2016 year Reviews

Stargazing: Beginners Guide to Astronomy

Radmila Topalovic & Tom Kerss

Collins, 2016, 224pp, softback


ISBN 978-0-00-819627-1

Published by Collins in association with the Royal Greenwich Observatory, this book will provide any budding astronomer with a practical and engaging introduction to the subject.

‘Stargazing’ is everything you’d expect from a beginner’s guide to astronomy in a small, dense and very affordable package. Although some will find the white text on a black background slightly uncomfortable to read, the book’s image-based design and semi-gloss paper makes for an attractive presentation.

Following an overview of celestial objects (the usual suspects), it covers everything from dark adaptation and seeing colour to star charts and astronomical software. Later sections describe using telescopes, binoculars and cameras, and a good proportion of the book is dedicated to observing the constellations and other objects (again replete with star charts and colour photos).

Finally, there are several pages of seasonal charts, viewed both towards north and south and from London, England, and Sydney, Australia. The back cover bills it as, ‘The perfect beginners guide to Astronomy’ and, while one usually takes such publishing hype with a pinch of salt, in this case it’s hard to disagree.

Mark Williamson

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