Discover the Night Sky through Binoculars

Discover the Night Sky through Binoculars

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About the book

If you want to build solid fundamentals in observational astronomy, this book is for you. Stephen Tonkin takes you on a monthly tour of the night sky visible from the Northern hemisphere. If you work your way through the celestial objects described by Steve in the different chapters, by the end of the year, you will have a good familiarity of the night sky visible from temperate northern latitudes. The first section for each month contains objects visible through 10 x 50 binoculars from moderately light polluted locations. The second section for each month contains objects visible from dark sky locations with less light pollution and through larger binoculars. Steve recommends using this book in conjunction with a star atlas. Alternatively, you can download a set of charts specific to this book here. Needless to say, this book is also useful for discovering the night sky through a small telescope with a wide field of view. In summary, this book lays a solid foundation in observational astronomy and hence constitutes an excellent preparation to explore this fascinating hobby further.


Table of contents

 Chapter Page
Introduction 1
How to use this book 3
Two Eyes are better than One 6
Binoculars and BSOs 10
Effective Deployment 17
January: The Skies of the Hunter 24
January: Starfish and Minnows 28
February: Canine Treats 32
February: Now You See Me... 36
March: Crustaceans in the Byre 40
March: Exploring the Poop 44
April: Behind the Veil 48
April: Look Aside, Now 52
May: A Royal Visit 57
May: Island Universes 61
June: Wrestling with the Snake 65
June: Hanging In The Balance 69
July: Of Heroes and Crowns 74
July: Pole Dancing 78
August: Swanning Around 83
August: Nothing But Stars 87
September: Something Fishy 91
September: Embracing the Dark Side 95
October: A Princess and a Hero 98
October: Globes and Corpses 103
November: Pareidolia 107
November: An Autumn Jewel Box 111
December: Diamonds and their Dust 115
December: A Whale of a Time 119
Star magnitudes in Collinder 399 122
Binocular Designation Letters 123
Care and Maintenance 126
Measuring pupil size 128
Testing Binoculars 129
Object Index 134



About the author

Stephen (Steve) Tonkin lives in England on the edge of the New Forest, but was raised under the dark skies of tropical Africa, which fed his childhood passion for astronomy. He spends most of his time doing astronomical outreach with the societies of which he is a member, independently, and in his role as a STEM ambassador. He has taught astronomy to people of all ages for more than 30 years and has authored many articles and several books on practical aspects of astronomy. He writes equipment reviews and a monthly Binocular Tour column for BBC Sky at Night magazine.


Complementary information

  • ISBN : 978-1916485006
  • Number of pages : 153
  • Copyright : 2018
  • Downloadable star charts
  • Dimensions : 15.24 x 0.89 x 22.86 cm