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This book brings the challenge and fun back to a hobby that goes stale far too quickly for many budding amateur astronomers. The book begins with teaching astronomers to use their most important astronomy tool, their eyes. It discusses how to select the right telescope, and subsequent chapters take the readers on a tour of the solar system as they have never viewed it before. through their own eyes. Each chapter includes a series of observing challenges that will entertain and push the reader to continually higher levels of achievement.
The Eyes and the Art of Observing.- Buying and Setting up Equipment.- Care and Maintenance.- First Night Out.- Mysteries of the Moon.- Our Energetic Sun.- The Inner Solar System, Mercury, Venus and Visitors.- The Red Planet Mars.- The Badlands: the Asteroid Belt and Comets.- The Gas Giants Jupiter and Saturn ? Kings of Worlds.- The Outer Solar System: Ice Giants and Ice Balls.- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Variable, Double and Exploding Stars.- The Messier Catalogue and the Marathon.- Deeper Space: the NGC and Caldwell Lists.- Conclusion.
Michael Borgia is a jet pilot instructor for Flight Safety International, and in his spare time a member of Delmarva Stargazers Astronomy Club. He has been an amateur astronomer for 30 years -- since his childhood. He believes that he has been in every situation, asked every relevant and irrelevant question, and experienced every frustration known to amateur astronomy. He is the author of numerous training documents for Flight Safety and American Flyers, including full-length technical training texts.