Your Passport to the Universe
The night sky is alive with many wonders--distant planets, vast star clusters, glowing nebulae, and expansive galaxies, all waiting to be explored. Let respected astronomy writer Philip Harrington introduce you to the universe in Star Watch, a complete beginner's guide to locating, observing, and understanding these celestial objects. You'll start by identifying the surface features of the Moon, the banded cloud tops of Jupiter, the stunning rings of Saturn, and other members of our solar system. Then you'll venture out beyond our solar system, where you'll learn tips and tricks for finding outstanding deep-sky objects from stars to galaxies, including the entire Messier catalog--a primary goal of every serious beginner.
Star Watch features a detailed physical description of each target, including size, distance, and structure, as well as concise directions for locating the objects, handy finder charts, hints on the best times to view each object, and descriptions of what you'll really see through a small telescope or binoculars and with the naked eye.
Star Watch will transport you to the farthest depths of space--and return you as a well-traveled, experienced stargazer.
Your passport to the stars; equipment check; the moon; the planets and asteroids; the sun; spring sky windows; summer sky windows; autumn sky windows; winter sky windows; afterthoughts. Appendices: the constellations; planets 2003-2015; phases of the moon 2003-2015; planetary conjunctions 2003-2015; martian opposition dates - 2003 through 2035; the Messier catalogue plus.
One of the first questions prospective purchasers ask when looking at telescopes is "what can I see with it?" It is certainly a valid question but one that sales staff can only answer in very broad terms with regard to the types of objects and detail visible with a given aperture. Faced with a dark sky and a bewildering number of stars, beginners soon realize that those objects often prove quite elusive and expert guidance at the eyepiece is essential. Star Watch is designed to take the reader by the hand and guide him or her on a memorable journey through the universe.
Encompassing both binocular and small to medium aperture telescope observing, Phil Harrington's latest book appeals to a wide spectrum of the amateur astronomy community and provides a firm grounding in all aspects of observational astronomy. At some point, most amateur astronomers come to appreciate that one or more facets appeal most and beginners too must discover in which direction their interests lie.