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Category >>   Telescope Books
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  Choosing and Using a New CAT
Getting the Most from Your Schmidt Cassegrain or Any Catadioptric Telescope

by Rod Mollise
335 pages, December 2008
Level: All

Description: Choosing and Using the New CAT will supercede the author's successful Choosing and Using a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, which has enjoyed enthusiastic support from the amateur astronomy community for the past seven years.

Since the first book was published, a lot has changed in the technology of amateur astronomy. The sophistication and variety of the telescopes available to amateurs has increased dramatically. Computerized SCTs, Maksutov-Cassegrains, and most recently Meade's new and acclaimed Ritchey-Chrétiens have come to dominate the market. That means that all amateurs considering the purchase of a new telescope (not only a SCT, and not just beginners) will benefit from this detailed guide. Choosing the right telescope for particular kinds of observation (or even for general work) is far from easy -- but Rod Mollise gives invaluable advice and guidance.

Today's commercially-made astronomical telescopes are more complex than ever, and a new owner will swiftly discover that the manuals shipped with these telescopes leave much to be desired. Further guidance is a must. Choosing and Using the New CAT provides the missing information in a friendly but authoritative fashion, including imaging the solar system and deep space with the CCD cameras, video, and webcams that have almost completely supplanted film cameras.

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$19.77 (Save 34%), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  Star Ware
The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories

by Philip S. Harrington
432 pages, 4th Edition, April 2007
Level: All Levels

Highly Recommended

Thinking of buying a telescope? Don't be fooled by marketing hype. This book is the ultimate source of unbiased information about buying a telescope and other astronomical equipment.

This is the fourth edition of Phil Harrington's popular and comprehensive guide to astronomical equipment. Written for both new astronomers as well as experienced amateurs it includes numerous tips and tricks from other experienced astronomers.

Book Synopsis: Just as our knowledge of the cosmos has changed, so has astronomy technology. So how does the amateur astronomer make informed choices about buying telescopes. In this latest edition of Star Ware, award-winning astronomy writer Philip Harrington helps eliminate the guesswork and guides us through the process with fully updated and expanded chapters on telescopes and accessories.

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$14.93 (32% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  The Dobsonian Telescope
A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes

by David Kriege and Richard Berry
475 pages, 1st Edition, June 1997
Level: All Levels

Highly Recommended

Book Description: This book tells how you can build a state-of-the-art Dobsonian telescope using readily available materials and supplies. Every step of construction is detailed in photographs and diagrams, and the underlying ideas are carefully explained. As a result of this three-year collaboration between authors David Kriege and Richard Berry, experienced and well-known telescope makers, you now have the opportunity to build a high-performance telescope from 14 inches to 40 inches aperture based on the thoroughly tested designs described in this book.

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$29.95, Hardcover Buy from Amazon

  Astronomy Hacks
by Robert Thompson and Barbara Thompson
416 pages, June 2005
Level: All

Description: Do you relish viewing and identifying celestial objects? Whether you're a first timer or an advanced hobbyist, you will find Astronomy Hacks makes a brilliant cosmic companion. Why use the traditional approach in admiring and studying the stars when you can turn computers, handheld devices, and telescopes into star gazing tools for an out-of-this-world experience.

This handy field guide covers the basics of observing, and what you need to know about tweaking, tuning, adjusting, and tricking out a 'scope. Expect priceless tips and tools for using a Dobsonian telescope, the large-aperture telescope you can inexpensively build in your garage.

Astronomy Hacks begins the space exploration by getting you set up with the right equipment for observing and admiring the stars in an urban setting. Along for the trip are first rate tips for making most of observations. The hacks show you how to:

  • Dark-Adapt Your Notebook Computer
  • Choose the Best Binocular
  • Clean Your Eyepieces and Lenses Safely
  • Upgrade Your Optical Finder
  • Photograph the Stars with Basic Equipment
The O'Reilly Hacks series has reclaimed the term "hacking" to mean innovating, unearthing, and creating shortcuts, gizmos, and gears. With these hacks, you don't dream it -- you do it. The book is essential for anyone who wants to get the most out of an evening under the stars and have memorable celestial adventures.

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$16.47 (34% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  How to Use an Astronomical Telescope
by James Muirden
400 pages, Reprint Edition, June 1988
Level: Beginner

Book Synopsis: Astronomy has never been a more popular pastime than it is today. The increased availability of less expensive, more powerful, and more sophisticated telescopes has given rise to a new generation of stargazers. And for these beginning astronomers here is the comprehensive book covering everything from the difficult task of selecting an instrument to the equally daunting choices that arise when a telescope is turned to the heavens.

Renowned British astronomer and author James Muirden takes the fledgling astronomer by the hand in his new book, offering tips on:

  • the purchase, assembly, and orientation of your new telescope
  • how to observe and chart the Sun, Moon, planets, stars and comets
  • how to investigate the deep-sky objects -- clusters, nebulae, and other galaxies beyond the Milky Way

The final chapter, "Windows into Space," explores ten carefully selected regions featuring noteworthy examples of double stars, galaxies, and nebulae, as well as more obscure objects seldom examined by astronomers.

How to Use an Astronomical Telescope offers completely revised and updated location charts with detailed coordinates, tables, appendixes, and numerous illustrations and photographs, making it the essential volume for one's first exploration of the cosmos.

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$18.95, Paperback Buy from Amazon

  The NexStar User's Guide
by Michael W. Swanson
320 pages, February 2004
Level: All

Book Description: Celestron's NexStar telescopes were introduced in 1999, beginning with their first computer controlled Go-To model, a 5-inch. More models appeared in quick succession, and Celestron's new range made it one of the two dominant manufacturers of affordable Go-To telescopes. Michael Swanson's online discussions with literally thousands of NexStar owners made it clear that there was a desperate need for a book such as this -- one that provides a complete, detailed guide to buying, using and maintaining NexStar telescopes. Although this book is highly comprehensive, it is suitable for beginners -- there is a chapter on "Astronomy Basics" -- and experts alike.

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Sky & Telescope Review: December 2004 p.120-122

$23.07 (34% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  Using the Meade ETX
100 Objects You Can Really See with the Mighty ETX

by Mike Weasner
208 pages, 1st Edition, April 2002
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Book Description: In 1996 Meade, the world's largest astronomical telescope manufacturer, introduced the ETX, a low-cost and genuinely portable instrument capable of results close to the theoretical limits of optical performance. Since then several different models have been introduced, most of them controlled by on-board computers that automatically point the telescope at objects selected from a database of 12,000. Unfortunately not all these objects are visible when looking through the ETX! (They are included because they can be imaged with special equipment.)

Mike Weasner is a world expert on the ETX range, and describes the "best" 100 objects to start with, and offers hints and tips about using and looking after the telescope to get the best possible results.

Contents: ETX Basics. ETX Hints and Tips. Observing Techniques. Objects. Photography. Summary. Appendix: Resources. Books. Magazines. Web Sites. Newsgroups. User Groups and Clubs. Dealers. Computer Software.

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$31.46 (10% off), Paperback. Buy from Amazon

  How to Use a Computerized Telescope
by Michael A. Covington
240 pages, 1st Edition, November 2002

Book Description: How to Use a Computerized Telescope describes how to get a computerized telescope up-and-running, and how to embark on a program of observation. Michael Covington explains in detail how the sky moves, how a telescope tracks it, and how to get the most out of any computerized telescope. Packed full of practical advice and tips for troubleshooting, his book gives detailed instructions for three popular telescopes: the Meade LX200, Celestron NexStar 5 and 8, and Meade Autostar (ETX and LX90).

Michael A. Covington is an associate research scientist at the University of Georgia. He is a computational linguist trained in the computer processing of human language and the computer modeling of human logical reasoning, and a widely recognized expert on the Prolog programming language. He is the author of nine books including Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, Seventh Edition (Barron's, 2000), Astrophotography for the Amateur (Cambridge, 1999), PROLOG Programming in Depth (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Cambridge Eclipse Photography Guide (1993), and Syntactic Theory in the High Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1985). A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Covington is a Contributing Editor to, and former "Q&A" columnist of, Poptronics magazine.

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$38.10 (9% off), Hardcover Buy from Amazon

  Making Your Own Telescope
by Allyn J. Thompson
223 pages, June 2003
Level: All

Book Description: Complete, detailed instructions and numerous diagrams for constructing a do-it-yourself telescope. No complicated mathematics are involved, and no prior knowledge of optics or astronomy is needed to follow the text's step-by-step directions. Contents cover, among other topics, materials and equipment; tube parts and alignment; eyepieces, and related problems; setting circles; and optical principles. 1973 ed. Appendixes. Index. 6 plates. 100 figures.

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$10.17 (32% off), Paperback Buy from Amazon

  Build Your Own Telescope
Complete Plans for Five Telescopes You Can Build with Simple Hand Tools

by Richard Berry
240 pages, 3rd Edition, April 2001
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Highly Recommended

Have you ever dreamed of exploring the heavens with a telescope? This book contains specific "nut-and-bolt" instructions on how to build a powerful astronomical telescope inexpensively using ordinary household tools and materials. It includes complete plans, step-by step instructions, and 275 illustrations that show you how to build these 5 telescopes:

  • 4-inch f/10 Reflector -- A sturdy easy to use telescope that is perfect for beginners or as a parent/child project.
  • 6-inch f/8 Dobsonian Reflector -- A light, compact telescope that is simple to build, but powerful enough to satisy a backyard observer for many years.
  • 6-inch f/8 Equatorial Reflector -- A classic design for the amateur astronomer or craftsman who wants an elegant telescope and great performance.
  • 10-inch f/6 Dobsonian Reflector -- A powerful and versatile telescope suitable for casual stargazing or for a serious amateur's long-term observing programs.
  • 6-inch f/15 Refractor -- A large refractor that outperforms commercial telescope of considerably larger aperture.
Note, the book assumes you will buy commercial optics, but there is a section on homemade optics as well.

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$24.95, Hardcover Buy from Amazon

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    Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes
A Manual for Optical Evaluation and Adjustment
$29.95, Hardcover Buy from Amazon

Skymaps.com/store -- Recommended Books & Products for Skywatchers
New BooksStar AtlasesGetting StartedObserving GuidesPlanispheresTelescope BooksKids BooksSky Lore
DVDsSoftwareAstroPhotographyStar Map PostersTelescopes & BinocularsAstro Calendars 2017Digital Prints

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