- Series: Stargazing
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Sky Publishing (May 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931559325
- ISBN-13: 978-1931559324
- Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Double Stars for Small Telescopes: More Than 2,100 Stellar Gems for Backyard Observers (Stargazing) Paperback – May 1, 2007
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More than 2,100 of the sky's most alluring double and multiple stars are listed with coordinates, magnitudes, colors, and informative commentaries. Make it an essential part of your astronomy library.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, in this day and age, how can any book obviously designed to be used at the telescope not be bound in a manner so that it will lay flat when opened, preferably spiral-bound?
Second, there are almost no charts whatsoever, just four very basic constellation line drawings showing 15 of the more famous double stars. Surely some monthly charts illustrating in some manner the bright or showpiece doubles could not have been too difficult to include. I have drawn my own from the WDS catalogue data for years. If you have a modern "Go To" scope where coords can be entered and the telescope slews itself to the right point, or at least have digital setting circles, the book will be simple to use. For those without, you'll have to starhop on your own with other charts to the coordinate listings.
Finally, my copy arrived directly from Sky Publishing in a weak padded envelope with no protection and had about four inches of the corner permanently bent from being crushed in transit.
The observing descriptions of the double stars draw from Sissy Haas' own notes, notes from other observers, and from classic handbooks by Webb and Smyth. These are excellent overall and provide a sense of the observing experience far beyond what any robotic reading and sorting of the catalogue data can provide.
I wish there was a 3½ star rating. I gave it 4 in large measure because of the observing comments. Please, PLEASE Sky Publishing, do these "Stargazing Series" publications justice and give them a proper binding and more "meat" than just a listing of digital catalogue data.
Reading the introduction, you realize that the author has an excellent understanding of her subject matter that communicates well to the reader. This shows in her ability to explain and keep my attention (no easy task). Her explanations and examples kept my interest and made me want to start observing immediately. The charts and graphs included illustrate very well the technical aspects of observing with detailed descriptions of the many subtle colors of the stars as they appear to the eye through the telescope. The explanations illustrate how stars are measured by magnitude, color, temperature and separation. A handy chart is printed on how far apart the stars will be separated in various scopes by their aperture.
Four constellations are illustrated labeling the binary stars by season to help you get started right away. An easy to understand legend in front of the first catalog page helps to locate your target and where to look. The catalog is organized by constellations. With each star you are given the right, assent ion, declination, name, year, position angle, separation, magnitude, spectral type, status and observers comments. Most comments, made by contributing astronomers, include the aperture and power of the telescope used.
If you have setting circles on your scope or better yet, a "go to" scope, it makes finding the stars are a snap. Otherwise you need a good atlas and plenty of patience.
Sissy Hass gives us one more pleasure for the use of our scopes in observing the unlimited joys and beauty of our universe. This is a reference book I will keep close by for one of those leisurely nights where I am not rushed to find some other object before it moves out of sight. Where every night is Christmas with the multi-colored lights of a Yule-tide tree.
Book reviewed by Jack Fox, Richmond Astronomical Society