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Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars: A Beginner's Guide to the Sun, Moon, and Planets Paperback – April 26, 2010

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Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars: A Beginner's Guide to the Sun, Moon, and Planets + Stephen James O'Meara's Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars: A Simple Guide to the Heavens + Touring the Universe through Binoculars: A Complete Astronomer's Guidebook (Wiley Science Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521645379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521645379
  • ASIN: 0521741289
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The six chapters straightforwardly cover the Sun, Moon, Eclipses, planets, comets, and meteors. I was particularly impressed with the chapter on the Moon, which gives photographs at a scale really to look like the binocular Moon, at various stages of illumination, with a key to the formations. The author actually goes into a great deal of detail on his subjects, including both interesting historical sidelights and the very latest information (which is always assiduously attributed - a rarity in a book of this kind). I found very few errors indeed. ... I would recommend this book to all beginning observers. Don't consider the low page count: this is a large-format book that is excellent value." - Astronomy Now

"While the descriptions and facts should ably answer the many questions of the beginner, the book's anecdotal passages make this publication shine. The author shares his passion through selections describing his emotions such as 'I saw the spirit of the fireball dancing on its grave' when describing an aerial explosion. The mood is continually heightened such a Tolstoy character who in 'rapture and his eyes wet with tears, contemplated the radiant stare' for the comet of 1812 or Agesinax's 'all round about environed with fire she is illumined' to describe the Moon. These historical connections and the many references to ongoing research tells the reader that they share the wonder of the grandeur and complexity of Earth's immediate neighbourhood.

A passion to explore the night sky burns in the hearts of many. Not knowing where to start or how to share this longing is no impediment. With bare eye or inexpensive binoculars, Stephen James O'Meara's book 'Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars' will guide you to satisfy your feelings." - Universe Today

"The naked-eye or binocular observer could hardly hope for a better guide to exploring the Solar System than Stephen J. O'Meara. A skilled visual observer of vast experience and international repute, he is also an engaging and imaginative writer capable of firing the enthusiasm of observers at all levels of ability....thoroughly recommended to those wishing to maximize the potential of naked-eye and binocular observation" -

"Stephen James O'Meara provides an in-depth tour of the Sun, Moon and planets, showing just how much you can do using just the naked eye and binoculars...With plenty of background information on each subject, it is written well with a good pace." - Sky at Night

Book Description

Stephen James O'Meara shows readers how to observe our Solar System's wonders with ease and clarity, using nothing more than the unaided eye and inexpensive, handheld binoculars. This unique observing guide for amateur astronomers covers lunar and solar eclipses, sunspots, the Moon's craters, the planets, meteors, comets, and more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bobtheg on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title claims to be a beginners guide, but this is way more advanced for most neophytes. It reads like a textbook for an astronomy class. It's definitely not a guide to take out into the field. Don't get me wrong, if you want really detailed info on the sun,moon or planets, it's in there, but at a college level, NOT at a beginners' level.
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Format: Paperback
Really good book. Nicely illustrated with photographs and drawings. Even if you are not interested in astronomy with binoculars or small telescopes, this book would make a nice introduction and reference to the solar system, including the sun, moon, planets, comets, meeors, etc. The narrative is lively and includes a lot of history and references to mythology which I found interesting. While there are references to what you can expect to see with binoculars, it actually represented a small part of each chpaer, I feel. His personal experiences of rare sights of planets, etc., with the unaided eye from the heights of Hawaii were interesting but not practical. The part of the book that held the most promise ended up being the most disappointing: figures of the moon with the features one can see at its various phases would have been exceptional, but the notations on the pictures were SO SMALL I coul dbarely read them. Nice reference but light on practical advice for binocular astronomy and not suitable as a field guide.
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