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Star Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories Fourth Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471750635
ISBN-10: 0471750638
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for Star Ware

"Star Ware is still a tour de force that any experienced amateur will find invaluable, and which hardware-minded beginners will thoroughly enjoy."

— Robert Burnham, Sky & Telescope magazine

"Star Ware condenses between two covers what would normally take a telescope buyer many months to accumulate."

— John Shibley, Astronomy magazine

Whether you're shopping for your first telescope or your fifth, don't be surprised if you feel overwhelmed by the dazzling array of product choices, bells and whistles, and the literature that describes them all. That's why you need Star Ware.

In this revised and updated Fourth Edition of the essential guide to comparing and selecting sky-watching equipment, award-winning astronomy writer Philip Harrington takes you telescope shopping the easy way. He analyzes and explains today's astronomy market and compares brands and models point by point. Star Ware gives you the confidence you need to buy the telescope and accessories that are right for you and the knowledge to get the most out of your new purchase, with:

  • Extensive, expanded reviews of leading models and accessories—including dozens of new products

  • A clear, step-by-step guide to every aspect of selecting telescopes, binoculars, filters, mounts, lenses, cameras, film, star charts, guides and references, and much more

  • Ten new do-it-yourself projects for building your own astronomical equipment

  • Easy tips on setting up, using, and caring for telescopes and other astronomical equipment

  • Lists of where to find everything astronomical, including Web sites and resources; distributors, dealers, and conventions; and corporate listings for products and services

About the Author

Philip S. Harrington holds degrees in mechanical engineering and science education. As a contributing editor for Astronomy magazine, he writes reviews of astronomical equipment as well as a monthly column on binocular astronomy. He is the author of the three previous editions of Star Ware as well as Star Watch, Touring the Universe through Binoculars, and Eclipse!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Fourth Edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471750638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471750635
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A lifelong amateur astronomer, Phil Harrington was bitten by the "astronomical bug" when he was assigned to watch the total lunar eclipse of April 1968 as a homework assignment. Since then, Phil has spent countless hours touring the universe through telescopes and binoculars. He is a former staff member of New York City's Hayden Planetarium and instructor at the Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport, New York.

Phil is an adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York, where he teaches courses in stellar and planetary astronomy. He is a founding member of the Westport (CT) Astronomical Society and is also one of the coordinators of the annual Astronomer's Conjunction, held every summer in Northfield, MA.

Phil is also a contributing editor for Astronomy magazine, where he frequently reviews telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomical equipment, as well as authors observing features. Phil has also written the magazine's monthly "Binocular Universe" column (from 2005-2009) as well as a quarterly on-line column on Astronomy.com entitled "Phil Harrington's Challenge Objects." "Binocular Universe" migrated to Cloudynights.com in June 2009. In addition, he has written for Deep Sky and Sky & Telescope magazines.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For anyone in the market for an astronomical telescope , this book is a tremendous help. Twenty or more years ago there were only a handful of manufacturers that offered astronomical telescopes , but now there is a flood of products for the prospective buyer! Phil Harrington does an excellent job in systematically listing not only the individual products by type , but gives a thumbnail sketch of the manufacturers as well.
The author leaves the final decisions in the hands of the readers , but after reading this little paperback , the reader is an informed buyer! This is not a field where mistakes are cheap. This book will save you some real $$$ if you pay attention. It did me!
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This has got to be the best and most comprehensive book on everything to do with astronomical equipment. Reading all three editions not only fully equips you with the knowledge on which scope (or binoculars) is best for your needs, but also serves as a "historical" overview of scopes from the past. What I especially liked about the book is that it has exhaustive reviews of scopes and they are split into different categories and brand names (yup brand names and makes are mentioned in the book). Also has a homemade astronomer section that is very useful. Plus, in the 1st and 2nd edition, there is a section on observing (with eyepiece impression sketches). I was disappointed that this section was left out in the third edition but then this spawned Phil's other book "Starwatch". Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Looking for a friend to help guide you when buying your first telescope, binoculars, or some new eyepieces and accessories. Phil Harrington, acting vicariously through Star Ware, is that friend. The author, who also writes equipment reviews for Astronomy magazine, exhaustively examines the current astronomical marketplace and discusses the pros and cons of just about everything an amateur astronomer could want and purchase.
The book also features ten new make-at-home projects, including two observatories, a simple digital imager that is light enough to use with *any* telescope, a pair of binocular mounts, an observing chair, and more.
Further, the author's extensive web site ... is regularly updated with the latest news on telescopes and astro-equipment.
I highly recommend Star Ware for all amateur astronomers who are interested in learning about and purchasing the best equipment.
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Format: Paperback
I've read 'em all and Star Ware is still the single best book about equipment for the amateur astonomer ever written. The author has clearly done a tremendous amount of research to cover just about every conceivable piece of equipment out there. And, best of all, he discusses pros and cons evenly, without bias, and with a sense of humor that holds the interest of even non-astronomer types.
If you are thinking about buying a telescope or other piece of astronomical equipment, the price of this book could save you hundreds. And, in the long run, you will end up knowing more about what to buy and how to use it, thanks all to this book.
Bravo!
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There are a number of books out there that cover available equipment for Amateur Astronomy. However, I haven't found any that cover this area as in depth as this book. The Author, Phil Harrington has certainly done his research, and brings this information to the reader in an easily understood way. I first bought this book in 2006 and found some of the information to be a little dated at that time. When I saw that there was going to be an updated version coming out, I knew I would be purchasing it. I purchased the updated version and it wasn't at all lacking. At the time of it's release (4/2007) it is current with regards to available equipment for the Amateur Astronomer. This book is easy to read and understand. When I am looking to purchase a new piece of equipment, Starware is the first book I grab for the information I need.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent overview of current offerings, along with something rarely found - specific recommendations. A must have before making an initial investment in a telescope, eye pieces, or other accessories.
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Format: Paperback
The newly released third edition is more up to date than any other telescope book around! The author has re-examined literally hundreds of different telescopes, binoculars, and accessories, using both his own findings as well as those of readers who answered his telescope owner survey.
If you are thinking of buying a telescope or some astro-accessory, or maybe want to get more out of the equipment that you already own, this is the book for you! Even if you own a telescope, you're bound to pick up something new in this book! I learned more from reading Starware than in probably ten other books combined. And even if you own the first or second edition (or both!), the third edition is a MUST!
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After reading Phil's book Star Ware, I would not think of buying anything for my telescope without looking it up in his book. I am about 402.00 in the hole because I didn't have a copy of this book. I have since picked up a better scope for less money. The difference in price would have gotten me a really good wide FOV 13mm eyepiece and money left over.
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