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Favourite Astronomy Book?

  1. Nov 10, 2009 #1
    Hi,

    I've been looking for a good laymans book on Astronomy for ages now, but haven't been able to find one that isn't seriously heavy going on the physics front. I have plenty of astrophysics books, but not one dedicated to simple observational astronomy. Can anyone recommend a good, easy to read book, preferably with lots of pictures for a simpleton like me to be able to follow? I want to understand all the constellations and the stories behind them before I go spending money I don't have on a telescope :wink: .

    Thanks in advance :smile:

    Phyzzy Physh
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2009 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Hi phyzzy_physh! :smile:

    If you google "observational astronomy", and then click "Books" in the drop-down menu from "More", you'll get at least two books with extensive free downloadable previews.

    (btw, you probably need to know about cameras/CCDs rather than about the constellations and the stories behind them :wink:)
     
  4. Nov 19, 2009 #3
    I had no idea Google did that! Thanks TT! :cool:
     
  5. Dec 3, 2009 #4
    I really like Burnham's Celestial Handbooks(3 books) They are really interesting giving some history and info about each constellation. Constellation>History>Main Stars>Deep sky objects. The info. is slightly outdated but will give you a good survey of all things relating to visual astronomy. I would recommend a 6"-8" dobsonian telescope w/out software to track down the messier and brighter NGC objects before buying a computerized go-to scope. You will learn much more this way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  6. Dec 5, 2009 #5
    There really isn't much to know about the constellations. They are just patterns in the sky people gave names to. At some point every point in the sky was defined to be part of a constellation, thats why there are a bunch of silly, dim constellations. As far as observational astronomy books, I really like https://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Ast...e-Dickinson/dp/1554073448/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2 . Although I have an earlier edition, that book taught me everything I needed to know about recreational astronomy. And its definately accessible, I think I read it cover to cover when I was only about 8-10 years old.

    Note that this is a book about recreational astronomy. If you really mean it when you say you just want to know the stories behind the constellations, integral8850 is right on. Burnham's Celestial Handbooks are awesome, especially for that. But, I can't see myself ever reading them cover to cover.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Dec 8, 2009 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. May 15, 2011 #7
  9. May 20, 2011 #8
    Wikipedia has lots of stories to the constellations and such - free, even.

    Here is a list of the constellations if you didn't know of them all.

    The first 3 letters is the variable star sign. Like R And, R Aql. You should focus on the middle name.

    And - Andromeda - Andromedae
    Ant - Antlia - Antliae
    Aps - Apus - Apodis
    Aql - Aquila - Aquilae
    Aqr - Aquarius - Aquarii
    Ara - Ara - Arae
    Ari - Aries - Arietis
    Aur - Auriga - Aurigae
    Boo - Boötes - Boötis
    Cae - Caelum - Caeli
    Cam - Camelopardalis - Camelopardalis
    Cap - Capricornus - Capricorni
    Car - Carina - Carinae
    Cas - Cassiopeia - Cassiopeiae
    Cen - Centaurus - Centauri
    Cep - Cepheus - Cephei
    Cet - Cetus - Ceti
    Cha - Chamaeleon - Chamaeleontis
    Cir - Circinus - Circini
    CMa - Canis Major - Canis Majoris
    CMi - Canis Minor - Canis Minoris
    Cnc - Cancer - Cancri
    Col - Columba - Columbae
    Com - Coma Berenices - Comae Berenices
    CrA - Corona Australis - Coronae Australis
    CrB - Corona Borealis - Coronae Borealis
    Crt - Crater - Crateris
    Cru - Crux - Crucis
    Crv - Corvus - Corvi
    CVn - Canes Venatici - Canum Venaticorum
    Cyg - Cygnus - Cygni
    Del - Delphinus - Delphini
    Dor - Dorado - Doradus
    Dra - Draco - Draconis
    Equ - Equuleus - Equulei
    Eri - Eridanus - Eridani
    For - Fornax - Fornacis
    Gem - Gemini - Geminorum
    Gru - Grus - Gruis
    Her - Hercules - Herculis
    Hor - Horologium - Horologii
    Hya - Hydra - Hydrae
    Hyi - Hydrus - Hydri
    Ind - Indus - Indi
    Lac - Lacerta - Lacertae
    Leo - Leo - Leonis
    Lep - Lepus - Leporis
    Lib - Libra - Librae
    LMi - Leo Minor - Leonis Minoris
    Lup - Lupus - Lupi
    Lyn - Lynx - Lyncis
    Lyr - Lyra - Lyrae
    Men - Mensa - Mensae
    Mic - Microscopium - Microscopii
    Mon - Monoceros - Monocerotis
    Mus - Musca - Muscae
    Nor - Norma - Normae
    Oct - Octans - Octantis
    Oph - Ophiuchus - Ophiuchi
    Ori - Orion - Orionis
    Pav - Pavo - Pavonis
    Peg - Pegasus - Pegasi
    Per - Perseus - Persei
    Phe - Phoenix - Phoenicis
    Pic - Pictor - Pictoris
    PsA - Piscis Austrinus - Piscis Austrini
    Psc - Pisces - Piscium
    Pup - Puppis - Puppis
    Pyx - Pyxis - Pyxidis
    Ret - Reticulum - Reticuli
    Scl - Sculptor - Sculptoris
    Sco - Scorpius - Scorpii
    Sct - Scutum - Scuti
    Ser - Serpens - Serpentis
    Sex - Sextans - Sextantis
    Sge - Sagitta - Sagittae
    Sgr - Sagittarius - Sagittarii
    Tau - Taurus - Tauri
    Tel - Telescopium - Telescopii
    TrA - Triangulum Australe - Trianguli Australis
    Tri - Triangulum - Trianguli
    Tuc - Tucana - Tucanae
    UMa - Ursa Major - Ursae Majoris
    UMi - Ursa Minor - Ursae Minoris
    Vel - Vela - Velorum
    Vir - Virgo - Virginis
    Vol - Volans - Volantis
    Vul - Vulpecula - Vulpeculae

    Regards, Robin Andersson.
     
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