Home Magazine Sky Chart Resources Store

Book Reviews



Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

The Story of Astronomy

Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring and Understanding Alien Worlds

Space Probes: 50 Years of Exploration from Luna 1 to New Horizons

Deep Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe

ARCHIVE

PATRICK MOORE BOOKS



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Book Reviews


David Levy’s Guide to Eclipses, Transits, and Occultations
Author: David H Levy

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 978-0-521-16551-8

Price: £18.99 (Pb) 222pp


Check prices on Amazon

amazon.co.uk                 amazon.com


As the discoverer of 23 comets (eight visually) and dozens of asteroids, David Levy is one of the great amateur astronomers of our age. His co-discovery of the comet that bruised Jupiter in 1994, Shoemaker–Levy 9, ensures his immortality in the astronomical annals. In recent years Levy has turned his considerable skills to being an author and when writing about comets, Clyde Tombaugh or Gene Shoemaker, there are no greater authorities. However, his new Guide to Eclipses, Transits, and Occultations is obviously not about comets and with authors like NASA’s Fred Espenak (and his colleagues) competing in the same field, this is a tough area to break into.

The first thing to say about this book is that it is not a heavyweight or a comprehensive tome. It consists of only 177 pages and some 60,000 words of text. Eighty percent of the book is about eclipses, mainly solar ones, with 25 pages covering eclipses of the Moon. Lunar occultations occupy nine pages and transits (of the Sun by Mercury or Venus) cover a mere seven. A scant two-thirds of a page is devoted to asteroid occultations.

Unfortunately, all of the illustrations are reproduced in a very drab monochrome. Most of the 56 photographs are uninspiring and, sadly, far too dark, hinting that the quality control at the printers was ineffective. You will certainly not gape in awe at a Miloslav Druckmüller solar corona masterpiece here!

On the positive side the book is very well written, in a friendly personal style, and therefore easy for a complete beginner to understand. However, the only part that really grabbed my attention was Chapter 17, which describes, over 14 pages, the 77 times that Levy has witnessed partial or total solar and lunar eclipses since 1959, when he was just eleven years old. Other than that section, regrettably, I found the book just a bit too basic for my taste.

Martin Mobberley

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.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

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.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

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!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

HOME | NEWS ARCHIVE | MAGAZINE | SOLAR SYSTEM | SKY CHART | RESOURCES | STORES | SPACEFLIGHT NOW

© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.