The Backyard Astronomer's Guide

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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.

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Jun 23, 2016

The Tome of Backyard Astronomer

A colleague, a serious astronomer colleague, recommended this book when I asked where to start as an amateur astronomer. This book is perfect for someone just starting out. Not only does it provide instructions, tips, and techniques to find interesting things to look at; it provides detailed reviews and analysis of telescope design, pros and cons that will assist you in purchasing quality hardware that will most match your desired viewing outcome. It is very clear about the "$45 birthday and holiday boxed telescopes"; it explains in no uncertain terms, analytically and visually, what you are buying and what you are getting. The book then recommends hardware that may cost $50 to $100 more but will enhance your viewing experience several 1000 times over. Quality in = quality out; or in latin, caveat emptor.

I am still re-reading portions of the book prior to purchasing a star-tracker for my DSLR camera. I want to gain a clear understanding before I drop $500 on a piece of kit. Reading this book gives me the confidence that I will be able to have an intelligent conversation with my preferred camera dealer when it comes time to make my purchase.

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