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Astronomy Hacks: Tips and Tools for Observing the Night Sky Paperback – June 1, 2005
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About the Author
Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of O'Reilly's Building the Perfect PC and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. A born geek, he built his first computer in 1976 with 256 bytes of memory, toggle switches, and no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.
Barbara Fritchman Thompson, the coauthor of Building the Perfect PC and PC Hardware in a Nutshell, worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions. She's also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.
Top Customer Reviews
It is also worth mentioning that the authors are very biased torwards using Newtonian Reflector telescopes with Dobsonian style mounts, however they do cover all of the telescope types and thier respective advantages, disadvantages, etc.
Overall, this book is a must purchase for anyone who is interested in amateur astronomy and who is looking for that first step. There is information in this book that will also appeal to the more experienced telescope enthusiasts, especially where the telescope modifications are concerned. Amateur Astronomy can get quite expensive and this book will certainly save many beginners from needlessly wasting money on telescopes and equipment!
"Astronomy Hacks" is an excellent introductory book for "hands-on" amateur star gazers, but there are some caveats of which the potential reader should be aware.
Oriented towards the neophyte (of the 65 hacks, 41 are classified as having a "beginner" level of complexity and only 4 as "expert"), this book provides a wealth of valuable tips and techniques that will get a beginning star gazer up to speed with a minimum of fuss. Add some at-the-eyepiece experience, and the new kid on the block will be expeditiously transformed into an intermediate observer.
The equipment-specific hacks in this book are heavily weighted towards the Dobsonian reflector type of telescope. Although the authors readily admit their bias towards this type of telescope, this bias limits the appeal of "Astronomy Hacks." Thus, if your potential interest in star gazing includes hunting down the objects you wish to view by referring to star charts and moving your scope from one field of view to the next until the desired object is found, and then, as you observe the object, manually nudging the scope continuously in order to keep the object in the field of view, then "Astronomy Hacks" is for you.
However, if you think you'd rather use a computerized scope that can locate an object you wish to view and then automatically track that object as you observe through the eyepiece, then most of the telescope-specific hacks in this book will not be applicable to your observing equipment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've owned this for years. I am acquainted with author through an Astronomy bulletin board. Robert Bruce Thompson takes a fresh approach to observing and observing tools. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Larry C
Here is a book that grabs your attention. From the very beginning the authors paint an interesting picture about amateur astronomy. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Leonard Madia
I read it in paper from the library and found it helpful so decided to get the digital version to have at home. The conversion to Kindle is terrible. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Charlie
Full of very detailed instructions for stargazing.
This is not good 1st book for stargazing,
but definitely best 3rd book for stargazing. Read more
WONDERFUL book! 378pp of good stuff from people who have experienced the learning curve from beginning to advanced. Read morePublished 17 months ago by THOMAS DEY