- Spiral-bound: 256 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (November 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521153972
- ISBN-13: 978-0521153973
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.6 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope - and How to Find Them 4th Edition
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"This is quite possibly the most inviting guidebook ever written to help people with binoculars and small telescopes find, view, understand, and, most of all, enjoy everything in the night sky from the Moon and planets to distant star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. And if you think it's only for beginners, think again--every telescope owner should have a copy." Dennis di Cicco, Senior Editor, Sky & Telescope
"Turn Left at Orion is an essential guide for both beginners and more experienced amateur astronomers who will find much inside to reinvigorate their passion for the stars. The diagrams are simple, clear and functional, and the text eloquently captures the excitement of observing. Stargazing has never been made so easy and if you buy just one book on observational astronomy, make sure it's this one." Keith Cooper, Editor, Astronomy Now
"Since it first appeared in 1989, Turn Left at Orion has been an indispensable guidebook for the amateur astronomer possessing nothing more than a small backyard telescope. In this Fourth Edition, Guy Consolmagno and Dan Davis have revised, updated, and expanded its scope. This is not only an essential handbook for the novice, it's a useful reference for the seasoned backyard astronomer. Simply put, whatever your level of experience, you must have this book!" Glenn Chaple, Contributing Editor, Astronomy
Written for beginners, this superb book is a complete guide to the night sky. Now covering Southern hemisphere objects and Dobsonian telescopes in detail, it has never been easier for stargazers of all ages and backgrounds to find celestial objects for themselves.
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A good book here, and the one often recommended online is:
The Backyard Astronomers Guide by Dickinson and Dyer.
2) What do the interesting objects look like through an amateur telescope.
No one book is a standard popular choice on this, I like Seeing Stars by C.R. Kitchin.
Although about $80 new, I bought one in very good condition used at Amazon for about $16.
3) How to find the object you now wish to observe.
This book, Turn Left At Orion.
Which of the three types is most valuable to the beginner, I would say 3).
Unfortunately as I write this the Amazon Peek Inside is useless for evaluating the book because only the first few pages can be seen and those pages tell nothing about what the book is mainly about. Google Books online will show more pages including many from the middle which will illustrate the help given for each of the 100 or so objects. Unfortunately as I write this Google Books site is showing an older edition (2000 / edition 3) which is arranged differently than the newer (2011 / 4th edition). And I think the newer edition is better in every way!
Views shown for each of the 100 or so interesting sky objects:
1) "where to look view" a naked eye view of a portion of the sky with a label of where the object is inside that view.
The old edition will have 1 to 4 scope icons which is how great the view is through a small 3" refractor telescope.
It will also have 1 to 4 Dobsonian icons representing how great the view is through a dobsonian telescope (these usually have more power and light gathering ability).
The new edition adds a third icon set 1 to 4 binocular icons which is how the great the view would be through binoculars. Binocs have less power but greater width of field. The large objects look their best when you can see it all at once, i.e. the binoculars are the best device to use.
The new edition will show the same "where to look" view except the view is bigger, i.e. if you measure the size of the picture
as printed on the page, in the new edition it will be more inches wide and tall. Obviously that is better.
2) "in the finderscope" view S on top N on bottom W on left and E on right and an arrow pointing the direction the stars will drift over time.
This is not the view thru the telescope, it is the view through the auxiliary viewing device every amateur will place on his scope with a lower power view. This makes it easy to find things. Once it is found in the finderscope, it will also now can be seen in the main telescope.
The new edition has the same view. But they are all slightly different as the authors have reviewed all objects in their scopes and now have what they consider better diagrams. I.E. you may sometimes get a better idea how large each star is, and sometimes there is a few more stars shown. In other words they have done what they consider some improvement in each of these, but the changes are minor.
The old edition is just about as good.
3) " in a small telescope" view. N on top S on bottom E on right W on left. Upside down, but not changed right to left. This is how a 3" refractor telescope would view the object.
The old and new both have a similar view. But they are all slightly different in the new edition.
The old edition is just about as good.
4) "In a Dobsonian view". S on top, N on bottom, E on right and W on left.
This is how starfields are oriented thru a Dob. There is no star diagonal which is why the view is upside down. Also more stars will be shown than view 3. This is because Dob has a wider mirror than a refractor lens, cost for cost. The Dob gathers more light. And so weaker stars may be seen.
These views are not given in the old edition. It is given for every one of the objects in the new edition.
If you have a Dobsonion, (instead of a refractor) then the new edition will be of far greater use.
A. Dobsonian , B. refractor, C. Newtonian, D. catadioptric
Between A. and B., the refractor is quicker to set up, lighter, more rugged, more hassle free (e.g. far less likely to ever require collimation). But the dob has bigger optics, it will see fainter stars (dollar for dollar).
C. Newtonian reflector: optics like a Dob A, but mounted on a tripod like a refractor B.
D. catadioptirc: Optics are a combination of lenses and mirrors , i.e. optics are a combination of A. and B. optics. And type D can be found for purchase mounted on a tripod like B (usually) but sometimes like a Dob A (especially smaller, cheaper catadioptrics).
A and C are open to the sky (the internal optics can get dirtied by dust far, far, easier).
B and D are have closed and sealed optical tubes. Eventually dust can enter.
Take what is below with a large grain of salt.
My advice for someone who will have the scope stored and used at home is A.
If you are going to have to pack up the scope and drive quite a ways, usually over bumpy roads, to find a dark site, I chose B.
If you are going to do both a lot, then my choice would be C. or D.
If you are going to have to pack up the scope and travel a short way, say to a local astronomy club meeting at a dark sky area, then I don't know, its about a tie in my opinion. If forced, I would take A. and probably a big one.
There will be many folks who recommend A, B, C, or D as the best all around choice, all have their fans for use by beginners.
Take everything after the ------------------- with a grain of salt. Opinions vary. But the book review above the ------ is, in my opinion, accurate and reliable.
A and C are have their main optics open to the air, thus they can get dirty from dust over time.
B and D have the optical tube sealed.
When people first get a telescope they quickly realize how big the sky is, and how hard it is to find things to look at other than the moon and the naked-eye visible planets. The new scope then sits and collects hats and jackets until eventually ending up on Craigslist or at a yard sale. Please, don't do that. Get this book with a good pair of binoculars and/or your first telescope, learn the sky and find some neat objects that most people will only see via the internet.
This book now goes with me whenever I take my telescope out--in fact it is part of my "kit" that includes my observation log and drawing book. I honestly can't imagine going out without it anymore. When I plan an evening's list of targets to observe, this is the first book I drag out and read through. I frankly think it is indispensable, particularly for a beginning astronomer like me..