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Book Reviews


1001 Celestial Wonders to See Before You Die
Author: Michael E Bakich

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 978-1-4419-1776-8

Price: £29.99 (Pb) 497pp


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With the growth of amateur astronomy, visual observing guides have come and gone, constantly re-inventing the wheel. Some are overly descriptive, while lacking in important information. Other guides are overly myopic, confining their narrative to the appearance of an object as seen by only one size of telescope. And some of the best guides are now hopelessly outdated.

Michael E Bakich, well known to many as the Senior Editor of Astronomy magazine, has retraced his roots as a visual observer in this wonderful new text. Drawing on his own extensive experience (believe me you can tell!), as well as that from a wealth of seasoned observers, both contemporary and historical, the book is a meticulously researched compilation of over a thousand magnificent objects best seen with equipment ranging from ordinary binoculars to 30-inch (762mm) Dobsonians.

Providing clear instructions on how to get there, the full pantheon of celestial real estate is covered – double and variable stars, open and globular clusters, planetary and emission nebulae, and extraordinary galaxies – conveniently arranged into chapters presented month by month. As if that were not enough, the book is handsomely illustrated with many full colour images of some of the more famous objects to be seen in the starry heavens. There is easily enough in this single volume to keep a keen observer happy for years!

All in all, this is a warmly welcomed, no-nonsense guide to observing the heavens and will appeal to observers of all levels, from curious novices to die hard deep sky veterans. Heartily recommended!

Neil English

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
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Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
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Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
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Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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