- Hardcover: 190 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2011 edition (October 17, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1461406277
- ISBN-13: 978-1461406273
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,014,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Treasures of the Southern Sky 2011th Edition
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From the reviews:
“‘Treasures of the Southern Sky’ lets on get acquainted not just with the most impressive deep sky objects on could see there, but also with the history of observing the night sky in the southern hemisphere. … The main part of the book is composed of photographs of some of the most amazing objects that can be seen there … . this book is an excellent way to have the southern sky brought home to you.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, November, 2013)
“This book fully lives up to its name. Gendler … have collected more than one hundred photographs of objects in the southern sky--images lush in detail and possessing an engrossing beauty. … A true treasure of a book--one that can be enjoyed by anyone with an eye for beauty and curiosity about astronomy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” (K. D. Fisher, Choice, Vol. 49 (11), August, 2012)
“The book is a pleasure to handle and to look at, and has obviously been produced by enthusiasts to share their own expert awareness, admiration, and appreciation of the treasures to be found in southern skies. … texts accompanying the illustrations are clear and helpful, and anyone interested in a well-chosen and spectacular array of New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue objects will not only enjoy it but also come away with a greater awareness of the amazing events taking place beyond the Solar System.” (Colin Cooke, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1229), August, 2012)
From the Back Cover
In these pages, the reader can follow the engaging saga of astronomical exploration in the southern hemisphere, in a modern merger of aesthetics, science, and a story of human endeavor. This book is truly a celebration of southern skies.
Jerry Bonnell, Editor - Astronomy Picture of the Day
The southern sky became accessible to scientific scrutiny only a few centuries ago, after the first European explorers ventured south of the equator. Modern observing and imaging techniques have since revealed what seems like a new Universe, previously hidden below the horizon, a fresh astronomical bounty of beauty and knowledge uniquely different from the northern sky. The authors have crafted a book that brings this hidden Universe to all, regardless of location or latitude.
Treasures of the Southern Sky celebrates the remarkable beauty and richness of the southern sky in words and with world-class imagery. In part, a photographic anthology of deep sky wonders south of the celestial equator, this book also celebrates the human story of southern astronomy with an engaging and detailed history of key contributors to southern sky exploration. The accompanying text provides the reader with intriguing facts and useful information about the featured objects.
The volume is arranged by southern hemisphere season and brings to the printed page many of the most provocative and beautiful astronomical images of our time, many in print for the first time. The collection of imagery covers a full range of deep sky astronomical objects, including the familiar and iconic as well as those that are more obscure but no less intriguing. Masterful, state of the art professional and amateur astrophotography highlights the authors' carefully selected deep sky "treasures."
The beauty and richness of the southern night sky is legendary. From southern latitudes the finest globular clusters in the sky are visible to the unaided eye, as are the nearest galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. The brightest part of the Milky Way passes overhead during the southern winter and the nearest bright star as well as the legendary asterism known as the Southern Cross are both observable throughout the year.
Despite these stunning highlights, the southern sky has received has received less attention than its northern counterparty, and fewer photographs exist of its lesser known, yet equally stunning and intriguing objects. This visual anthology features striking photographic portraits of the most celebrated to the more obscure southern astronomical objects. Carefully selected world-class images have been assembled using the latest digital methods, revealing these southern gems in ways never before seen.
To provide a context, the pictures capture the sky in variety of scales, from the wide vistas seen through hobby telescopes to the tiny fields relayed in exquisitely rich detail by the powerful optics of the largest professional telescopes, including the Hubbel Space Telescope and ESO's telescopes. The beauty of the night sky is on display in vivid color and dazzling detail. The presentation is further enhanced by a detailed history of southern sky exploration and lucid text that describes the southern night-sky wonders in ways that are engaging and non-technical.
Top customer reviews
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Treasures of the Southern Sky is the first book about the southern sky that I've seen for a long time and in general it compares well with its illustrious predecessors but I do have one mild complaint which I will get to later.
The book opens with a comprehensive section entitled "The Discovery of the Southern Sky" in which the pioneering work of such people as Halley, Lacaille, Dunlop and Sir John Herschel is described. Not surprisingly, given that two of the authors are famous astrophotographers, there is a good coverage of early photographic efforts. There then follows a series of images of the various southern objects by season, starting with summer. Many of the images are presented in both wide field and narrow angle versions and a good feature is that the frame coverage of the narrow angle shot is marked on the wide field image. Each image is accompanied by the astrophysical explanation for its appearance. One difference with "Exploring the Southern Sky" is that every image is in colour (sometimes narrow band colour) whereas the older book had plenty of black and white. This book also includes some spectacular infrared shots too which would have been impossible 25 years ago. The quality of the images is extremely high and it's easy to see the advances that have been made in 25 years. Finally there is a fairly comprehensive bibliography on books about the southern sky.
Now to my complaint: the choice of objects. In a book that is supposed to be about the southern sky I think the choice of "southern" objects leaves a bit to be desired. Sure the well known stuff is here but I would have preferred to see much more of the stuff from the far south. The beautiful globular cluster NGC 6752, the spectacular galaxy NGC 1566 in Dorado, the oddly shaped planetary nebula IC 4406 and Apus with its mixture of galaxies and galactic cirrus are all missing for instance. In fact Treasures of the Southern Sky has the look of a southern sky book written by a northerner. There is quite an extensive coverage of Orion for example and the cover of the book is actually a picture of the Orion nebula. Sure it's a southern object (just) but hasn't it been done to death already? If I was a northern hemisphere resident I would be buying this book to read about the objects that I can't see, not the ones with which I am already familiar. I did email Rob Gendler about the choice of the cover image and he did say that they tried other objects and somehow they didn't come out as expected so maybe that's fair enough.
This minor gripe aside, I think that Treasures of the Southern Sky is well worth adding to your astronomical library.
Pros.: Well written and very good introduction and notes on the history of observing Southern Skies. Good quality photographs. Good description of the objects.
Cons.: On the one hand, taking into account its contents, this book looks like an observing handbook as all the objects are presented as they appear in the sky, from Summer to Spring. On the other hand one cannot find any (even small) map to help locate these objects. When one chooses to buy this book, soon realizes that this is a heavy album which is not appropriate to be taken for airline journey.
Apart from this, the book by Gendler et al. is very good and worth buying. I must admit however that I still wait for a small airline friendly handbook. Perhaps these Authors can write another book just for a serious amateur travelling down-under.
Some of the pictures are not well reproduced in the printing process. They exhibit a very grainy appearance. As two examples, I list CG 4 on page 68, the Horsehead on page59, but there are others.
None of the pictures has a scale, so we are never sure of the angular size of the object.
Some of the photos only exhibit part of the object. There seems to me to be little point in showing a Hubble picture of the centre of a globular cluster (eg M22 on page154) unless this is also accompanied by an overall view of the object. Another example is the Hubble picture of the centre of NGC 253. This is for some the standout galaxy of the southern hemisphere, so not showing a view of the whole galaxy is an apalling omission.
The book is advertised as a coffee table book and this is probably a good place for it.
Quibbles aside, this book is well worth having and I strongly recommend it for anyone interested in SH objects.
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