Scientific American The Amateur Astronomer (Scientific Am... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $3.82 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. It may be marked, have identifying markings on it, or show other signs of previous use.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Scientific American The Amateur Astronomer (Scientific American (Wiley)) Paperback – December 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0471382829 ISBN-10: 0471382825 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $16.13
25 New from $5.71 33 Used from $0.01
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.13
$5.71 $0.01
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

Scientific American The Amateur Astronomer (Scientific American (Wiley)) + Scientific American The Amateur Biologist
Price for both: $30.05

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Scientific American (Wiley)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471382825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471382829
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S. Its much-loved column, "The Amateur Scientist," originated some 70 years ago, and now, in the first of a planned series of subject-oriented volumes, its riches are harvested in book form. Astronomy was the first topic the column's contributors focused on, and editor Carlson begins with a selection of how-to articles about building telescopes, most of which were written in the 1950s. In contrast, a set of articles about the Sun leaps forward into the 1990s, and as the collection continues with columns about observing the Moon, planets, comets, and stars, it seems to indicate that these two decades were pivotal ones for amateur sky gazers. Carlson provides fascinating assessments of both how much and how little was known 50 years ago, and he charts the evolution of theories and the rise and resolution of controversies, thus offering invaluable insights into the history of scientific thought and methodology. Technically precise yet always clear, these popular science columns remain vital and exciting. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

* An anthology of interest to the backyard astronomer, from America's leading science magazine. ""The Amateur Scientist,"" as Carlson points out in his brief introduction, has run in Scientific American for over 70 years. From the Start, it has been written for the amateur interested in making observations of various celestial phenomena, often with homemade equipment. The collection of articles from those years is updated to reflect the changes both in technology and in society at large (many supply houses and research sources, for example are now most easily found online). Most of the pieces assume considerable dedication to the task at hand: grinding a telescope mirror (a frequent first project for young scientists), while comparatively inexpensive, involves a substantial investment of time to achieve a precision component. Technical and mathematical sophistication is a given here; readers uncomfortable with equations will soon find themselves at sea. But for those who want to do hands-on science, this is a gold mine: it offers several variations on the basic reflecting telescope, as well as tips on taking astronomical photos and designs for an ocular spectroscope. For those who want to explore beyond the visual spectrum, it gives plans for two homemade radio telescopes. The study of artificial satellites (unheard of in the early days of the column) occupies two chapters. Other projects include two novel sundials (one based on a globe of the earth), instruments to stimulate planetary orbits and pointers on observing specific objects (such as the moon or Jupiter). Where relevant (for example, in regard to solar observations) there are ample safety tip. The writing is for the most part clear, although technical terms are necessarily plentiful.

Certainly not for everyone, but for its intended audience this is an indispensable book.
--Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2000

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Francis J. Oreilly on February 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a credible source of information for the budding amateur astronomer. Scientific American has been on the forefront of the amateur astronomy movement in America for well over one hundred years. With that type of a reputation, it is clear that they are seeking to keep their track record intact.

The Amateur Astronomer addresses fabrication of optical telescopes in Part One in a manner that is adequate to get someone with reasonable skills headed in the right direction. In Parts Two, Three and Four it goes into astronomy and explores various types of observations the amateur can make.

I highly recommend Scientific American's Amateur Astronomer for anyone who is seeking to enter the field of astronomy in a meaningful way.

Francis J. O'Reilly
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hall on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book, then set it aside for a while. I had two fears: 1) that it would be all about mirror grinding; 2) that all the projects would be too hard.

Well I can now report that both fears were true, but not nearly to the degree I expected. Only 33 of the 234 pages are devoted the now lost art of making your own mirrors (people just buy them nowadays), and I must say I learned more in reading those pages than I had ever known before. These articles explain WHY you can grind a near-perfect mirror with little or no instruments, and HOW pitch makes the final paraboloid. I'd never seen that explained before.

So mirror-making is covered in the first 3 chapters, while the remaining 27 cover unusual telescope designs, how to build a spectrograph, a radio telescope, etc. All the articles are interesting but one definitely gets the feeling that the amateurs of old were much more capable than we mere mortals today. Most of the complex devices described seem well beyond anyone without a machine shop.

But interspersed with the complex projects are some simple experiments you can do at home (i.e. determine your own latitude with a string and a nail).

There's also a nice introduction telling the history of the Amateur Scientist column in Scientific American.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Howie Saefer on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book to learn about astronomy and the devices used to learn about the stars. The book was in excellent condition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wasn't quite sure what to expect in this book but it looked intriguing. It was only after I noted the title that I realized that Scientific American's "Amateur Scientist" feature had disappeared from its pages. Just sort of quietly slipped away. I remember actually reading a couple of the papers included in the books when I was in Junior and Senior High School, thinking no way could I do something like this/these. We've come a long way since then technologically and knowledge-wise, and the methods of most of these papers seem crude ... yet they are valid and well-thought out and variations could be rendered today. The contents are interesting (at least to me) and have spurred my explorations for projects into several new directions. There are comments about the papers by the editor which bring insight into their importance in today's world. Just from the historical perspective and the creative inspiration available within, I've found the book to be worth while.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
I am just starting out in this area of photography and this is a great reference book for those of us who are self taught.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?