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Deep-Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe with Sky and Telescope's Sue French
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A very good guide by an experienced observer and planetarium teacher. Although the book can be used as a reference for beginners, its primary audience is likely to be midlevel and advanced observers. Recommended for all readers who want to take a look at the night sky. (Jack W. Weigel, Ann Arbor, MI Library Journal 2012-02-01)
Book reviews are rarely included in Mercury, but some books call out to be an exception to this rule. Sue French's Deep-Sky Wonders is one such volume.... The quality of the deep-sky images is outstanding -- a tribute to the various photographers as well as the book's printer. But it's the written word that will make or break a book like this, and Sue's writing is superb. ... If you're looking for a gift for someone who is an occasional stargazer, a serious observer, or anyone in between, you won't go wrong with Deep-Sky Wonders. This is a great introduction to deep-sky stargazing for novice and experienced amateur astronomers alike. (Paul Deans Mercury 2011-09-01)
French's crisp and conversational writing that makes the process of picking distant nebulae out of the heavens seem simple. Like a science-minded Martha Stewart, she spices up the conversation with tidbits of history (who discovered what and when) to keep readers motivated. Most important, she has a museum curator's eye for detail', helping readers to fully appreciate those tiny flecks of light once they find them. (Aaron Leitko Washington Post 2011-12-06)
[Sue French's] extensive knowledge of the subject is showcased in these 100 detailed tours, including color photographs, descriptions of objects such as stars and clusters and galaxies, historical and scientific background, color charts, and more. The detailed but very readable content is organized by seasons and then by month.... Obscure but interesting astronomical tidbits...are presented with instructions on how to locate the object.... Star maps, a list of additional resources, and an index round out this outstanding book, which is of use to students, both those new to astronomy as well as experienced observers. (Denise A. Garofalo American Reference Books Annual 2012 2012-04-01)
Highly recommended for anyone interested in deep sky astronomy--it makes for a beautiful and informative read. (Astronomy Now 2012-04-01)
French...is well regarded for having extensive knowledge on the subject [and] conveying this in a very readable and easy-to-understand way. (Nicky Gutridge Astronomy Now 2012-10-01)
[French] conveys her enthusiasm for viewing planetary nebulae, constellations, stars, the Milky Way, and galaxies beyond our home (Book News 2012-12-01)
About the Author
Sue French has been an avid deep-sky observer for 32 years and has worked as a planetarium educator for 18 years. She sets up her telescope in her backyard near Schenectady, New York, but travels regularly to enjoy the deep sky from different vantage points.
Top Customer Reviews
Now, many of these objects require a large aperture scope and/or very dark skies, however I have personally viewed a large number of these objects with my 3" and 4" refractors from my suburban home, as I have been following her column since she started it back in 1999. This is a rather massive book, over 300 pages, hard bound, with a glossy paper cover. There are many full color illustrations and images to grab the eye, making this a book that I love to simply browse through as much as I use it for resource material. The chapters are laid out basically the same as in the magazine columns. There is a target chart with magnitudes, angular sizes, and celestial coordinates; star charts; full color photos and illustrations; and of course the text giving the reader full access to these celestial gems in the sky. Sue's writing style is thorough, giving the reader not only information about the objects but instructions on how to find them as well. Still, I might recommend (especially for the novice observer) using a larger star atlas or computer software as an aid in finding the targets.Read more ›
The book is set up like the monthly columns with the four seasons as major sections and specific constellations and areas of the sky then receiving specific discussion and photographs of star clusters, planetary nebulae, galaxies and even asterisms of interest.The book induced me to try my luck with Planetary NGC 6781 in Aquila and it turned out pretty nice.Maybe not at Mr.Block's level ,but I'll take it til I can go deeper.
Its a beautiful and useful book, worth the wait and the price.
There's a little bit for everyone, from the binocular viewer up through those with larger back yard telescopes. Rather than just a collection of "tourist objects" as I like to call them, which are just the brighter Messiers and a few others that are the fodder of astronomy outreach programs, she delves into the night sky. She's not afraid to dig deeper, providing the reader and potential observer with some of the more obscure objects that you're not likely to find on any regular observing list. That's what makes this book unique. It covers plenty of essentials, but also throws in some challenges to keep even the most hardy observer on his or her toes.
Each month includes a list of objects, an astro-photo or two, and a drawing or two. This book isn't overly-saturated with pretty pictures to dazzle the eye (which one can get from any number of books), it's mostly text, describing the objects and how to find them. Told in her breezy and poetic style, she guides you there in a way that makes it fun. She also gives you some perspective on whether you should or shouldn't try for said object with a given telescope. Her advice is sound and can save the amateur a lot of frustration.Read more ›
With this sky-tour arrangement you can still use the index to track down individual objects, and the book then effectively becomes a 'French Catalogue' (and a pretty good observing list it is, too!) But because this opens up a much more serious reference use for the book than its origin in magazine articles, it leads to my only (slight) disappointment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful compilation of DSO's organized in seasons and by constellations. The photos are beautiful and the data is precise, giving me reference to more objects that I... Read morePublished 3 months ago by ohiobikeman
Sue French is an excellent writer and has a monthly column in Sky and Telescope Magazine. This book is a compilation of many of her past articles. Read morePublished 15 months ago by StarsNBikes4ever
This is a beautifully illustrated and written book describing deep sky wonders. I would recommend this book to any amateur astronomer or even a novice just beginning to scan the... Read morePublished 16 months ago by David L.
Great book by season by Sue French based on her articles from Sky & Telescope. I highly recommend itPublished 17 months ago by GapperJay
Great book.for.the amateur and students of astronomy. Tee recommended...Published 22 months ago by The Historian
This is a great compilation of Sue French's columns for "Sky and Telescope" magazine. The articles have great photos and discussions and usable maps, but the book has the... Read morePublished on July 6, 2014 by ReadyMan
Purchased this as a gift. Great photos and descriptions. Need to wait for recipient feedback then will return to update this reviewPublished on January 10, 2014 by steve s.