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Astronomy

Because astronomy is one of my hobbies, I am able to make personal recommendations for many of these books. I teach an astronomy class to homeschoolers and I belong to an astronomy club. I hope that many of you enjoy God's beautiful night sky, but if you are a beginner, many of these books will help you begin. Astronomy for Families is a good site for beginners. Enjoy!
Updated Feb. 17, 2000

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To order just click on the book title.

bookcover 365 STARRY NIGHTS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY FOR EVERY NIGHT OF THE YEAR by Chet Raymo
$12.80 Paperback, 219pp Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Incorporated Pub. Date: December 1989
This book is a great way for a beginner to learn the night sky. It doesn't require any previous knowledge of the heavens. No need to start at the beginning just turn to the month in question and start reading. What's visible on a particular date in the sky is presented in black and white drawing with text giving a brief description about it. The more I use this book, the more I like it. Anyone beginning a hobby in astronomy or anyone teaching an astronomy unit needs this book. Put it on your must have list.

bookcover 40 NIGHTS TO KNOWING THE SKY: A NIGHT BY NIGHT SKYWATCHING PRIMER Fred Schauf.
14.36 Paperback, 1st ed., 256pp Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated Pub. Date: June 1998
This book offers a simple, interactive, step-by-step program to learning the night sky. It has a system of practical objectives and activities that get readers actively involved in sky watching

bookcover ADVANCED SKYWATCHING The Backyard Astronomer's Guide to Starhopping and Exploring the Universe by Robert Burnham, Alan Dyer, Robert A Garfinkle, Martin George, Jeff Kanipe, David H. Levy. The Nature Company, Time Life Books
20.97 Format: Hardcover, 288pp. Publisher: Time-Life, Incorporated Pub. Date: September 1997
This is a good book to read once you have found many of the constellations. It also offers some excellent advice about how to choose the best binoculars when you decide to buy a pair for astronomy. My astronomy class use the advice from this book to choose those we bought. It has sky maps and beautiful pictures.

bookcover ASTRONOMY: A SELF-TEACHING GUIDE Dinah L. Moche
$15.16 Format: Paperback, 4th ed., 342pp. Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated Pub. Date: January 1993
Here is the popular, self-instructional text that explains basic principles of astronomy and space exploration. This edition has been updated completely and features amazing new discoveries and the latest developments such as the Neptune flyby and the Hubble space telescope. It retains the self-instructional format and clear writing style that made it popular.

bookcover ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE AMATEUR Michael A. Covington
$27.96 Format: Paperback, 2nd ed., 331pp. Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pub. Date: July 1999 Edition Desc: Revised Edition
This book presents information about photographing the stars, galaxies, the planets, the Sun and Moon, comets, meteors, and eclipses. It "is divided into three parts: 'Getting started', for the beginner, who may not have a telescope at all; 'Advanced techniques', for those with more experience; and 'Equipment and materials', a technical survey of cameras, films, and processing techniques." (Preface) Annotated bibliography. Index

bookcover ATLAS OF THE MOON by Antonin Rukl, Thomas W. Rackham
$24.47 Format: Hardcover, 224pp. Publisher: Kalmbach Publishing Comany Pub. Date: January 1993
This is a great book for telescope users and a fine one for ordinary browsers. It is an up-to-date atlas of the observable part of the moon. Maps of the moon compose the bulk of the book's 224 pages. The introduction discusses history, terminology, phases of the moon, and the moon's surface. This is followed by maps of 76 sections of the near side of the moon, each accompanied by a small locator map. Facing pages include place-names and their derivations as well as map coordinates. Following the maps are photographs of interesting lunar formations (craters, ring mountains, walled plains), advice on setting up and using a telescope, descriptions of eclipses, and a glossary. There is a thorough bibliography and index of named formations at the end of the book. One can look up Amundsen, for example, and locate the ring mountain named after him.

bookcover THE BACKYARD ASTRONOMER'S GUIDE by Terence Dickinson, Alan Dyer (Contributor), Barry Estabrook (Editor)
$27.97 Hardcover - 298 pages (October 1991)
An essential reference tool for both beginning and veteran sky observers. Drawing on decades of stargazing experience, the authors suggest what equipment to buy and what to avoid, describe observing techniques, and explain how to hunt down the most interesting celestial objects. Each chapter is illustrated with the latest, breathtaking astrophotography.

bookcover THE BINOCULAR STARGAZER: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO EXPLORING THE SKY by Leslie C. Peltier
$27.96 Format: Hardcover, 292pp. Publisher: Firefly Books LTD.
This is an excellent introduction into binocular astronomy. It takes you from the beginnings of finding the first few basic constellations to mastering the low magnification skydome. There is also much on the many different types of binocular astronomy, such as variable star observations.

bookcover THE CAMBRIDGE STAR ATLAS by Wil Tirion Hardcover - 90 pages 2nd edition (September 1996)
: $15.36 Format: Hardcover, 2nd ed., 90pp. Publisher: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge Pub. Date: June 1996
After having established itself as a standard star atlas, The Cambridge Star Atlas by internationally famous astronomical cartographer, Wil Tirion, has now been improved. The popularity of this book, first published in 1991, is that it covers the entire sky, both northern and southern latitudes, in an attractive format suitable for beginning as well as experienced astronomical observers. The basis of the book is a series of twelve monthly sky charts, followed by an atlas of the whole sky, arranged in twenty overlapping charts. Each chart shows stars down to magnitude 6.5, together with about 900 nonstellar objects, such as clusters and galaxies, that can be seen with binoculars or a small telescope. There is also a comprehensive double-page map of the Moon's surface, showing craters and other named features. For this edition, author Tirion has added more detail to the monthly charts, and has included "all-sky" charts of interesting patches of sky in the northern and southern hemispheres. This book is the ideal reference atlas for sky watchers everywhere.

bookcover DEEP-SKY COMPANIONS: THE MESSIER OBJECTS by Stephen James O'Meara, David H. Levy
$34.95 Hardcover - 336 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pub. Date: October 1998
This completely new work will inspire amateur astronomers to visit the 110 most famous galaxies, clusters and nebulae in the sky. It is the ultimate field guide to the Messier objects, first catalogued in the late 1700s.Using the finest optical telescopes available for amateur work, superior eyepieces and the darkest site on Earth, the author describes and sketches the view from the telescope as never before. With new data and clear finder charts, this is truly the Messier Guide for the modern age.

bookcover DISCOVERING THE STARS USING THE NAKED EYE, BINOCUARS, OR A TELESCOPE Richard Berry
$10.36 Format: Paperback, 1st ed., 119pp. ISBN: 0517565293 Publisher: Crown Publishing Group Pub. Date: July 1987
This work "begins with an introduction to the night sky; monthly star charts show, for naked-eye observation, stars in their constellations accompanied by a discussion of sky lore and prominent celestial sights. Next, the author, who is the editor of Astronomy magazine, focuses on types of telescopes and their advantages as well as on accessories. The reader is then advanced tofinding telescopic objects using more detailed star charts, with a discussionof the more interesting telescopic sights." (Sci Books Films) Bibliography

bookcover EXPLORING THE NIGHT SKY WITH BINOCULARS by Patrick Moore
13.56 Format: Paperback, 3rd ed., 221pp. Publisher: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge Pub. Date: February 1996 Edition Desc: Revised
This is not for beginners. You need to be very familiar with the constellations before you start searching for the deep sky objects that can be seen with binoculars. Once you are, you will enjoy the things a good pair of binoculars will reveal to you. On a starry night, the beauty and immensity of our universe is awe-inspiring. After describing how to select and use binoculars for observation, this handbook explains basic astronomy and charts, season by season, the sky as seen from northern and southern hemispheres.

bookcover THE GRAND TOUR by Ron Miller, William K Kartmann, William K. Hartmann
$12.76 Format: Paperback, 197pp. Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc. Pub. Date: September 1993
This updated version of the best-selling guide includes 10 new chapters, 52 new and/or revised paintings, 24 new photos, and new drawings and maps. Through lush art and up-to-the-minute-science, readers witness the unprecedented discoveries made by astronomers working with space probes of the last decade. I really enjoyed this book.

bookcoverTHE HEAVENS ON FIRE: THE GREAT LEONID METEOR SHORMS by Mark Littmann
Format: Paperback, 359pp. Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pub. Date: August 1999 Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pub. Date: December 1998
The Heavens on Fire tells the story of meteors, especially the spectacular Leonid showers. Publication coincides with the peak activity in mid-November 1998 and 1999, when swarms of a thousand meteors an hour may be seen. The great scientists who founded meteor science, the tumultuous history of meteors, and the dangers posed to Earth by asteroids and comets are all lucidly introduced. This is a highly readable account of the terrifying beauty of meteors and their spectacular showers.

bookcover NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY (Audubon Society Field Guide Series) by Mark R. Chartrand, Mark R. Chatrand, Jane Friedman (Editor)
$15.20 Format: Paperback, 688pp. Publisher: Knopf Alfred A Pub. Date: October 1991
My boys love this field guide. They call it the "good one". A handbook for skygazers that combines the best in astrophotography with a unique system of beautiful and easy-to-read star charts. Designed to make it simple for the reader to find and identify every major natural celestial object visible throughout the year with up-to-the-minute research and clear, accessible text, charts, and cross-references.

bookcover THE NEW ASTRONOMER Carole Stott Amie Gallagher
$17.46 Format: Hardcover, 144pp. ISBN: 0789441756 Publisher: D K Publishing, Incorporated Pub. Date: April 1999 Edition Desc: 1 AMER ED
Reach for the stars! Discover the wonders of the universe with this comprehensive guide to astronomy.

bookcover NIGHTWATCH: A PARATICAL GUIDE TO VIEWING THE UNIVERSE by Terence Dickinson, Timothy Ferris, Victor Costanzo (Illustrator)
$23.96 Format: Paperback, 3rd ed., 176pp. Publisher: Firefly Books LTD. Pub. Date: October 1998 Edition Desc: REV
With 250,000 copies in print since its initial publication in 1983, "Nightwatch" has become a standard reference guide for stargazers throughout North America. The new Third Edition expands on that success with a completely revised and updated text, more than 100 new color photos and diagrams and 16 additional pages that cover such! new astronomical pursuits as computerized telescopes, reviews of new telescope designs and accessories, and astronomy on the Internet. All charts, tables and diagrams have been updated and, in some cases, redesigned for easier use. Improved spacecraft measurements of the distances to the stars (recently released by the European Space Agency) are included in the charts, along with additional observing tips for stargazers using binoculars and telescopes. An expanded chapter on Astrophotography lists the best modern films and cameras for skyshooting. The new "Nightwatch" is faithful to the "ultra-simplified, no jargon" philosophy of the original, and at the same time, offers substantially more practical information for the novice and intermediate-level amateur astronomer. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada called the first edition "the best of its kind"- the new Third Edition is better still. It is still an abundantly illustrated, wi! de-sized, spiral-bound volume designed to lay flat for easy! reference during many starlit nights.

bookcover SECRETS OF THE NIGHT SKY: THE MOST AMAZING THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE YOU CAN SEE WITH THE NAKED EYE Bob Berman.
$12.00 Format: Paperback, 10th ed., 309pp. Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, Incorporated Pub. Date: February 1996
Mr. Berman takes you on a tour of the night sky pointing out its highlights and its history along with a wealth of pratical tips and tricks. This is a good book for beginners and those who want to advance.

SKY ATLAS 2000.0 : Deluxe by Wil Tirion, Roger W. Sinnott Paperback - 30 pages 2nd spiral edition $49.95 The long-awaited second edition of Wil Tirion's superb Sky Atlas 2000.0 offers 30,000 additional stars and all the positions are derived from the most accurate satellite data. The Atlas opens out to reveal 26 charts, each one 20 inches wide and 15 inches deep. This large format allows the stars, nebulas and galaxies to be displayed with unrivalled clarity. Tirion's Sky Atlas is not only practical; its exquisite maps of the night sky combine are beautiful examples of the cartographer's skills.Copublished with Sky Publishing Corporation

bookcover STAR WARE : THE AMATURE ASTRONOMER'S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHOOSING, BUYING, AND USING TELESCOPES AND ACCESSORIES by Philip S. Harrinfton, Philip S. Harrington
$15.96 Format: Paperback, 2nd ed., 257pp. Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated Pub. Date: July 1998
A user-friendly guide offering all the necessary information for anyone purchasing a telescope, using one for the first time or upgrading current equipment. Includes a comparison of available telescopes describing which are best suited to specific needs. Contains scores of handy tips, diagrams, illustrations and activities and suggests what to look for in the night sky.

bookcover TURN LEFT AT ORION: A HUNDRED NIGHT SKY OBJECTS TO SEE IN A SMALL TELESCOPE AND HOW TO FIND THEM by Dan M. Davis, Guy J. Consolmagno, Daniel M. Davis
$17.46 Format: Hardcover, 2nd ed., 189pp. Publisher: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge Pub. Date: April 1995
This delightfully illustrated and easy to understand guidebook is for the beginning astronomer includes maps and large-format drawings of over 100 deep-sky objects you can see with a small telescope. In this revised edition, the authors have brought information on the planets and eclipses up-to-date and have extended the observing tables to the year 2006.

THE YEAR-ROUND MESSIER MARATHON FIELD GUIDE: WITH COMPLETE MAPS, CHARTS AND TIPS TO GUIDE YOU TO ENJOYING THE MOST FAMOUS LIST OF DEEP-SKY OBJECTS
$19.95 Format: Hardcover ISBN: 0943396549 Publisher: Willmann-Bell, Incorporated Pub. Date: January 1998
This book would be very helpful to anyone looking for the Messier objects.

bookcover YOUR GUIDE TO THE SKY by Rick Shaffer. Lowell House.
$14.36 Format: Paperback, 3rd ed., 176pp. Publisher: NTC Publishing Group Pub. Date: June 1997 Edition Desc: UPDATED
This is a good book for beginners. It is easy to read and understand, and it is packed with information. It also has a section that highlights each month of the year telling the reader what constellations and deep sky objects can be seen that month. I would often read this information before I went out to see what I could see.

bookcover WALK THROUGH THE HEAVENS: A GUIDE TO STARS AND CONSTELLATIONS A THIER LEGENDS Milton D. Heifetz Wil Tirion
$7.96 Format: Paperback, 2nd ed., 76pp. Publisher: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge Pub. Date: March 1997
What star is that? Where is the Great Bear? A Walk through the Heavens is a beautiful guide to pathways in the night sky which answers these questions. Its unique simplified maps make it easy to find by eye the constellations and the stars within them. Ancient myths and legends of the sky, thousands of years old, are retold to add to the mystery of the stars. Written with the complete beginner in mind, this book introduces the patterns of the starry skies in a memorable way. No equipment is needed to use this practical guide: apart from normal sight and clear skies.

Chilren's Section

bookcover THE BIG DIPPER Franklyn Mansfield Branley Molly Coxe (Illustrator) :
$3.96 Format: Paperback, 1st ed., 32pp. Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books Pub. Date: February 1991 Edition Desc: Rev. ed Recommend Age Range: 5 to 6
This book presents facts about the Big Dipper, including which stars make up the constellation, how its position changes in the sky, and how it points to the North Star.

bookcover DK GUIDE TO SPACE: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE UNIVERSE Peter Bond
$13.96 Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 64pp. Publisher: D K Publishing, Incorporated Pub. Date: April 1999 Edition Desc: 1 AMER ED Recommend Age Range: 9 to 12
In this beautiful oversized book, Bond takes readers on a photographic journey through the universe. The difference in clarity and detail when looking at the stars through a conventional telescope compared to the Hubble, which sits out in space beyond earth's atmosphere, is astounding. Each of the planets, their major moons, and the sun are visited during the journey as well as stars within and beyond our galaxy. The concise text (many of the pages have white text set on black pages) is accompanied by crisp full-color photographs. For those planets where there have been probe launches, photographs of the terrain, views of the planets from space, and summaries of what is known about these heavenly bodies are recapped for young astronomers. A great introduction to the heavens.

bookcover FIND THE CONSTELLATIONS H. A. Rey :
$7.96 Format: Paperback, 1st ed., 72pp. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company Pub. Date: April 1976 Edition Desc: Revised Recommend Age Range: 8 to 12
A delightfully illustrated, informative beginner's guide to locating and identifying constellations in the northern hemisphere, with an extensive index, glossary, and time table for sky viewing. "A +must' for public and school libraries and a wonderful book for an individual or family to own." -- Horn Book

bookcover MOON SEEMS TO CHANGE Franklyn Mansfield Branley Ed Emberley (Illustrator) Barbara Emberley (Illustrator)
: $3.96 Format: Paperback, 2nd ed., 32pp. Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books Pub. Date: November 1990 Edition Desc: Rev. ed., 1st Harper trophy ed Recommend Age Range: 5 to 8
Following illustrated "explorations of waning and waxing moons, {this book describes} . . . an experiment youngsters can conduct on their own to show the phases of the moon." (Christ Sci Monit)

bookcover SKY IS FULL OF STARS Franklyn Mansfield Branley Felicia Bond (Illustrator)
$3.96 Format: Paperback, 33pp. ISBN: Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books Pub. Date: February 1983 Recommend Age Range: 5 to 8
On a clear, dark night, go outside and look at the stars. They may all look alike to you at first. But soon you will notice differences. Some stars are brighter than others. Some have colors. And some stars even seem to form pictures. You can find these constellations whatever the season and wherever you live, if you just know where to

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