Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sales Pitch For The Pemb's Astronomer......


And anyone else who will listen for that matter. Yes if you want to go deep and explore the heavens within the full potential of your scope, long term personal stamina and curiosity these two volumes in my humble opinion are a must have! My astronomy went off the scale years back when I acquired these two volumes from a die hard night sky hound who before his passing saw my appetite and fervency for all things cosmic. They are my ultimate resource. Yes I do use other atlases, maps etc but these volumes are in one word - priceless.

Wonderful overviews and look; variables galore! Easy but detailed charts break down every constellation into manageable parts. I have spent hours observing one small section of sky and getting photon loaded.









Enough double stars to keep you occupied for ?! Separations, magnitudes, colors, star types all there.

These volumes made me a double star addict! Want to learn a constellation? Do doubles!








The pics are from film shot in the 80's - 90's. But they give one a very adequate feel for what you may see depending at your scope, conditions, and viewing skill. The drawings and observing notes are incredibly accurate and well done. You will know in most cases what you are seeing without difficulty. Object detail becomes easy. Even open & globular clusters which to some all "look alike" will become individuals with their personal physical features, surroundings, highlights and charm. Yes charm!!!!!

A number of years back I started a open cluster survey out of these volumes which still inspires me today! I spent 2 years on it and have not finish it yet. Will I? Is there enough time? Those with 8"-12" scopes will have plenty to see for a long time. Smaller scope? Do not be intimidated these volumes are for you too! Doubles ,variables, clusters, dark nebula are waiting for you to discover! There are plenty of "bright" galaxies out there to hunt down. How much time do you have is the question. 4 years ago I did a Dark Nebula Observe at a high altitude site with my 12.5 Dob and a 35mm 2"eyepiece. I cannot explain the wonder of it all and yes because of these volumes.......

The tutorials are excellent. With practice you will be observing at a high level even with a small scope.

The first volume has a whole section called "Comprehending Our Fascinating Universe" which will give one a wonderful overview of the contents of our universe. Good solid science which is not meant to read in one seating but easy to understand. The section on variables was outstanding with so much to digest and ponder. You will understand what you are seeing! I still resource these sections often!

These volumes are bulky and require a table to use - they are not hand held as mine with broken bindings will attest. Some folks use these as a at home reference; mine I use at home and in the field which in most cases is the same haha! When in the field ( patio for me ) I place a red cellophane in a cardboard border over the pages which cuts down on the glare saves my night vision. I also plan ahead what i want to see before I go out to observe as the amount of stuff here is prodigious and you have to go back and forth between pages at times.

Oh did I mention great info on each sky pattern with attention to interesting stars, objects, spellings, names, history?

This is a serious resource.

Are you a dedicated observer -want a lifetime investment into your astro passion? Want to go to the next level?

Newbie? No problem! Take it bit by bit and you will be fine!


I am not a good reviewer and writing in detail is laborious and difficult for me. But I hope this pitch encourages you to consider these volumes and turn off your computer. In my mind there is nothing like flipping through a well made book with my scope under the skies or on the couch on a lazy weekend day. There are lots of quality observing guides out there. I really like Sue French's, O Meara's , Harrington's guides. But these have found a place in my heart and soul.

5 comments:

Mark Lee said...

Hi SUG, these are amazing books, why I have never bought them I don't know...

Thanks for putting this post on,... that photo and the info of Orion alone would keep me occupied for ages...

After reading your review it looks like these two "Night Sky Observer guides" may soon be sat on the shelf next to my prized Burnham's Celestial Handbooks...

I'm already saving the pennies to buy these two beauties.

Great review SUG....

I'm off to get "photon loaded" :0)

Pembs....

Johany said...

I seriously got to get these 2 books!!! :)

Sidewalk Universe said...

Buy them and you will "grow into them" Johany! You will have so much to see with Riddick!

If you need getting started with them just let me know.....easy to use but there is a lot of info here. Between these and your DeepMap 600 you will be set!

Then it's time and weather!

How is your class going at the observatory? Please tell!

Johany said...

Hi SUG,

The observatory class is going great! We haven't had a chance to do some serious stargazing because it's been rainy or cloudy. But we hope to do that real soon.

We are learning a lot about how to identify constellations through Stellarium, which I like. But then when they start talking about azimuth, altitude, right ascension, declination, mathematical precession, the meridian and stuff I end up with a blank look in my face!

Sure, I act like I know what they're talking about. Maybe that's why they never call me out in class! LOL. But seriously, although math is NOT my favorite subject, I really thought that you can enjoy astronomy without all the mathematical stuff getting in the way.

I thought that if you have a solid knowledge base on the constellations and where they are, that all you need is a good star chart and you can practically see (with patience and practice) what you're looking for WITHOUT any mathematical computations or fancy terms getting in the way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. The other thing is, one of the teachers talked to one of their experts on Dobs and when the weather is clear they want me to come in with Riddick so they can teach me how to collimate it better and faster and just for me to feel more comfortable with the whole process...from setup to stargazing! I thought that was pretty awesome!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

These are very poor references. Richie why don't you just send these to me and I will dispose of them for you...include the Herschel wedge too!... and the celestron orange tube SCT... and some of your eyepieces...and why not some of those special cookies you make too...