Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

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9780713679397: Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

Revised Fourth Edition: updated for use through 2025.

The first three editions of NightWatch sold more than 600,000 copies, making it the top-selling stargazing guide in the world for the last 20 years. The key feature of this classic title is the section of star charts that are cherished by backyard astronomers everywhere. Each new edition has outsold the previous one because of thorough revisions and additional new material.

NightWatch has been acclaimed as the best general interest introduction to astronomy. The fourth edition has improvements over the 3rd edition in every chapter, including:

  • The famous charts, ideal for stargazers using a small telescope or binoculars
  • A complete update of the equipment section, including computerized telescopes
  • An enlarged photography section, including how-to instructions for using the new generation of digital cameras for astronomical photography, both with and without a telescope
  • The tables of future solar and lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions and planet locations, updated through 2025.

This edition includes star charts for use in the southern hemisphere. There are also dozens of new photographs throughout the book that show the latest thrilling discoveries made by current space observatories and probes.

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About the Author:

Terence Dickinson is the best-selling author of 14 other astronomy books, including The Backyard Astronomer's Guide and Hubble's Universe. He has received many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Science Book of the Year Award.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

In the decades since the first edition of NightWatch appeared in 1983, more than a half a million copies have found their way into the hands of astronomy enthusiasts. For me, the most gratifying aspect of this successful publishing story is the feed-back I've received from so many backyard astronomers who say that the book was their primary guide during the crucial initial stages of their celestial explorations.

As in the previous revised editions, the overriding goal in this new expanded version has been to provide a complete first book of amateur astronomy. I wanted to retain the features that readers say they like, so I have not tampered with the basic structure and presentation. But extensive fine-tuning and up-dating have touched many pages. The most visible of the changes is the addition of a new chapter on the southern-hemisphere skies with a new set of charts styled after the northern-hemisphere ones in Chapter 4. This addition to the book is the direct result of requests from readers of previous editions.

As always with revised editions of my books, I have replaced many photos with either more relevant or simply superior images. Other changes include a major rewrite of the section describing astrophotography, because of the digital-imaging revolution, and a thorough update of amateur-telescope equipment and accessories to reflect many new goodies that have become available since the previous edition in 1998. Where necessary, lists and tables are updated throughout. As before, prices throughout the book are in U.S. dollars.

Although more people are now dabbling in recreational astronomy and the range and quality of equipment to pursue the hobby have never been better, a persistent foe of amateur astronomers is light pollution -- the glare spilled from street lamps, outdoor-sign illumination, parking-lot lights, building security lights and outdoor fixtures around private residences and public buildings. Any one of these sources can ruin your backyard view of the night sky. Even if your observing site is protected from direct interference, outdoor lighting in general produces giant glowing domes over our cities and towns that have beaten back the stars.

Because the glow is visibly growing every year, those who seek the natural beauty of a dark night sky must flee ever farther into the country. For many aficionados, an evening of stargazing has become an expedition. But all is not gloom and doom. The dark cloud cast by light pollution has turned out to have an intriguing silver lining. Far from diminishing interest in astronomy, urban sky glow seems to have fueled it. When our grandparents were young, a view of the night sky strewn with stars and wrapped in the silky ribbon of the Milky Way could be seen from the front porch. Today, for most people, it is a relatively rare and exotic sight, something to be talked about and cherished as a memory.

Many family vacations now include plans for dark-site star-gazing. Each year, thousands of astronomy enthusiasts gather at conventions and summer "star parties" far from city lights to share their interest. In previous editions of NightWatch, I predicted that as urban glow inexorably marches deeper into the countryside, the 21st century will see the emergence of dark-skypreserves -- areas intentionally set aside in state, provincial and national parks where there are no obtrusive lights and never will be. Well, it's already happening. At least half a dozen of these shrines to the glory of the starry night have been established (see "Astronomy Conventions and Star Parties" in Chapter 13), and many more will surely follow in the decades ahead.

Terence Dickinson
Yarker, Ontario
May 2006

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Descripción Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the fifth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Terence Dickinson covers all the problems beginners face, starting with the fact that the night sky does not look the way a modern-city dweller expects. He discusses light pollution, how to choose binoculars and telescopes, how to pronouce the names of stars and constellations, telescope mounts, averted vision and why the Harvest Moon looks especially bright. Most of the photographs are taken by amatuers, which gives the section on astrophotography a particularly inspirational gleam. The deep-sky star charts are incredibly comprehensive and all the tables of dates and times of future solar and lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions and planet locations have been updated through to the year 2018. One of the best handbooks for the wannabe astronomer . Dr. Tim O Brien, senior lecturer in astrophysics at Jodrell Bank Observatory. Nº de ref. de la librería AA79780713679397

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Descripción A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 2006. Estado de conservación: New. 2006. Hardcover. This is the fourth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Num Pages: 184 pages, Colour throughout. BIC Classification: PGG; WNX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 274 x 274 x 22. Weight in Grams: 1232. A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. 184 pages, Colour throughout. This is the fourth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: PGG; WNX. Dimension: 274 x 274 x 22. Weight: 1238. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780713679397

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Descripción A & C Black Publishers Ltd. Estado de conservación: New. 2006. Hardcover. This is the fourth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Num Pages: 184 pages, Colour throughout. BIC Classification: PGG; WNX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 274 x 274 x 22. Weight in Grams: 1232. A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. 184 pages, Colour throughout. This is the fourth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: PGG; WNX. Dimension: 274 x 274 x 22. Weight: 1238. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780713679397

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Descripción Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; This is the fifth edition of this established introduction to astronomy, but the first edition with UK specific content. With more than 275,000 copies in print since its initial publication, Nightwatch has become the standard reference guide to stargazers around the world. Terence Dickinson covers a. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780713679397_rkm

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