sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

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sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby mar1e » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:33 pm

I just wanted to say that since I took up astronomy 7 months ago, I have found the magazine really helpful in locating objects and advising what to look for in the night sky and the best times to look for them.
I only wish it was out 20 years ago because when I was a kid, I tried to observe the night sky but didn't have a clue of where and what to look for at any given time. I had numerous books but none were helpful enough. My family or friends weren't "into" astronomy, so I had no one to help me.... And don't forget, there was no internet then either!!
5 stars for BBC sky at night magazine!! You Rock
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby Graham Southorn » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:36 am

That's great - very kind of you to say so. That's made our day! [:)]
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby philip pugh » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:03 pm

I wasn't doing astronomy 20 years ago. I restarted in 1995 after a 20 year lay-off. Personal bias notwithstanding, there are far more books about now than when I was a kid. I'd say that some beginner books are a bit optimistic about what you can see, as they aren't taking into account that most of us observe from light polluted towns and suburbs.
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby mar1e » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi Philip, I agree with you about some beginner books being a little too optimistic.
There should be books with pics of what you will actually see through your bins or scopes. Whilst I'm on the subject, I managed to find a book and have pre-ordered it from amazon.co.uk it is called:
"Observing the Messier Objects with a Small Telescope: In the Footsteps of a Great Observer (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)", which apparently shows you what you can expect an object to look like through a small telescope. Sounds really great.

Marie
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby mar1e » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:06 pm

[quote][/quote]ha ha, funny thing, but i've just noticed the author's name on the book I'm talking about....are you the Philip Pugh that authored the book?[quote][/quote]

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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby philip pugh » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:23 am


[quote]ORIGINAL: mar1e

[quote][/quote]ha ha, funny thing, but i've just noticed the author's name on the book I'm talking about....are you the Philip Pugh that authored the book?[quote][/quote]


[/quote]

Hence the use of "personal bias notwithstanding". Yes I am a writer who specialises in the grey area between beginner and expert. I have written for mags before (not S@N) and it's often difficult to get an idea down to one or two pages.

With or without me, there's definitely a lot more books around to help. Sir Patrick and Steve Tonkin have done some good ones worth looking at.
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby mar1e » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:00 pm

thanks for the info. I will look for some books by Sir Patrick & Steve Tonkin

I feel very honoured to have "spoken" to you by the way!! Never spoken to an author of a book before!

best wishes & write some more books soon...
Marie
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RE: sky at night mag - where were you 20 years ago!!

Postby philip pugh » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:06 pm


[quote]ORIGINAL: mar1e

thanks for the info. I will look for some books by Sir Patrick & Steve Tonkin

I feel very honoured to have "spoken" to you by the way!!  Never spoken to an author of a book before!

best wishes & write some more books soon...
Marie
[/quote]

Thanks for your encouragement, Marie. Although I joke with my daughter about the "celebrity" tag, I'm just a hobbyist astronomer who has experimented with a few things. Without wishing to over "sell" myself, the thing I like about my books and ones of similar genre is that they tell you what you can see with less expensive equipment. This is also why I mentioned Sir Patrickand Steve Tonkin. Whilst I'm quite critical of beginner books in general, I own David Levy's "Skywatching" and have flicked through "Turn Left at Orion" and would recommend both. I can't remember the name of Anton Vamplew's book but it looks like we had the same idea of photographing constellations (unless his are hand-drawn).

I find cosmology interesting but think many beginner books try to do too much in describing it while explaining howto view the Moon through a small telescope in the same volume.

Well done for buying binoculars as well as a telescope.

Apart from my co-authors and contributors, I've met a couple of published writers. One is the mum of a work colleague and another attended one of my classes.
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