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About this book
About this book
Variable stars are fascinating objects to observe; found all over the sky, they change in brightness over time and can be seen with even the most basic of equipment. Variable star astronomy is one field in which amateur astronomers can still make significant contributions to science and in this highly accessible book David Levy teaches the reader how variable stars work, and how to observe them. Using simple, non-technical terms he explains how to get started with electronic (or CCD) observing, as well as how to observe variable stars through a small telescope or binoculars. Including a section on Southern hemisphere stars, the book covers various types of object that can be observed by amateur astronomers, including more exotic phenomena like gamma ray bursts, blazars, and polars. This book will serve to motivate anyone with even a basic interest in astronomy to begin observing these fascinating objects.
Foreword to first edition; 1. Getting to know the sky; 2. Magnitude, color, and distance; 3. A word on binoculars and telescopes; 4. Learning to see; 5. Getting to know the variables; 6. Getting started with cepheids; 7. Algol, the demon of autumn; 8. How to estimate a variable; 9. Names and records; 10. How your observations help us understand a variable star; 11. Observing hints; 12. Observing with CCDs; 13. Stately and wonderful; 14. Stars of challenge; 15. Bright, easy, and interesting; 16. Betelgeuse: easy and hard; 17. Not too regular; 18. Nova? What nova?; 19. Supernovae; 20. Clyde Tombaugh's star and the family of cataclysmic variables; 21. A Nova in reverse?; 22. RU Lupi?; 23. Orion, the star factory; 24. Other variable things; 25. The Sun; 26. Suggested variables for observation throughout the year; 27. January, February, March; 28. April, May, June; 29. July, August, September; 30. October, November, December; 31. Southern Sky notes; 32. Stars and people; 33. Hands-on astrophysics for the next generation; 34. Going further; 35. Glossary and abbreviations.
David Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history, and the author or editor of 31 books and other products.
Handbook / Manual Walking / Outdoor Guide Popular Science
276 pages, diagrams
'! as a simple guide for the novice observer, this volume has no rival.' Astronomy Magazine 'A well-written guide, by one of this country's most enthusiatic amateur astronomers !' Andrew Fraknoi, Mercury 'If you think variable star observing is boring, this book will convince you otherwise. Most importantly, Observing Variable Stars will get you outside looking at the sky.' Deep Sky 'This new book is delightful ! The work is well researched, thought out, and executed ! For those of you who have not yet been introduced to variable stars, enjoy this introduction. For those already acquainted with 'variables', give yourself a few cloudy nights with this delightful book!' The Strolling Astronomer 'This is a quality book throughout. I recommend it highly to amateurs everywhere who feel that they have passed the 'star gazing' stage and now wish to make their own personal contribution to human knowledge. The publishers are to be commended for giving David Levy the chance to make it available to a wide audience !' The Reflector 'The text is very anecdotal and easy to read, with many lessons for us all in the process.' Gnoman '! there is always the promise that the observer will make a truly important astronomical discovery. ! this book provides all the necessary advice and instructions for the variable star novice ! also offering some interesting reading for those already acquainted with this topic. ! here is a real opportunity to leave your mark in the heavens.' Astronomy & Space