Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders

Book Review by John Smith

Where was this book when I started as a novice observer? I've used several resources and acquired many types of astronomical media to learn my way around the sky. I even picked up a few myths along the way. Learn more at Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders explains all you need to know about observing, the equipment you'll need, and an observing guide for five Astronomical League lists and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Finest NGC List.

The first sixty-four pages consist of a chapter on fundamentals of observing and a chapter on observing equipment. Green highlighting at the bottom of the page indicate important facts. The bulk of the book is an observing guide that takes you through fifty constellations and shows you how to find every object on the Astronomical League Messier list, binocular Messier and deep sky binocular list, urban observing list, double star list, and the Royal Astronomical Society one hundred ten finest NGC list. A total of four hundred objects. Each constellation page has a chart with all the objects from the lists, a whole constellation chart, a detailed finder chart and a description on how to find each object. There are visual and difficulty ratings along with many other facts associated with each object also.

The book is meant for use in the field and can be read using a red flashlight under a dark sky. The pages of the book are designed to stay open when set on a table, they look semi dew proof but I wouldn't want them do get saturated. I would recommend this book for anyone starting out in astronomy who wants to observe the night sky. This book is also recommended for intermediate observing and anyone who wants a quick reference for many beautiful objects in the sky.

Published in the December 2007 issue of the NightTimes