Astronomy Books.

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Northerner
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Astronomy Books.

Post by Northerner »

I intend to buy a good general recently published book on astronomy.
Ideally I would like to have a couple of chapters on basic "practical" astronomy, but this is probably not essential.
I have thought of buying "From here to Infinity: The Royal Observatory Greenwich guide to Astronomy" by John and Mary Gribbin.
Does anyone have opinions about this book or feel able to offer any other recommendations?
I'm sure there are good a number of decent books on this subject!
brian livesey
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by brian livesey »

There's a welter of introductory astronomy books these days, so it's difficult to suggest what to read.
Some people recommend "Turn Left at Orion" for starters, although it's better suited to the observer, if that's what you intend to do.
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Northerner
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by Northerner »

brian livesey wrote:There's a welter of introductory astronomy books these days, so it's difficult to suggest what to read.
Some people recommend "Turn Left at Orion" for starters, although it's better suited to the observer, if that's what you intend to do.
I have heard of this book and may buy it sometime.
At present I'm looking for a more general book dealing with the the main features of modern astronomy.
Something in between an academic text and a basic book, if that makes sense?
mike a feist
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by mike a feist »

Once one gets beyond the basic books, there does seem to be a wide gap till one gets to academic text books. I imagine this is because modern astronomy is really "physics and maths", i.e. "astro-physics", and much of which is theoretical, and I imaging a book covering all astronomy in such detail would be too heavy to hold let alone read. In fact I imagine that one a general understanding of the subject is reached, any "digging deeper" really requires concentrating on a speciality. Books like "Turn left at Orion" are different because they are about "amateur observing", or rather "skywatching". Obviously most "amateur observers" or "skywatchers" or even "stargazers" like to know something about what they are looking at to make some sense of it, such a rigorous understanding of the modern theories is not essential and often seems, to me, to be a completely different subject. regards maf
Northerner
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by Northerner »

mike a feist wrote:Once one gets beyond the basic books, there does seem to be a wide gap till one gets to academic text books.
That is really what I thought!
Probably it is difficult to produce, or write, such a "half way" book.
brian livesey
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by brian livesey »

There are astronomy books by Nigel Henbest that might be suitable.
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Cliff
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Re: Astronomy Books.

Post by Cliff »

Dear Northerner
Just a guess on my part - I assume that you aren't a member of any astronomical society (?). I think the SPA have a few astronomy books available for sale at reasonable price, though maybe only for SPA members.
Assuming you are a complete loner, I suggest you visit any decent bookshop - even cheap discount bookshops may have some quite nice astronomy books for sale.
Another possibility is your local astronomy society - some societies have their own libraries, (I'm a member of two such organisations both having libraries which lend books to society members - of course you probably need to be a society member to borrow books. Assuming you aren't a member - if you visit the local society you could ask to speak to the librarian and ask him\her for advice, or politely ask if you can peruse the society's library and see what books there are.
However, I was a local society librarian for a while, the next librarian was a very nice chap but a bit too easy going. He let a new visitor borrow one of the society's books (although lending to a non member surprised me) - needless to say we never saw that visitor again NOR the book he borrowed of course. I was rather niggled about it because the non returned book was a classic - which I'd borrowed myself quite a few times - I half wished I'd not taken the book back & kept it myself.
I suppose one snag with local astro-society libraries is many of their books might be old-ish and I think you want something more up to date. But I don't see anything wrong with visiting a local society and asking for advice about good books to buy.
Best wishes from Cliff
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