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New Astronomy Books

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Two Excellent Observing Guides

These guides give a lot of observing help in a small space.
These are plastic coated in order to protect them during damp nights in the field.

Features of These Guides

  • Full color with loads of information and charts on both sides
  • Accordion fold for easy use and convenient storage
  • Folded size: 3.875 x 8.5 inches (9.8 x 21.6 cm) - Unfolds to 19 x 8.5 inches (48.3 x 21.6 cm)
  • Plastic laminated to resist moisture
  • Experienced amateur astronomers will find these as useful as beginners
  • Definitions and explanations provided so everyone can enjoy the heavens
  • Perfect for star parties, when you need a quick reference
  • Written and designed by astronomy author, Ken Graun
Please Note: The Moon Guide is now out of print.
Star Atlas Guide Messier Observing Guide
The main maps in this compact guide shows all the stars in the sky down to about 5th magnitude. There is one map for the main part of the sky and two maps for the polar constellations. There also are four maps showing details of several more areas that have a number of objects in close proximity. A number of beautiful photos of major deep-sky objects are included.

There are 200 objects located on these maps. These include double stars, galaxies, open star clusters, globular clusters, planetary nebula, and other emission and dark nebula. The deep-sky objects are from the Messier catalog and brighter objects from the NGC and IC catalogs.

This Messier guide has two main maps showing stars to about 5th magnitude. These include the north polar region and the main section showing the sky down to -55. This is the region of the sky where all of the Messier objects are located. This guide also includes four maps of densely Messier packed regions. These include: the Virgo/Coma Berenices region; the Ursa Major/Canes Venatica region; the region around Sagittarius; and, the Leo region.

A brief history of Messier objects is included as is an extended list of "Messier's Objects." This extended list includes 112 objects of all types plus two southern objects NGC 5128 and NGC 5139.

For a high resolution view of both sides of this guide, we have a Adobe PDF file available.

NOTE: This file is slightly larger than 2 MB. If you have a slow modem connection, it will take a while to download.

For a high resolution view of both sides of this guide, we have a Adobe PDF file available.

NOTE: This file is slightly larger than 2 MB. If you have a slow modem connection, it will take a while to download.

Atlas of the Heavens by Ken Graun
Price: $9.95

Messier's Objects by Ken Graun
Price: $9.95


The Next Step: Finding and Viewing
Messier's Objects

by Ken Graun

One of the newest books from Ken Press

This is the finest book we have found for finding and observing
these often elusive deep-sky objects

New Messier Book
Beautifully illustrated hardcover book of 352 pages.
With full color maps to help to find these famous objects.
This book starts with the history of Messier's and other observer's search for deep-sky objects. Tips on finding and observing each of these objects is given in their descriptions. You can find these using the large series of full color maps. Also included in these charts are special charts for the cluttered area near Sagittarius and the Virgo galaxy cluster areas.

This lovely hardcover book is 8.5" wide X 7.25" tall. Each object is then covered on a large, 17" wide X 7.25", double-page spread.

Let us use one of these objects, M42, as an example of how each object is covered

Example Map
Each object is shown on at least 3 maps. These maps show the sky at different times of the year.
On the example map (Chart H) above, Orion with M42 is shown near the center of this map.
M42 is also shown on Chart F and summary Chart B.

Details on M42
The left side of each object description gives details of Messier's original description, Dryers's comments in the NC catalog, coordinates, and facts about the object including size and distance. The right side of each object descriptions gives a description of each object in a 4 inch telescope, more hints on locating and observing the object, a list of charts that show this object, and a photo taken through the 4 inch refractor. Each photograph is a constant 2.3 wide X 1.3. The photo also has additional details, other objects, and nearby stars plotted.
For a high resolution view of several pages of this beautiful book, we have a Adobe PDF file available.
NOTE: This file is slightly larger than 7 MB. If you have a slow modem connection, it will take a while to download.
Using this book and a telescope of 4 inch or larger, you will be able to find and observe all of the Messier deep-sky objects under a reasonably dark sky. The great thing about the author of this book using a 4 inch telescope is that you can hope to reproduce what he sees and describes. Many author's use much larger telescopes than you may have which makes their descriptions of no great use to you until you get a larger scope. We like this book so well that we will always carry it in our store.

The Next Step: Finding and Viewing
Messier's Objects by Ken Graun
Price: $29.95


Touring the Universe

by Ken Graun

A Practical Guide to Exploring the Cosmos thru 2017

If there ever were to be a book that is NECESSARY
for the hobby of astronomy, THIS IS IT.

Touring the Universe Cover
The cover of this great book. This is a large field guide: 10-1/2" wide X 10-1/2" tall (26.7 cm X 26.7 cm).
It is spiral bound to lay flat and plastic coated for moisture resistance.
This book covers essentially everything in the hobby of astronomy. It starts with an "armchair" tour of the universe. This starts with a brief discussion of the planets, moons, and the rest of the solar system. It then goes on to give a description of all the types of objects outside the solar system. That includes a description of stars, nebula, clusters, and galaxies. Actual pages from this portion of the book is available in detail in the following: CLICK HERE. This file is about 1 MB so it will take a little time to download if you are using a dial-up modem.

The next portion of this books discusses observing with the naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes. There are tips to choosing binoculars and telescopes. The different types of telescopes and binoculars and things to avoid are stressed.

The next section of the book includes the star charts. A facing pages of these are shown below.

Touring the Universe COver
The left side of the chart page is the actual star chart.
Touring the Universe COver
The facing right side lists that pages deep sky objects.
The inset map of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster is shown below.
The detailed star charts open up into a large 21" wide X 10-1/2" tall (53.4 cm X 26.7 cm) spread. On each star chart page the chart is on the left and the facing page has details of deep sky objects on the opposite page. A total Map of Virgo Galaxy Cluster of 112 of the best deep sky objects are described in detail. The above map is centered on the constellation Virgo. On areas that are very crowded, like in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, additional maps are included to show the details of these areas.

The charts are large as mentioned (10-1/2" X 10-1/2") and sharp. It was necessary to reduce the size here to keep this web page loading reasonably fast. To get a view of these chart pages a little larger check below. Remember that this page has large graphics and will take a while to load if you have a dial-up modem.

Following the star charts, details on observing the moon, planets, and meteor showers are given. A detailed moon map is included along with hints on observing the moon. Dates of all moon phases are listed up to 2017 as well as details on both lunar and solar eclipses. The listing of solar eclipses concludes with the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 that will be visible from most of the United States.

Data for observing the planets are then discussed. The opposition dates for Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are given up to 2017 as well as the most favorable observing dates for Mercury and Venus. Observing details include a Mars map and feature lists on Jupiter and Saturn. Notes on finding Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are given.

This section concludes with a list of major meteor showers and a discussion of famous comets and aurora. All together this is a great book to use when you are getting started as well as a handy reference even after you are an expert.

Touring the Universe by Ken Graun
Price: $27.95


Last Updated November 30, 2011