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Book Reviews


Turn left at Orion
Authors: Guy Consolmagno and Dan Davis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 978-0-521-15397-3

Price: £22.99 (Pb, spiral-bound), 256pp


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Turn left at Orion has enjoyed enormous success with amateur astronomers and rightly so, since it brought 100 celebrated celestial objects within easy reach of the novice star gazer, with its exceptionally clear guidelines on how to find and observe them. By popular demand, authors Consolmagno and Davis have teamed up again to produce this thoroughly revised fourth edition.

Those familiar with earlier versions will see some major changes to the new edition. For example, the cover has changed to dark blue, it has larger pages and is soft bound for easy use in the field. The biggest changes are to be found inside though. The original philosophy of the book centred on those objects easily seen in very small telescopes (up to 80mm apertures), but in light of the Dobsonian revolution, which enabled throngs of amateur astronomers to buy large telescopes in the 200–300mm aperture range, at modest cost, there was no longer any need to restrict the observing list to smaller apertures. The result is a greatly expanded and enriched text, featuring hundreds more subjects that are a must see; more open and globular clusters, more planetary and emission nebulae and more variable and double stars.

Like the earlier editions, the book retains much of its classic features. Excellent (and sometimes humorous) advice is given to the caring and maintenance of the telescope and its accessories. The same great commentaries on lunar and planetary observing are in place, as well as a fully updated list of tables of the celestial real estate covered in the book. There’s even some space devoted to observing geostationary satellites!

This is an exceptionally useful text, irrespective of whether you are a novice observer or a seasoned veteran. The changes that have been made to the book are so substantial that even those who own earlier editions will find it refreshingly new. It’s not just recommended, it’s simply a must have!

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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