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The Backyard Astronomer's Guide


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About the Author

Terence Dickinson is the author of the best-selling guidebook NightWatch and 13 other books, among them The Universe and Beyond, Splendors of the Universe, Summer Stargazing and Exploring the Night Sky. He is also editor of the Canadian astronomy magazine SkyNews and is an astronomy commentator for Discovery Channel Canada. Alan Dyer is program producer at the Calgary Science Centre Planetarium and a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine. He is widely regarded as an authority on commercial telescopes, and his evaluations of astronomical equipment appear regularly in major North American astronomy magazines.


Despite the book's title, there is very little about astronomy here, i.e., lists of constellations, star charts, night sky maps, or details about planets, stars, and galaxies. However, there is a wealth of information about the equipment used in astronomy, including prices, consumer-type information, advice on when to use and when not to use binoculars, telescopes, cameras, film, lenses, filters, and other items for the amateur astronomer. Four chapters, though, concern the observation of the solar system and deep space objects. There are also several chapters discussing the photographing of all types of astronomical phenomena. Though cost may deter small-to-medium-sized libraries, there is much information here for the experienced amateur, and some useful information for the beginner as well. (Illustrations and index not seen.)-- Robert Ellis Potter, Dunedin P.L., Fla.

Excellent introductory text ... completely revised from the 1991 edition, and it is lushly illustrated in color throughout.--Ursula Ellis "E-Streams, Vol. 6, No. 4 "
If an amateur astronomer could afford one book, this would be the one to get ... one of the most attractive practical astronomy works ever produced.--Russ Francis "Monday Magazine "
Recommended for all libraries and for experienced or inexperienced amateur astronomers.--A.R. Upgren"Choice" (04/01/2003)
This book is an indispensable tool for any serious naturalist who wants to understand and experience the full expanse of the world and universe around us.--Pierre R. Gauthier"Canadian Camera" (06/01/2003)
Crammed with practical information that should help you become a better observer, and have fun doing it.--Craig Tupper"Astronomy" (05/01/2003)
One of the best books to guide amateurs.--Tracey Pitch"Anchorage Daily News" (12/10/2010)
Here's the ultimate resource for anyone who's thought of following up on an interest in astronomy.... A valuable addition to the amateur astronomer's bookshelf, "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" brings distant object to our everyday lives.-- (09/14/2008)
Few books capture the spirit of the hobby so well -- the pleasures and the pitfalls of the equipment you might need, and the simple joy of watching the universe go by.-- (01/01/2003)
Lively, accessible style; is comprehensive; and is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photographs, diagrams, and charts... highly recommended for any library.-- (01/01/2004)
This all-encompassing reference provides practical advice.--Science News (01/04/2003)
Big colorful user-friendly book ... I recommend this book for anyone who is contemplating buying a telescope, has one but does not quite know how to use it, or wants to learn more about accessories and fun activities to supplement his or her stargazing. If you teach observational astronomy, run a public observatory, or conduct community stargazing classes, put this magazine down and order it right now ... This book is your passport to the stars.-- (08/01/2003)
Its nontechnical language makes astronomy an avocation accessible to everyone.--Library Journal (05/01/2003)
Besides its practical benefits, this book is a real treat for the eyes. It's loaded with colorful photographs, graphics and information boxes.-- (02/01/2003)
I highly recommend this volume for most amateur astronomers and all libraries. I wish I had read it before I purchased my first telescope.-- (10/15/2003)
More than any other guide to backyard observing, this excellent book focuses on equipment.--Astronomy (11/01/2004)
With over 500 color photographs and illustrations, this book is a valuable, beautiful and user-friendly astronomy reference.--Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin, Lunar an (12/01/2008)
A comprehensive guide for the amateur astronomer on buying and using equipment, including telescopes, mounts, eyepieces, and accessories. If you're bewildered by the choice of astronomy equipment out there, this book will help immensely.-- (10/03/2008)

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