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Book Reviews


Treasures of the Southern Sky
Author:Robert Gendler, Lars Lindberg Christensen and David Malin

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 978-1-4614-0627-3

Price: £40.99 (Hb), 190pp


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This large format coffee table book written by the experienced and legendary imagers David Malin and Robert Gendler, along with science writer Lars Lindberg Christensen is an example of what Springer can do if it tries. The book starts with a brief history of astronomy of the Southern Hemisphere as experienced by western Europeans. This section includes the first sightings of the Coal Sack and Southern Cross by the early Spanish and Portuguese explorers along with later data from observatories in Australia and South Africa. There are also brief vignettes on some of the first European southern sky explorers such as Lacaille, James Cook, John Herschel, Edmund Halley and others which gives a perspective on how the southern sky was opened up to scientific study.

The bulk of the book is divided into four sections covering objects that are visible each season in the Southern Hemisphere. ĘThe images illustrating the objects are from a wide variety of sources including the Hubble Space Telescope and some of the large telescopes from Chile and Australia. The quality of the image reproduction along with the quality of paper used is exceptional for a book of this cost. Each object has a short piece on some of the astrophysics and history associated with it. You do find the expected objects such as Eta Carinae and Orion but also included are some more obscure objects such as IC 2220, the Toby Jug Nebula. The images themselves are reproduced mostly full page and the authors have resisted the annoying temptation to spread images over two pages so a large part is missing down the spine of the book. Overall I think this is an excellently produced book and even if you are not thinking of taking an astronomical trip to the Southern Hemisphere it is a book well worth buying just to see what deep sky objects you may be missing. There are still a number of objects covered that will be visible to observers at northern latitudes. I only wish that some of Springers other books were reproduced to such a high standard.

Owen Brazell

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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