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books and charts

From time to time questions come in about what books or chart resources the @stro pages recommends. Since that's the case, this page was added to discuss some books that we liked a lot and what those books are helpful with. Ask questions or suggest reading to us any time!

If you want to purchase any of these books I recommend because I've had a good experience with them so far. Click on the image of the book and you'll be forwarded to their website to get more purchase information.

astronomy books:
astronomy for dummiesAstronomy for Dummies, 1999, Stephen Maran, Ph.D.. This book is currently being reviewed. So far it seems very promising. It is certainly geared for the beginner, but I suspect that there will be some tidbits worth reading about for most intermediates and even some advanced. It seems to be a good book to get a broad arena of astronomical facts and information. click here to buy it from
A Brief History of Time A Brief History of Time, 1998, 10th anniv. edition, Stephen Hawking. Authored by one of the preeminent physicists of our time, this book is intended to explain current cosmology. click here to buy it from
The Facts on File Dictionary of Astronomy The Facts on File Dictionary of Astronomy, 1995, Valerie Illingworth. This is a recommend listing of quick facts and figures on astronomy. Wondering what is more dense: a neutron star or a white dwarf? This book can tell you. (Its the neutron star, by the way.) click here to buy it from
Math Applied to Space Science Math Applied to Space Science, 1998, REA Staff. This book is interesting in its applications of math to all manner of space related problems, from orbits to acceleration, etc. This has only been lightly reviewed to this point, but it seems pretty good. Its recommended as a good resource for the motivated high school or college student looking for a place to spend some "quality time" with their math. click here to buy it from
Where Does the Weirdness Go? Where Does the Weirdness Go? : Why Quantum Mechanics Is Strange, but Not As Strange As You Think, 1997, David Lindley. Recommended text for non-mathmaticians to explain the ideas behind quantum theory. click here to buy it from
telescope making books:
Amateur Telescope Making v.1Amateur Telescope Making (3 volume series - #1 is pictured), 1996, Albert Ingalls. This series of books was first put out by Scientific American in the 1940's. It was reorganized and published again in 1996, much to the delight of an entirely new generation of ATM'ers. This series has long been thought of as "the Bible" for telescope making and is usually highly recommended for any ATM library. The first book carries you through most of the basics and the other two augment and add more detail to other topics in ATM'ing. If you can only afford one, buy the first one and build on as you go. This might be harder to find, so you can start at, but if that doesn't work go to Willmann-Bell and see if they have it.
How to Make a Telescope How to Make a Telescope, 1984, Jean Texereau, et. al. First printed back in the 1920's and updated in 1984, this book has long been a staple of amateur telescope makers and is on the short list of highly recommend resources. click here to buy it from or go to Willmann-Bell.
Build Your Own Telescope Build Your Own Telescope, 1993, Richard Berry. This is probably the best "starter" book on the market. Berry makes reading and understanding the basics of telescope making very easy. In this book he describes how to make several different telescope mounts and mirrors of different sizes. He also gives a very good primer on making mirrors. This book is highly recommended for beginners because of its easy to understand format covering all of the basics. click here to buy it from or go to Willmann-Bell.
Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes, 1994, Harold Suiter. This is another one of those recommended books for the ATM shelf. While testing with a variety of methods while producing a good mirror is essential, the "star test" is where the rubber meets the road and no mirror should be declared done without subjecting it to this type of test. click here to buy it from
The Dobsonian Telescope The Dobsonian Telescope, 1997, David Kriege and Richard Berry. This is a must have book for anyone considering a large aperture Dobsonian telescope. This book specializes in the truss-tube style of Dobsonian telescope as David Kriege, proprieter of Obsession Telescopes, seemingly gives away his secrets on how to build the very scopes he sells. Excellent book on design and difficulties of producing a quality scope. click here to buy it from or go to Willmann-Bell.
Celestron Sky MapsCelestron Sky Maps, Celestron, Inc. Where to order this product on the web is currently being researched. The one that's imaged was purchased from OPT in Oceanside, CA, and they do mail order, so you can try there. It is a very good, basic, and simple sky map to use. It is especially recommended for first timers trying to learn the night sky, but even veterans will appreciate it if they forget their Andromeda from their Gemini. Price was somewhere around $10-15. Try OPT or email with a better place to order it from.
Contact by Carl SaganContact, 1997 (mass market edition), Carl Sagan. This book was made into a wonderful movie. Highly recommended! Interesting twists and a genuine look into the world of science and cosmology. click here to buy it from
Pale Blue Dot by Carl SaganPale Blue Dot, 1997, Carl Sagan. Called "inspirational" and "interesting" Sagan gives humans the big picture and puts our existence in the universe into perspective. From a reviewer: "Sagan then introduces you to the wonders awaiting us when we move off our dot and explore the solar system and surrounding stars. It's a magnificent journey filled with all the wonders that the cosmos has to offer." Good reading. click here to buy it from
general interest books:
Laboratory NotebookLaboratory Notebook #1201 from Scientific Notebook Company. This company certainly went the extra mile with our last order. Inside this notebook, which was really designed for patent protection, are 96 numbered pages of quadrille (graph) paper bound into a nice book. It is excellent for observation logs, telescope design drafting, journals and anything else for which you need a nice writing interface. click here to buy it from Scientific Notebook

about the affiliates program: If you click on the links pointing to the website we'd like to let you know that this website is an affiliate. Yes, we make a few pennies on the sales referals we help to generate with our recommendations. If this presents an ethical or moral issue for you please continue on to without the links and search for the titles that are mentioned above. Ultimately the goal of this website is to encourage astronomy, not to make a buck off of book sales!

also...These reviews and recommendations are provided "AS-IS" and just because they are here doesn't mean that these materials are 100% accurate OR that you'll like them. It is the opinion of the @stro pages that these books are worth merit and investigation but NO measure of happiness is guaranteed or implied.

Clear skies,
the @stro pages

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