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Observing Handbook and Catalogue of Deep-Sky Objects Paperback – October 28, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0521625562 ISBN-10: 0521625564 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a beautifully organized reference tool for the amateur astronomer. The authors have filled a long-standing need for a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to aid in observing deep-sky objects...clearly a labor of love, and the wealth of data provided here make this a must-have volume for the amateur astronomer and the academic astronomy library." E-Streams

Book Description

A detailed and comprehensive guide to observing the deep sky, this is the most detailed guide available in a single volume. Information and descriptions for more than 2000 galaxies, nebulae and star clusters was meticulously researched and checked for this book, removing the common transcription errors in other catalogues. The objects range from those visible in binoculars to faint galaxies requiring a 30 cm telescope, and most descriptions are given for a range of telescope apertures. An essential reference for telescope users.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (October 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521625564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521625562
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,194,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This text is not for people who take their scopes out once a week to do casual oberving. It is packed with technical and visual data on about 2,000 deep-sky objects, most of them galaxies. This book competes directly with the 2 volume Night Sky, which details some 5,000 objects. Which to choose? Luginbuhl's text has close to 30 detailed charts, and maybe three dozen sketches; it has basic information on magnitude, size, and nature of deep-sky objects. It deliberately limits the objects described to those visible in scopes no bigger than 30 cm (12 inches). The descriptions range from 3 or 4 lines (for distant galaxies seen a hazy patches in 12 inches scopes) to almost a full page (for objects like the Orion Nebula).This book works well for observers with smaller scopes. Luginhuhl begins his descriptions with how the object appears in 6 cm (2.4 inch) scopes. Then moves up to 15 cm (6 inch), then presents the view from a larger socpe (ranging from 20 to 30 cm). So, the owners of smaller scpes are not left out. Owners of smaller scopes can't see most of the 5,000+ objects presented in the 2 volume Night Sky. So, for those of us with more modest scopes (and bank accounts), we can use Luginbuhl. However, you will still need a good set of star charts to find the objects. Overall, a very useful book for amatures with smaller scopes and an interest in oberserving deep-sky objects. But not intended for observers in the southern hemisphere; no objects south of -50 declination are covered. I recommend it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gregory P. Nowell on December 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're an amateur astronomer in a rut of a few dozen Messiers and want someting else, here's the place. Some 3,500 deep sky objects with paragraph descriptions. Helps you get a lot more enjoyment out of a scope. Describes objects through various apertures from 60mm through 30cm (=12"), consistently describing at 6" 10" and 12" apertures. Mostly text, some drawings, some pix. Organized by constellation: you can pick a constellation near zenith for the night, and then do "saturation viewing" of dozens of objects in that one area. The descriptions really help you learn to notice detail: you'll be directed to a red star at the s end of one cluster, or advised to notice a double or triple star in another cluster. Much attention paid to appearance of galaxies. Includes items by NGC, M, and IC numbers. Follows ascending RA in each chapter like the NGC catalog. Provides info on magnitude: surface brightness, visual magnitude, etc. Keyed to be used with a good skymap like Tirion. Extremely powerful tool in conjunction with digital computer. Main defect is that RA and Dec coordinates are in separate listings in back which is clumsy in field use; RA and Dec are also provided for 1950 and 2000 coordinates in a way that is difficult in field. If you're star hopping with a good map or have an e-brain for a digital setting circle system this isn't much of an obstacle, however. This book is one of the most underused resources in amateur astronomy. I am mystified as to why. If you have a scope 4" or bigger and want some universe to explore, this is the book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erhan A. Ozturk on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book explains the view of numerious deep sky objects through 60mm, 150mm and 200-250mm scopes. The explanations are helpful in finding the objects in the field. However; although introductory chapters may be helpful for beginners, this book is for intermediate or advanced telescope users.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Rayworth on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm a hard-core observer and love nothing better than a good reference book with information that is relevant to my goals. Since my friend Roger and I started an Observer's Challenge with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, he has been telling me to get that book. After almost a year, I finally got it as a Christmas present.

The book is not cheap, but it is well worth it. If you are a hard-core observer, or just a casual observer, this is a great reference source. For years, all I had were Burhams books, and there is a lot missing from them, despite being three volumes. Skiff & Luginbuhl list over 2,000 deep sky objects, most of them visible in small to moderate back yard telescopes.

The book is organized by constellation, and the key objects are listed with concise descriptions. These descriptions (along with a few other references) are usually the basis for our Observer's Challenge each month.

Included are a few photos here and there to help you spot the objects, especially in the crowded galaxy fields. At the end is a listing of all the objects plus an additional list of double stars.

My only beef with the book is that the listing at the end includes some objects that are not obtainable, including some anonymous galaxies, and some with magnitudes in the 16-17 range. I created an observing list in Megastar using their list and found some of the objects not listed, or having a different designation. I also had to filter out anything of magnitude 15.7 or fainter as my 16" scope will never see a galaxy that faint unless power goes out to the entire west coast on a super clear and stable night. Not likely.

If you are a dedicated observer, this book should be a mandatory addition to your library. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.
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