Posted on Friday, November 14, 2014
By Kadri

Viewing and Imaging the Solar System by Jane Clark

If you happen to be a young amateur astronomer just starting out with astronomy and observing, then this book might be a good read on a cloudy night when you're waiting for the sky to clear up.

In a rather short guide-book style, "Viewing and Imaging the Solar System" gives a quick and short overview of what a beginner observer might need to know or think of before heading outside on a cold clear night.

The conversational style and practical tips in the book make it a fun read even for more experienced observers, but might not give much new information.

The book deals with such topics as what you can see in the night sky - which planets you might encounter and which you might be able to see only with a large aperture telescope with good seeing.

Also the equipment for observations is discussed - not just what a telescope is and how and why their used, but also more detailed look into the mounts and some of the accessories. But also some parts of equipment that for beginners usually would go unnoticed - the choice of clothing for a night of observations.

I found that part in the book really important and as it is for beginners, it's quite excellent - if you first read this book and then start to plan your observations, you won't end up going out at night to observe in tennis-shoes and shorts, but rather something warmer even in summertime.

In addition to the information needed for starting out with observations, one can also read about photographing planets and the Moon, or about the basic astronomy of the solar system and cosmology as well.

At times the book feels a lot like a conversation with the author, going from the easiest topics to more advanced at a fast pace - if you want to start out a new hobby of astrophotography without any prior knowledge about the night sky, it's the book to go to.


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