book - it gives a nice, well presented list of some of the most interesting things to see.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book opened up a whole new world of astronomy to me, July 4, 2007
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
It was late one night a couple of weeks ago. I had been observing Jupiter and four of her moons with my Orion 90 mm refractor for several minutes when I felt the stiffness arch up my back into my neck. I'm in good shape for a guy in his early 40s, but still I'm more prone to aches and pains than when I was a younger man. Then I brushed against the scope tube and spent several minutes finding the planet once more. The cost was sore muscles along my spine and that inevitable thought: "there has to be a better way to do astronomy than this!"

Anyone who has ever used a telescope for any length of time at all can relate to the story above. That is why I am so happy to have discovered this book.

Don't know anything about binoculars? No problem. Seronik tells you how they work and what kind are best for astronomy. In fact, I must caution you now to NOT BUY A PAIR OF BINOCULARS FOR ASTRONOMY UNTIL YOU READ THIS BOOK. The insights it gives kept me from making a very expensive mistake!
I had a pair of Meade 12x50s stashed away in a closet which turned out to be more than up to the job.

After covering how binoculars work and what kind to use for stargazing, Seronik takes the reader on a tour of many splendid deep sky objects perfect for the binocular user. Believe it or not, there is plenty of stuff up there that looks incredible when seen through their wide field of view and low magnification.

This book is user friendly from cover to cover. It's not padded with needless fluff or technical details incomprehensible to the average person. However, it is written in an engaging, friendly style that makes it a delight to read.

All in all I am very satisfied with this book and recommend it enthusiastically to everyone interested in stargazing.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astronomy for the Casual Observer, October 8, 2009
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
I have long had an interest in the stars. However, my interst was not strong enough to want to get buried in a telescope. The careful observing and scientific mindset of amature astronomers was just not working for me.

I suppose that I was more interested in the romance of the stars rather than the science they represent. I enjoy learing the constellations.

This book was a break-through for me. I already owned a good pair of binoculars, so one I had this book I was set.

The information is presented in a way a more causal observer can appreciate. In addition, it provides details a more experienced person will appreciate.

On the first two trips out with this book, I observed more than I ever imagined. As the seasons change, I will learn to see even more.

If you are a hard core astronomer, this books is probably too simple. If you want to simply look at the stars unaided, it is probably too deep. If you are like me, and fall between those categories, the book will serve you well.

The book is well printed, seems to deal with dew easily and is ring bound for easy use.
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89 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay compilation of articles from Sky & Telescope magazine, February 17, 2007
This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
As a long time binocular astronomer, I always look forward to a new book on the topic. This book, a compilation of articles that have appeared over the years in Sky & Telescope magazine, is a nice addition to my library, although it is not the best book on the topic. Still, it offers some good charts (again, copied from the magazine) to highlight the articles themselves. There is a good amount of empty space on each page, however, that could have been filled with a drawing or small-scale photos of the featured object. Instead, the space was just left blank -- sloppy job on the part of the composition editor.

I was disappointed with the author's discussion of binoculars up front. He tries to discuss the pros and cons of various types of binoculars as well as what to look for in a pair. But nowhere does he mention optical coatings on the lenses and prisms -- a serious oversight.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for telescopes, too, May 13, 2008
By 
black thumb (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
Although the book is aimed at binocular observers, it also makes a nice, portable "best of the sky" guide for people with small telescopes or anyone just starting out with a telescope. It's particularly attractive for those of us who like to take a telescope when we travel. Travel telescopes are usually small, and often we're using them to show the wonders of the sky to interested friends, relatives, or fellow travelers. That means that most of the time we're going to be looking at the best and brightest celestial objects, and the 99 chosen here are a great start for experienced observers and probably all that newcomers will need for a while. The book folds flat and has just one or two objects per page so it's easy to use and not at all intimidating or overwhelming. I like it better as a telescopic observing guide than many of the guides written just for telescope users.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Binocular Highlights, December 16, 2007
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
Finally a simple to "understand and enjoy" guide for observing the night sky's treasures with my Canon IS binos.
When I see the night sky is clear, I quickly grab the Canon IS10x30's with this book (and red flashlight, of course), sit on a chair on my back deck and check out whatever is in view at that time. Gary does a good job to assist in making binocular observing an enjoyable past time. The book is well thought out and the charts are easy to read with a red flashlight in the dark. Helps make "quick Grab and Go" on a cold night a lot easier - especially on a cold night. Well worth the investment.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Binocular fun, September 23, 2007
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
I have been using Binocular Highlights for about three months. It is exactly what I have been looking for!

Where I live, Western Washington State, star gazing is often thwarted by clouds and rain. So using a telescope is often more trouble that it is worth. But, a quick venture into the mist with binoculars; now this made sense to me. However, I needed advice on which binoculars would be good to use and a manageable list of things to look for with binoculars. This is when, like a stroke of good luck, this neat, well written and very handy booklet, Binocular Highlights, was placed into my hands. I used the author, Gary Seronik's recommendation and bought a pair of Canon Image Stabilized binoculars. And have had a great time going through the pages of his book and successfully finding most of the objects listed. I am thoroughly pleased.

I can recommend this book to anyone with a general interest in astronomy or for someone who is just looking for something easier to use than a full blown telescope.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for binocular buffs, October 22, 2010
This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
This is a great book. The author starts off by reciting what to look for in a good pair of binoculars, the most relaxing ways to view, and what advantages binocs have (besides using both eyes to view and having a wider FOV.) The maps are excellent in their detail (but you do need some rudimentary knowledge of the constellation figures), and they show up well at night under a red light. The target objects are organized by seasons of the year, with the most being visible Jun-Aug. This book will keep you entertained & hunting for those elusive objects & appreciating them in a new light.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for those in southern hemisphere, July 29, 2010
By 
agil (Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
I believe this book is great for those in northern hemisphere, but I live in Indonesia, and this book is not suitable for me since there's no mention of wonderful DSO of southern hemisphere like those in Carina, Crux, Centaurus, Tucana, and Dorado.
It's a bit strange that the book doesn't mention of M7 and M6 in Scorpius. I believe that M7 is one the finest DSO in the sky, but how come M7 didn't make it on the 99 list?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book for binocular astronomy, November 21, 2007
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This review is from: Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing) (Spiral-bound)
I used this book at the recent Okie-Tex star party to try it out. I was successful in finding every object that appeared above the horizon. OK, I admit, I have done a bunch of binocular work, but I worked hard to follow only the book as if I was a beginner. A nice little book, not exhaustive by any means, but fun and very "workable" under the stars. If you enjoy binocular astronomy, you will enjoy this book, even if you are experienced. If you are a beginner and have the good sense to begin with binoculars, this book will serve you well.
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Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users (Sky & Telescope Stargazing)
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