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Real Astronomy with Small Telescopes: Step-by-Step Activities for Discovery (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)

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From the reviews:

"The dozens of projects collected here are a combination of observations suitable for current research (such as classifying sun-spots or monitoring binary stars) and recreating classic experiments (such as determining the speed of light by timing Jupiter’s moons). … Besides ample nuggets for science projects, a motivated amateur will gain understanding by doing the work, and … add purpose to his or her observations." (Stuart J. Goldman, Sky & Telescope, May, 2007)

"Amateurs and students using relatively small telescopes can and do contribute useful data to many areas of astronomy. The subtitle Step-by-Step Activities for Discovery is an accurate depiction of what is provided to help novices do just that. Charts, diagrams, photographs of setups, and background information for a variety of observations are included. … Summing Up: Recommended. General reader; lower-division undergraduates; faculty." (D. H. Gifford, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), August, 2007)

This book is about using an 80mm refractor / 90mm Maksutov (such as a Helios 80 or Meade ETX90) as more than a "quick look" instrument, but rather something capable of use as an introduction to scientific observations. Emphasis is on measurement and discovery activities rather than on casual observing. There are two objectives to these activities: to re-enact the process of discovery and to provide amateur observers with the knowledge and skill that will help them make genuine contributions to the field of astronomy.

It is often said that users of small telescopes can conduct worthwhile scientific work, but ‘how’ is seldom explained except in the context of observations carried out by the most advanced amateur astronomers. This book provides the necessary introduction – derived from the author’s many year of experience in teaching the subject – that will be the starting point for serious work.

Users will find many activities and projects suitable for an 80mm refractor or 90mm reflector or Maksutov that have not been published elsewhere.

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