Book Reviews

“Book of the Moon”.

written with so much enthusiasm as only Dr. Maggie can inpart. Bang up to date , 2018. Includes the finding of hydroxyl ( mineral water !) .

It’s very clearly detailed with everything you’ve always thought of asking . Ideal for a Christmas present and deserves a place on every stargazers book shelf. I’m probably the last person to be mad about the Moon ( devil’s light bulb ) , but this book shows it a new light ,

old Nick.

Book review of “Where the Universe came from” 2017

Published 9th of March 2017, so bang up to date. Includes the search , impact and recording of gravity waves. How often do you pick up a book and after a few years , it’s out of date on the quickly advancing field of cosmology ?

Very clear and readable. It does a very good job of summarising and tying together what the historical and current thinking is. Explains special and general relativity in a very clear way . Working from this , it goes on to tying the very small to the cosmic. The future discoveries look very exciting, we might be moving towards the theory of everything .Recommended for those cloudy nights !


Review: “Double stars for small telescopes”.


A classic , just packed with the very best binary , optical and multiple stars. There are details of historical observations and Sissy’s comments. There’s enough room to add your own notes . There are also details of what hasn’t been spotted with various apertures and a range of colours experienced.

There’s a very full introduction to observing double stars. It’s taken me on many adventures. Each constellation is accurately detailed with challenges down and just below one arc second. With light pollution , double stars are very obtainable targets in any scope.

This will kick off your adventures. More can be found on the “Eagle Creek observatory , double star “site and the very comprehensive “Star splitters” site.


The Pocket Sky Atlas: One Atlas to rule them all !

Usually abbreviated to PSA , this is essential for sky exploration. There is a newer Jumbo edition,  with slightly larger pages, but the same detail.

Messiers and the best NGC and binary targets are detailed. In the inside cover is a print of the Telrad rings . You can either use this by referring to it or copy it onto a bit of acetate.

The Atlas is very readable under a red head lamp. I added a constellation index at the front for ease. It’s spiral bound , do it won’t fall to pieces in use. I used a roll of clear vinyl self adhesive to cover each page and edges. It’s been out when the dew was dripping off everything.

There are a couple of detailed charts at the back. There is a star and Messier index. Otherwise the index details by object type, galaxies, planetary nebulae etc. This Atlas has been out with me every session for 6 years under

clear skies   !



Review , books from beginner to ” about there”!

Probably the very best beginners books out there. It’s very comprehensive with guides to equipment and constellations. Experienced observers will get a lot out of this book. It’s written at just the right novice friendly level. It’s so inspiring that you’ll be waiting for a dark clear sky.
It’s very fresh and a lovely introduction into astronomy.



img_4204 img_4205It’s difficult to find books with drawings and descriptions of deep sky objects which don’t include Hubble images. “Observing the Deep Sky” presents a lot of information of the best features of each constellations and some great advice on observing. It’s a great beginners guide which includes a chapter on double stars. If you need a realistic view of what you observe , then this is a great resource.



With lovely realistic eyepiece views and great constellation summaries, this is a book to delve a bit deeper in the sky. There’s lots of information on deep sky objects and binary stars. There are clear charts for finding targets, much better set out and explained than by ” Turn Left at Orion”.

It’s ideal to find some elusive targets and packed with relevant information and details on observing. It’s a book that you’ll return to time and again as constellations come into view. A great resource for the observer off the starting blocks.



Here’s a great book for the more experienced observer. These are indeed some little observed treasures. The author has a few similar books out and goes into great detail about historical and current observing. His writing is very entertaining with amusing figures and names he manages to conjure up from a few stars. If you ‘ve moved on from the Messier’s and would like to explore targets that are worth the time, then this is the very book.

Clear skies ! Nick.