On these pages we try to give some advice on astronomy books. In particular we will highlight some on the books we have found most useful. If you have a favourite you’d like us to review please let us know.
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Star Ware is a classic book, now in its 3rd edition, which covers all things to do with telescopes and binoculars for astronomy. Assuming you've followed the basic advice on our website about choosing telescopes and binoculars there really is no better place to look. The book starts covering the basics of telescopes, then has a nice section on the history of astronomical telescopes.
The main section of the book is dedicated to providing advice on choosing a specific model of telescope or binoculars. Unusually for astronomy books the author goes into great detail on individual makes and models of telescope. This is both the book's great strength and weakness. It is a strength because there is so much information there, based on the author's own experience and user reviews submitted via his website , you simply won't find this level of detail anywhere else. The weakness is that because telescopes are developing so quickly at the moment, the information is not always up to date. For example, there is not much coverage on GOTO telescopes, where these are hugely popular. Having said that a new edition of the book is planned for early 2007, and additional information is available on the author's website.
In addtion to all that information there are sections covering eyepieces, accessories and a number of areas of interest. There are even a number of DIY projects described, although I suspect these may be difficult to implement from the descriptions and diagrams included in the book. Overall the book looks quite 'old-fashioned' in format with black and white photographs and illustrations, however the information included more than makes up for it. It will be interesting to see what improvements the 2007 edition brings. If you are contemplating spending a significant amount of your money on a telescope, it is definitely worth getting hold of a copy of this book before you do.