Cosmic Challenge: The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs

Cosmic Challenge: The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs

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About this book

Listing more than 500 sky targets, both near and far, in 187 challenges, this observing guide will test novice astronomers and advanced veterans alike. Its unique mix of Solar System and deep-sky targets will have observers hunting for the Apollo lunar landing sites, searching for satellites orbiting the outermost planets, and exploring hundreds of star clusters, nebulae, distant galaxies, and quasars. Each target object is accompanied by a rating indicating how difficult the object is to find, an in-depth visual description, an illustration showing how the object realistically looks, and a detailed finder chart to help you find each challenge quickly and effectively. This guide introduces objects often overlooked in other observing guides and challenges are provided for the naked eye, through binoculars, to the largest backyard telescopes. This paperback edition has updated charts and data tables to challenge observers for many years to come.

  • Lists over 500 sky targets through 187 challenges suitable for the naked eye, binoculars and backyard telescopes
  • The unique mix of Solar System and deep-sky targets includes objects often overlooked in other observing guides and targets visible in a variety of conditions - from the inner city to the dark countryside
  • Each target object is accompanied by a difficulty rating, an in-depth visual description, a realistic illustration and a detailed finder chart
  • This paperback edition has updated charts and data tables to challenge observers for many years to come 

 

Table of contents

Chapter Page
1. Meeting the challenge 1
2. Naked-eye challenges 27
3. Binocular challenges 78
4.  Small-scope challenges: Giant binoculars, 3- to 5-inch telescopes 130
5.  Medium-scope challenges: 6- to 9.25-inch telescopes 223
6. Large-scope challenges: 10- to 14-inch telescopes 307
7. Monster-scope challenges: 15-inch and larger telescopes 367
Epilogue: The edge of imagination 448
Appendix A: The cosmic challenge 450
Appendix B: Suggested further reading 461
Appendix C: 100 challenging double stars 463
Index 467

 

  

About the author

Philip S. Harrington is a former staff member of New York City's Hayden Planetarium and instructor at the Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport, New York. He is an adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York, where he teaches courses in stellar and planetary astronomy. He is a founding member of the Westport Astronomical Society and is also one of the coordinators of the annual Astronomer's Conjunction, held every summer in Northfield, MA. He has authored 9 books including this one in the field of amateur astronomy and for his many contributions to this field across the past five decades, he was awarded the 2018 Walter Scott Houston Award at that year's Stellafane convention in Springfield, Vermont.

 

Review

'Philip S. Harrington is one of the rare individuals who knows the sky and can write about it in an engaging manner. Cosmic Challenge features nearly 200 celestial hunts that will challenge you no matter how many days or years you've logged looking through a telescope. In writing this book, Harrington has produced a work of enduring value, one that should be on every observer's shelf.' Michael E. Bakich, Senior Editor, Astronomy magazine

 

Complementary information

  • ISBN : 978-1108710756
  • Edition number : 1
  • Copyright : July 2019
  • Number of pages : 478
  • Dimensions : 25 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Weight : 1.05 kg
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press