Beginner Astronomy

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Beginner Astronomy

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maj 22, 2008, 9:43 pm

What are the best astronomy (especially for someone without a telescope) and astrophysics books for a beginner?

maj 26, 2008, 12:20 pm

Have you checked out The Stars: A New Way to See Them? I've head it's a good start.

jul 1, 2008, 4:21 pm

A good selection of star chart books for a beginner.
Tirion, Wil The Cambridge Star Atlas
Tirion, Wil Bright Star Atlas
Sinnott, Roger Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas

Two excellent books for starting out in Astronomy are Ken Graun’s “Finding and Viewing Messier’s Objects” and “What’s out Tonight”. I think one of the problems with being new to astronomy is managing your exceptions. Your first telescope will not bring back coffee table book images of galaxies and nebula. Ken Graun's book "The Next Step: Finding and Viewing the Messier's Objects" will give you an idea of what things will really look like. He photographed all the Messier objects with the same telescope in black and white. Don’t know what the Messier’s Objects are? Graun explains who Messier was and what the objects are. The “What’s Out Tonight” book promises to be a useful guide until 2050!
Graun, Ken The Next Step: Finding and Viewing Messier's Objects
Graun, Ken What's Out Tonight?

If you are trying to just learn the constellations the HA Rey book is the defacto place to start. However it does have some problems. HA Rey basically skipped any constellation he felt was uninteresting (at least he did in my version of the book, maybe later version are better.) The Chet Raymo book "Three Hundred and Sixty Five Starry Nights" is a great mixture of science and history. The "Patterns in the Sky" book is great. It has even the "uninteresting" constellations. Used with the Sky & and Telescope's “Pocket Sky Atlas” you can find constellation, star, cluster, galaxy, double star or nebula of interest to a amateur. The Patrick Moore book "Stargazing: Astronomy without a Telescope" is out of print but if you can find it get it, it's a gem!
Hewitt-White, Ken Patterns in the Sky: An Introduction to Stargazing (Night Sky Astronomy for Everybody)
Raymo, Chet Three Hundred and Sixty Five Starry Nights: An Introduction to Astronomy for Every Night of the Year
Moore, Patrick Stargazing: Astronomy Without a Telescope

If you want to know what astronomy as a hobby is about get this book.
Ramotowski, Becky Secrets of Stargazing: Skywatching Tips and Tricks (Astronomy for Everyone Series)

Two pretty good college Astronomy 101 textbooks. I have often seen these in used books stores.
Jastrow, Robert Astronomy: fundamentals and frontiers
Seeds, Michael A. Horizons: Exploring the Universe

A good book for "Arm Chair Astronomy", but I wouldn’t take it outside, too small and thick to as a guide book. Its star charts are way to busy. It is not at all good at managing your expectations. There are way too many tiny glossy pictures that you’ll never see through a telescope.
Pasachoff, Jay M. A field guide to the stars and planets

If you want to know what is in any given constellation get these books. I always see a copy of volume 1 in used books stores, and I always wonder where volume 2 and 3 ended up? The books are organized by constellation and list anything of interest with in the constellation. There are also strange and wonderful tangent that pop up every once in a while.
Jr., Robert Burnham Burnham’s Celestial Handbook Volume 1, 2 and 3