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Star-Hopping: Your Visa to Viewing the Universe
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Top Customer Reviews
Although the text is a bit dry and not as enjoyable to work through as in MacRoberts' wonderfully descriptive and similar work "Star-Hopping for Backyard Astronomers", the emphasis in this book is on *empirical star-hopping practice*. Once you complete the exercises in this book you *will* have gained a subconscious feel for navigating the skies with your scope. Traditional star-hopping becomes second nature and loses its daunting aspect.
I feel that all amateur astronomers should have this skill down pat. It makes your observing immeasurably easier because you have an intuitive "feel" for which direction and how far to move your scope.
The maps are well done but do not completely reflect the text. Sometimes objects are discussed in the text but don't appear on the map. Also, the maps are not at near a large enough scale to make the star-hops fully straightforward. For the dimmer DSOs in his tours (and there are many of them), I highly advise the reader to purchase a solid Mag 8.5 or deeper star atlas to accompany this book, such as Tirion's Sky Atlas 2000.0 2nd Ed.
Overall, recommended over MacRoberts' book for serious training and experience in this skill. Rank beginners will want to start with something easier, like MacRoberts or the excellent Turn Left at Orion.
The main strength of Garfinkle's approach--the constellation-based approach--is also its main weakness. This is because fascinating objects a view-finder or two away from the constellation in questions are either discussed in some chapter other than the one in hand or are not discussed at all. This can be frustrating if you are an experienced star-hopper. Garfinkle compensates for this by identifying so much of interest in each of his star hops that you probably won't care. If you do, an excellent companion to "Star Hopping" is "Discover the Stars" by Richard Berry, which touches upon a small fraction of the objects discussed by Garfinkle but presents a broader swipe of the sky.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While this book is certainly useful when developing the skill of star-hopping with a small telescope, one cannot but notice the whopping omission of mnemonic devices that serve as... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jonathon York
This is a very comprehensive book on star hopping. I just went from a Go-to to a Dobs and needed some good instruction. I think this will work but it is pretty intimidating.Published on August 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer