The Pocket Field Guide to Star Clusters is written for practical astronomers and is intended for use at the telescope (or binoculars). It is a succinct, easy to understand guide with some good information in a concise yet easily understood format suited to actually using the book while observing. Thus this book is principally about observing star clusters - how to see them, how to find them, and how to image them. The first half dozen pages contain a brief outline in simple terms as to what star clusters are, and in the next approximately 150 pages there are two-page spreads for each star cluster that include concise, easy to read descriptions, observing notes, and facts, as well as photography/imaging notes, and suggested instruments. 'Finder' star charts help observers easily locate the cluster. Digital images (by the renowned digital imager Jan Wisniewski) illustrate the book throughout.
Preface.- Part I: Background.- Chapter 1: Introduction.- Chapter 2: Understanding Stars and Star Clusters.- Chapter 3: How to Use This Book.- Part II: Star Clusters.- Chapter 4: Descriptions, Images, and Charts.- Index.
Charles Cardona has been a teaching assistant in Astronomy at SUNY Suffolk Community College in New York, a former observatory director, a Variable Star section director, and a chairman of the board at the Custer Institute Observatory. He also taught courses, lectures, and seminars in Astronomy, Optics, and Computer Science. He was also the publisher of the Observatory Report Newsletter. In addition to his astronomy work, Charles has been an entrepreneur and has built and sold several companies. During the past 10 years, he has donated more than $200,000 to astronomy, education, and related children's causes. He recently organized the installation of a new observatory dome and telescope equipment. He is currently involved in various educational programs and groups dedicated to finding missing children.
From the reviews: "An informative and easy to follow discussion about the life of stars sets the scene for the formation of star clusters themselves. This pocket guide then delivers a set of descriptions, images and charts for each of the 50 clusters covered. The charts are uncluttered and useful, and the descriptions interesting ! . ideal for a beginner ! ." (Steve Richards, Sky at Night Magazine, April, 2011)