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Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator or Spreadsheet

Handbook / Manual

By: Peter Duffett-Smith(Author), Jonathan Zwart(Author)

304 pages, 110 b/w illustrations, 10 tables

Cambridge University Press

Spiralbound | May 2011 | Edition: 4 | #190662 | ISBN-13: 9780521146548
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx

About this book

This highly regarded book is ideal for those who wish to solve a variety of practical and recreational problems in astronomy using a scientific calculator or spreadsheet. Updated and extended, this new edition shows you how to use spreadsheets to predict, with greater accuracy, solar and lunar eclipses, the positions of the planets, and the times of sunrise and sunset. Suitable for worldwide use, Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator or Spreadsheet covers orbits, transformations and general celestial phenomena, and is essential for anyone wanting to make astronomical calculations for themselves.

With clear, easy-to-follow instructions for use with a pocket calculator, shown alongside worked examples, it can be enjoyed by anyone interested in astronomy.

"The biggest change from previous editions is the inclusion of spreadsheets for nearly every calculation [...] All in all, this book does a good job at what it sets out to do. The formulas and algorithms are presented clearly and with an appropriate level of detail, and the spreadsheets supplement the text by showing an additional way to perform the computations without having to resort to a scientific calculator or writing your own programs."
– Michael Coren,

"This is a book replete with mathematical calculations but the opening pages to the various sections contain material of interest to the lay reader."


- Time
- Coordinate systems
- The Sun
- The planets, comets and binary stars
- The Moon and eclipses
- Index

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Peter Duffett-Smith is a physicist by training, and a radio astronomer by trade. He is a Reader in Experimental Radio Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and is a fellow of Downing College and the Royal Astronomical Society.

Jonathan Zwart is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory in New York, and a co-founder and former editor of Cambridge's science magazine, BlueSci.

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