Sebastopol, CA--From prehistoric times to the present day, the stars and constellations have presented a mystery that has inspired astronomy--the study of celestial bodies and the universe as a whole. There are various constellations and stars visible to the naked eye, but there are many more galactic wonders that can only be viewed with the right techniques and equipment.
Astronomy Hacks: Tips and Tools for Observing the Night Sky (Thompson and Thompson, O'Reilly, US $24.95) is for anyone interested in exploring the evening skies. The authors offer time-honored tips and tricks on how to use computers, hand-held devices, binoculars, and telescopes--including the use of basic equipment to photograph celestial objects.
"There is something special about being out under the night sky," states co-author Robert Bruce Thompson. "The stars provide a link across the generations. We look at the Great Orion Nebula, for example, and realize that the light we see tonight began its journey about 1,550 years ago, when the Roman Empire was in its final days."
This book shows amateurs and experienced hobbyists alike, how to get up to speed quickly, spend money wisely, and avoid common mistakes. It can be read from cover to cover, or each hack can stand on its own. The authors also encourage the reader to browse and jump to the hacks they find most interesting.
Astronomy Hacks is organized into four chapters that cover everything from essentials and etiquette at observation sites, to tweaking and building accessories:
Graphical icons are placed alongside each hack to guide the reader, like the thermometer icon indicating the relative complexity of the hack. There is also an icon for supplementary information and one that conveys a note of caution.
Astronomy Hacks is an essential companion for anyone interested in making the most out of celestial observations.
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