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Home Forums General Discussion Space on my bookshelves

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This topic contains 55 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Andy Sawers 2 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 56 total)
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  • #7160

    Mike Meynell
    Moderator
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 746

    there’s a short (half-page) article about Barnard in the August Astronomy Now, talking about his obervation of a star not seen before – or since!

    Yes, I read this… a nice little article. Interesting that Barnard waited 14 years before announcing this “discovery”, which was very typical, as he was extremely reluctant to publish any results that he wasn’t absolutely certain about. I think much of this stemmed from a somewhat premature announcement of discovering a comet early in his career, in 1881, which nobody was able to confirm. He was more successful later in his career, of course, eventually discovering 15 comets, plus 2 co-discoveries!

    I was slightly disappointed that the article didn’t mention a far greater “key moment is astronomy”… something which took place only days after this “ghost” discovery, and confirmed Barnard amongst the astronomy greats. On 9 September, 1892 (less than a month after the incident above), Barnard became the first person since Galileo in 1609 to discover a new moon of Jupiter, subsequently named Amalthea, using the 36-inch refractor at Lick Observatory in California.

    This was huge news in the 19th century… only 20 moons were known in the whole Solar System at that point, so this discovery made headlines around the world. Barnard had extraordinary eyesight, apparently being able to easily distinguish 12 stars within the Pleiades group with the naked eye!! Most people can only count 6!

    what’s everyone’s favourite astronomy magazine(s)?

    That’s an easy one… Sky and Telescope. It may have an American slant, but it’s by far the best magazine in my view.

    #7164

    Andy Sawers
    Moderator
    Topics: 113
    Replies: 588

    Sky and Telescope

    Interesting. I’ve seen that mag but not read it. I liked the only copy of Astronomy that I’ve been able to find (WH Smith @ Victoria train station).

    #7166

    Andy Sawers
    Moderator
    Topics: 113
    Replies: 588

    Courtesy of Mr Twitter and space.com:

    For you #space bibliophiles, a glimpse inside the childhood library of managing ed. @tariqjmalik… http://instagram.com/p/rIgXwYR88Q/

    We had the ‘Great Books’ series when I was a kid and so of course had the Ptolemy/Copernicus/Kepler volume. I remember it, but I don’t think I ever even cracked it open (it was a bit intimidating for a nine-year-old) and now I wish I had it.

    By the way, Space by James A Michener must be absolutely the worst ever novel about space. Possibly inspired by Tom Wolfe’s excellent non-fiction (but very occasionally annoying) book The Right Stuff, but doesn’t even merit sharing shelf space with any of those other titles. In fact, it doesn’t deserve to be on the same shelf as anything by Arthur Hailey, never mind Arthur C Clarke.

    #7167

    Tej
    Participant
    Topics: 36
    Replies: 582

    I was given a free copy of Astronomy Now at the Solstice Solar observation event in Regents Park.  Its a terrific glossy magazine, full of in depth astronomy articles on current findings and reflections of historical events such as the Jupiter comet impact twenty years ago.  There are numerous tutorials including Lunar imaging which is part of an advance course in planetary imaging, modifying your dslr, laser collimation, deep space post processing masterclass series, and of course the mandatory sky guides.  Product testing reviews were interesting, one featured collimators…I may well purchase a laser one for my scope.  There are also a lot of adverts too of course.  I love the visual layout of the mag, very easy on the eye with plenty of super space photos.  Nicely edited.  I didnt subscribe to it though as I have too limited time to read books and mags during my hectic summer.

     

     

    #7483

    Tej
    Participant
    Topics: 36
    Replies: 582

    One more book on my bookshelf….well actually its hardly ever on my bookshelf as I have been reading it for a week since I received it in the post and so has always been on my desk for quick access.  It is the book that Mike recommended the most,

     

    Turn Left at Orion (Fourth Edition)

     

    What a great book.  I have learnt so much from it already.  Its very beginners friendly as it should be of course but its layout is clever.  I love how it illustrates the potential views from a 3″ and 8″ telescope.  However, it misses a beat by not stating what eyepiece.  It even skips talking about different eyepieces altogether which is something I would liked to have learn more about.  It covers everything else about telescope optics and geographical positions of the night sky, though.

     

    It has a very large moon section covering all the phases and even shows where to look for all the Apollo landings.  I have been trying to find such an easy Apollo landing reference index on the internet before but with no success, there are some sites but just not clearly laid out.  This book shows them nicely.  Finally, I can look at points on the moon, even if featureless but knowing man landed at that spot, would give me a great sensation.  Cant wait!

     

    Its a really big heavy book though, not exactly a travel companion at all so sadly, it will remain at home.  Also, it comes in a ring binder format.  Why?  I hate that.  Unlike fiction books, this is a book that will be used on a regular basis so over time the pages could easily tear out.  I dont get the logic of physically presenting the book this way.

     

    But where it comes into its own is as a reference guide for planning an observation night.

     

    This Wednesday I will be attending a stargaze gathering at Regents Park and have used this book to plan my observations in combination with Stellarium, I have derived my following observation plan:

     

    8:30pm  Saturn

    9:30pm   Andromeda

    9:40pm  c/2014  E2 (Jaques)   next to star HIP 11505  (stellarium rules here because obviously the book couldnt help with this one)

    Albireo double star

    M17 Omega (Swan) nebula  mag 6

    m27 Dumbbell nebula mag 8

    M81+M82 galaxy

    M51 Whirlpool galaxy mag 9

    m8 Lagoon Nebula mag 6

    m20 Trifid nebula mag 6-7

    10:30pm Neptune

     

    So although, it has some niggles as I mentioned, I join the chorus of highly recommending this book especially to beginners, just bare in mind that its not quite travel friendly.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  Tej.
    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  Tej.
    #7553

    Andy Sawers
    Moderator
    Topics: 113
    Replies: 588

    I’ve just added The Individual and the Universe – the 1958 BBC Reith Christmas lectures by Bernard Lovell.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by  Andy Sawers. Reason: Title correction
    #7579

    Mike Meynell
    Moderator
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 746

    Also, it comes in a ring binder format.  Why?  I hate that.

    Each to their own, Tej. Personally, I find the ring binder really useful. When you are out observing, it’s great to find the page for the object you want to look for, and then place the book by your feet whilst scanning the sky with the telescope. With a “normal” book, I could guarantee that the page would turn with the slightest gust of wind!

    #7699

    Andy Sawers
    Moderator
    Topics: 113
    Replies: 588

    Via Twitter, Marek Kukula’s “shelfie”…

    https://twitter.com/marekkukula/status/504617105950801920

    #7711

    Sumitra
    Participant
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 233

    Each to their own, Tej. Personally, I find the ring binder really useful. When you are out observing, it’s great to find the page for the object you want to look for, and then place the book by your feet whilst scanning the sky with the telescope. With a “normal” book, I could guarantee that the page would turn with the slightest gust of wind!

    Agreed!!! And now I am wondering why mine is not a ring binder format! I actually turned it into a ring binder myself by photocopying pages that I liked most and put them into sleeves to do as Mike said!

    #7718

    Mike Meynell
    Moderator
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 746

    The ring binder format is actually quite new. The original versions of the book had standard binding. It’s only the latest version that’s available as a ring binder.

    #7721

    Sumitra
    Participant
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 233

    I saw after I posted. It’s a fab idea even if Tej hates it! I might have to get the new version! Or swap my book with Tej’s binder!!!

    #7722

    Tej
    Participant
    Topics: 36
    Replies: 582

    Wow, you binder fetish oddballs 😉  I’m outnumbered here, huh.  OK, the wind reasoning is justifiable but the rings are annoying when turning pages and are more susceptible to tear as the edges of the pages constantly graze each other.

     

    How big is your book in dimensions, Sumitra and do you travel with it because my one is huge and is certainly no travel companion size.  Its more of home astronomy buddy guide where you can rest it on a table in the garden or something.

     

     

    #7730

    Sumitra
    Participant
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 233

    Wow, you binder fetish oddballs  I

    Fetish oddballs… That’s a tautology, no?

    Fascinating, this.
    Who knew a discussion about a book format could get so emotional and personal. Makes me smile. I resisted last night, but I can’t resist to say something this time.

    Just a thought – yes, the pages are more susceptible to wear and tear and what have you (a snail had a nice trip over my iPad few months ago! If only it had been currently on the Star Walk app… I’d have called it Snail Skycrawler 😉 ) but I find that preferable than having an unworn version due to not being used.

    If needs be, then I’d rather patch it up. At the risk of being called a ‘fetish oddball’ in matters of stationary as well, may I introduce you to these very useful things….?

    Also, I think you are perhaps over dramatic :-p. I use ring bound notebooks all year, they travel in my bag all the time, get opened, squashed, pages are frantically turned again and again and are scribbled on. Never had a page tear out on its own.

    Secondly… fascinating that you should label (yes, wink noted) an attitude/point of view merely different to yours as fetishist and odd.

    Few months ago, this person goes on a passionate discourse telling me he really does not get how such and such cooking utensil (can’t remember which) can be so incredibly expensive:

    Them: “I mean, just why on earth would anyone spend almost their month’s salary on something to cook?!?!”.
    Me: “If they have a family and have to cook everyday for their children, etc.? Seems practical enough, and quite time saving when having to cook for a family.”
    Them: “ALMOST THEIR MONTH’S SALARY!!!”
    Me: “Remind me how much you paid for your 5D MkII?”
    Them: “….”

    So erm… Each to their own, like Mike says.
    And as an economist, this translates as different people having different utility functions i.e. value things differently and at a different rate. It’s not because you don’t understand why someone values something differently that it is irrational or does not make sense.

    Having said that, we  (economists) would call oddballs (well more technically agents exhibiting inconsistent preference rules)  those who may not mind wear and tear on a certain practical tool but mind it on another… :-p

    I’d throw in some equations to illustrate… but this is an astronomy forum and not a philosophy of Choice forum.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  Sumitra.
    #7732

    Andy Sawers
    Moderator
    Topics: 113
    Replies: 588

    I feel an IS/LM curve coming on…

    #7734

    Brian Blake
    Participant
    Topics: 187
    Replies: 409

    Tej

    Not sure where you are coming from “Wow, you binder fetish oddballs” we all develop our own ways of doing things, I use a number  of different notebooks for various things as well as ring binders. Not sure what a “fetish oddball” is,  something you get from Anne Summers?

     

    Sorry Mate only joking.  May the force be with you.

     

    Brian

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