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Galaxies and How to Observe Them (Astronomers' Observing Guides) Paperback – December 6, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1852337520 ISBN-10: 1852337524 Edition: 2007th

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Product Details

  • Series: Astronomers' Observing Guides
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2007 edition (December 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852337524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852337520
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,171,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"The Springer series Astronomers’ Observing Guides is a bit of a mixed-bag, with some books much better than others; this is certainly one of the better ones. … The book is well illustrated with images of galaxies, many in colour … . Numerous references are given; in fact there are more references in this book than in many academic ones. In summary, this is an excellent book which I have no hesitation in recommending. Even experienced observers will find much useful information in its pages." (Stewart L. Moore, The Observatory, Vol. 127 (1200), October, 2007)

"This guide for amateur astronomers is one in a series of ‘Astronomers’ Observing Guides.’ … The text contains a wealth of detailed information valuable to the serious amateur … . The appendix gives useful lists of books, magazines, sky mapping software, Internet databases and links, as well as footnoted references. Many of the beautiful color photographs used throughout were taken with some of the world’s best telescopes … . Summing Up: Recommended. General readers." (M. Dickinson, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), July, 2007)

From the Back Cover

Galaxies are perhaps the most popular of all visual targets that are sought after by visual observers. At present the only way to get up-to-date information, is to query various (often highly technical) speciality books or digging deeply into the Internet. This can be a time consuming and often frustrating task, as the data aren’t often compatible. This book satisfies the need for a modern, comprehensive review in combining the three major aspects: the physical background on the nature and data of galaxies, the relevant instrumentation and viewing techniques, and finally the targets and their individual appearance in telescopes of various apertures. To illustrate the latter, a comprehensive sample of galaxies, including quasars, groups and clusters of galaxies is presented. This combination of theoretical knowledge and practical information guarantees successful observing sessions. The book could become a standard source on galaxy observing for all kinds of amateur observers, from the beginner to the experienced.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Eric B. Norris on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is filled with a lot of really interesting information on galaxies. However, it is extremely disorganized. My copy of this book is now full of bookmarks to help me find information later. Why? This book has no index. Let me repeat that--this book has NO INDEX. This is an unforgivable sin for any reference book! Furthermore, the subtitle is "and how to observe them." There is not a clue about how to observe galaxies. Instead, the pictures of galaxies are taken through large professional telescopes that for the most part are not even identified. There are observer's descriptions for some galaxies, but most of these are through 20" and larger telescopes. Only a few descriptions are for telescope sizes you might be likely to own.

On the plus side, there are a number of pointers to more information sources, but often these are given in large, undifferentiated lists, instead of the authors making specific recommendations.

Some of the descriptions of galactic structure and evolution are extremely sparse. You won't find a clear definition of Seyfert galaxies, for example.

If you're looking for a definitive work on galaxies, this isn't it. But if you want to learn some interesting facts, you might find this book a fun read. You'll probably come away with some observing ideas as well, but stock up on bookmarks!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Pierre Schmid on August 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wolfgang Steinicke was the leading author of the german "Praxishandbuch Deep Sky"(Kosmos 2004), which I like very much. So I started reading his new book on Galaxies with high expectations...and I was not disappointed :
I believe this is the most up-to-date, clearly structured reference book on galaxy observing - satisfying a very broad range of interests.
In three major sections, the authors not only address the needs of the most ambitious observers, but frequently add encouraging hints for beginners as well.
I recommend it A) as a reading book to gain a broader knowledge
and B) as an excellent planning guide when you want to observe MUCH MORE than the most commonly known galaxies.
SECTION I (70 pages) provides a basic understanding of the different types of galaxies and clusters, plus all those data that are important for visually observing them.
Chapter 1 explains different galaxy classification schemes, special cases and pecularities - then chapter 2 introduces pairs, groups and clusters of galaxies and shows their place within the hierarchy of the universe.
Chapter 3 presents a well structured overview for many different types of galaxy catalogs, containing galaxy data and nomenclatures. Advantages/disadvantages of these catalogs are discussed and their data quality is critically judged.
I strongly recommend to study this chapter 3 on catalogs first, because the same presentation structure is followed in the later SECTION III on observing programs.
SECTION II (33 pages) covers the Technical Aspects on observing galaxies.
Key technical instrumentation aspects are only summarized briefly (chap.4), but the Theory of Visual Observation (chap.5), together with practical recommendations on observing, star hopping and observing logs (chap.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got three books in on astronomy from Amazon today. The other two were nice. This one is junk. Lack of practical advise and the info is dated. Looks like the authors wrote a lot of fill text from other books without being specific to galaxies. My point? Looked for a recommendation on scope size and recommended eye pieces for galaxy hunting. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Fill text? What type of clothing should you wear while stargazing? That is not staying focused on the subject at hand. I was looking for a book with guidance on observing galaxies. This is not it.

Very little practical and useful info for the guy with a telescope. Waste of my money.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE KONSTANTOPOULOS on October 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is excellent writting, comprehensive, analytical and all subjects well presented and in the appropriate order.
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