May 19, 2004

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A New Observing Guide


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A New Observing Guide

Can you think of an observers guide to the Moon? There are a bunch of books to be read indoors - from Moore's classic 1953 Guide to the Moon to my recent The Modern Moon: A Personal View, but there aren't any/many handy sized guides to take to the telescope. Now there is one. Firefly Books has just published an 192 page Moon Observer's Guide by Peter Grego, the enthusiastic British observer. It is 5"x8"x0.5", softbound and easy to slip into a back pocket. Following a 62 page description of lunar geology (refreshingly, mostly right - but the dark collar around Tycho is dark impact melt, not a ballistic shadow zone) and equipment guide, there are 75 pages describing the Moon night by night, and then chapters on how to draw and image the Moon, eclipses and space exploration of the Moon. For each day of a lunation there are two airbrush drawings about 2" wide and 5" long covering areas near the terminator. I have never seen this airbrushed map before (credited to John Murray @ Phillips) but it is quite good. At least I think it is - it is really too small to use easily, making identification of named craters difficult. The descriptions for each day are traditional, stating what features look like, rather than explaining their origin and significance. I hope future editions will include a schematic map or photo that names the mare and a few main craters. All in all, Moon Observer's Guide is a handy intro and ought to help folks gets started in observing the Moon. And unlike many books it carries a very reasonable price: $14.95 list. I'm glad I bought a copy!

Related Links:
Amazon - Look Inside

Yesterday's LPOD: Southern Sea

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Tunnel Thru the Moon?

Author & Editor:
Charles A. Wood



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