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The Backyard Astronomer's Guide Hardcover – September 12, 2008
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[Review of earlier edition:] I highly recommend this volume for most amateur astronomers and all libraries. I wish I had read it before I purchased my first telescope. (John O. Christensen Science Books and Films 2003-10-15)
[Review of earlier edition:] More than any other guide to backyard observing, this excellent book focuses on equipment. (Astronomy)
[Review of earlier edition:] Excellent introductory text ... completely revised... it is lushly illustrated in color throughout. (Ursula Ellis E-Streams, Vol. 6, No. 4)
[Review of earlier edition:] If an amateur astronomer could afford one book, this would be the one to get ... one of the most attractive practical astronomy works ever produced. (Russ Francis Monday Magazine)
[Review of earlier edition:] Lively, accessible style; is comprehensive; and is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photographs, diagrams, and charts... highly recommended for any library. (Mark Wilson American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35)
[Review of earlier edition:] Few books capture the spirit of the hobby so well -- the pleasures and the pitfalls of the equipment you might need, and the simple joy of watching the universe go by. (American Scientist)
[Review of earlier edition:] This all-encompassing reference provides practical advice. (Science News 2003-01-04)
[Review of earlier edition:] Recommended for all libraries and for experienced or inexperienced amateur astronomers. (A.R. Upgren Choice)
[Review of earlier edition:] Big colorful user-friendly book ... I recommend this book for anyone who is contemplating buying a telescope, has one but does not quite know how to use it, or wants to learn more about accessories and fun activities to supplement his or her stargazing. If you teach observational astronomy, run a public observatory, or conduct community stargazing classes, put this magazine down and order it right now ... This book is your passport to the stars. (David Aguilar Sky and Telescope)
[Review of earlier edition:] This book is an indispensable tool for any serious naturalist who wants to understand and experience the full expanse of the world and universe around us. (Pierre R. Gauthier Canadian Camera)
About the Author
Terence Dickinson is the author of Night Watch and 13 other astronomy books, among them The Universe and Beyond, Summer Stargazing and Exploring the Night Sky. He is also editor of SkyNews.
Alan Dyer is program producer at the Calgary Science Centre Planetarium and a contributing editor to Sky and Telescope magazine. An authority on commercial telescopes, his reviews of astronomical equipment appear regularly in major astronomy magazines.
Top customer reviews
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Boy, they just weren't kidding! I'd estimate the Third Edition is 1/3 again as large as the original! While it comes packed with information and images, Terry keeps it all very approachable with his writing style. If you're just getting into the hobby, before you consider buying a telescope, get this volume as well as Dickenson's other great volume, Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe [NIGHTWATCH 4/E]. They both have great sections on helping you decide on which scopes are best suited to you and your lifestyle.
The Backyard Astronomer's Guide is one substantial volume, both in terms of the data it contains, as well as its sheer physicality...it's a true "coffee-table" book that visitors will find themselves thumbing through just for the vibrant images (many of which were captured by Dickenson himself, as he's become quite an accomplished astrophotographer.) If there was one book that could rightly be called "the amateur astronomer's bible", then this one would be it.
Yea, I know... not a very informative review... but this book doesn't need one. You can google for real in depth reviews and see for yourself how great this book is.
Even if you are not a hobbyist astronomer... but maybe you own a coffee table? Then GET ONE!
I was totally surprised, first by the encyclopedic size of the book and after flipping through the 368 glossy pages, by the amount of content which is so relevant to all of those areas of astronomy and astro-photography that as a beginner, I'm eager to learn about.
Robert Burnham's foreword got me all psyched up about the new knowledge promised in the pages to follow and his comment that "This is by far the best book I know of for helping anyone become a knowledgeable stargazer." could not have described the book any better.
The book is very well laid out, excellent table of contents and comprehensive index make planning of reading sessions and finding specific information a breeze. Stunning photographs support very well written tips and techniques about almost every aspect of the hobby. Great value for money and a book that no new amateur astronomer should be without. This is not a book for the shelf, but for the sofa table where I can grab it whenever there's a spare moment!
This book is on the larger side. It is lovely. There are pretty color pictures. The are also some great explanations of what is in space.
One of the important things it does is provide lots of information about equipment, photography, etc. It has a lot of information. If I were going to buy a telescope, I might start by purchasing this book prior to purchasing a telescope.
Worthwhile information, useful, and beautiful. Enjoy.
Full of beautiful images and helpful technical informations.