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Setting-up a Small Observatory: From Concept to Construction

Handbook / Manual

Series: The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series

By: David Arditti

220 pages, b&w photos


Paperback | Feb 2008 | #170664 | ISBN-13: 9780387345215
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

About this book

Every amateur astronomer who is considering a purpose-built observatory will find this book absolutely invaluable during both the planning and the construction stages. Drawing on David Arditti's practical experience and that of many other amateur astronomers, it gives invaluable help in making all the important decisions.

To begin with, Setting up a Small Observatory addresses what you really need from an observatory, whether to build or buy, what designs you should consider, and where you should site it. Uniquely, it also considers the aesthetics of an amateur observatory: how to make it fit in with your home, garden and yard, even disguising it as a more common garden building if necessary.

There's also a wealth of practical details for constructing and equipping your small observatory - everything from satisfying local planning laws and building codes through to making sure that your completed observatory is well-equipped, convenient and comfortable to use.

Whether you are considering a simple low-tech DIY approach to a fixed observatory, or aspiring to a sophisticated domed building, there is something here for you.

From the reviews: "David Arditti's book is the fourth volume in Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy series that spotlights how to construct telescope enclosures. ! If you want a quick overview of the pros and cons of erecting your own, as well as a practical guide to the different designs, construction techniques, and building codes and zoning requirements, then this book will prove ! handy. ! this book will help you get started on the right path." (Edwin Aguirre, Sky and Telescope, Vol. 116 (3), September, 2008) "David Arditti takes a whole new and practical approach to planning and building a permanent home for your telescopes. ! In step-by-step fashion he walks the reader through how his very impressive, yet practical, observatory was set-up. ! In short, it's superbly written, with great anecdotal 'short stories' complementing the hard facts and authoritative black and white images where needed. This book is a true 'must have' for anyone who is in the process of, or considering, setting up a small observatory." (Nick Howes, Astronomy Now, August, 2008) "The book addresses all the aspects of this complex problem, even the most technical ones ! . A detailed Index is also helping in locating the various subject occurrences. ! The book is clearly written for England and the United States. ! This makes it a treasure for the interested reader and evidently a highly needed and recommended addition ! ." (Jean-Marie Gilles, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 30 (4), 2008) "It covers various telescopes and mounts available to the amateur, types of observatory both run-off and domed, and their siting within the owners' gardens. ! A positive bonus of this volume is the author's writing style that makes for very easy reading, with some complex concepts well conveyed without the use of diagrams -- quite a feat in itself. This is a comprehensive overview of all the options and considerations needed for a permanent observatory, and any observer considering building one should consult this book." (Maurice Gavin, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 118 (4), 2008)


Introduction.- Telescopes and techniques.- The observatory site: fitting-it in.- Types of observatories.- To build or buy.- Techniques of construction.- Some case studies.- Finishing the observatory.- Organising the observatory.- Comfort and convenience.- Getting the best from equipment.- Appendices.

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A physicist by training and specializing in materials science, David Arditti earns his living as a music writer and classical musician. He is a member of the British Astronomical Association and a committee member of the West of London Astronomical Society. He has written papers for the BAA Journal on the construction of small observatories.

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