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Observing Variable Stars
A Guide for the Beginner

$54.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511870965

$ 54.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Variable star astronomy is one field that still allows amateur astronomers to make significant contributions to the advancement of science. Everyone can play a part in variable star observations, using a small telescope, binoculars, or even the naked eye. Written by an award-winning astronomer, Observing Variable Stars provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of variable star observation for the amateur. The book begins with advice on binoculars and telescopes, and on how and when to observe stars effectively. Levy then explains the ways in which to interpret variation in light output in terms of the life of a star, from birth to sometimes violent death. All the major variables are described and classified, as well as other variable objects such as active galaxies, asteroids, comets, and the sun. The book also illustrates how astrophysicists interpret variations in light output in terms of the evolution of stars. Observing Variable Stars contains a seasonal guide to the night sky usable in all latitudes. Throughout, practical observations serve to complement the text, making this an enjoyable, readable introduction to an exciting area of astronomy.

    • Not just a sky guide, this book suggests ways to make a real contribution to astronomy
    • Clearly written, lively style, clear star charts
    • Provides a good historical background to variable stars and those who observed the stars
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...as a simple guide for the novice observer, this volume has no rival." Astronomy

    "...successfully mixes the technical and human aspects of variable star observing and the reader is treated to a number of historical digressions that are educational in themselves." Astronomy

    "A well-written guide, by one of this country's most enthusiastic amateur astronomers..." Andrew Fraknoi, Mercury

    "If you think variable star observing is boring, this book will convince you otherwise. Most importantly, Observing Variable Stars will get you outside looking at the sky." Deep Sky

    "...marvelous and enchanting book about amateur astronomers and variable stars." Sky & Telescope

    "This new book is delightful and I learned a few new facts by reading it...The work is well researched, thought out, and executed...For those of you who have not yet been introduced to variable stars, enjoy this introduction. For those already acquainted with 'variables,' give yourself a few cloudy nights with this delightful book!" The Strolling Astronomer

    "Well presented with large, readable print, the book covers all the bases. Systematic observation is the goal, but the route is illuminated with anecdote and historic perspective." Griffith Observer

    "...This is a quality book throughout. I recommend it highly to amateurs everywhere who feel that they have passed the 'star gazing' stage and now wish to make their own personal contribution to human knowledge. The publishers are to be commended for giving David Levy the chance to make it available to a wide audience..." The Reflector

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511870965
    • contains: 96 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword
    Opening thoughts
    Acknowledgments
    Part I. Getting To Know The Sky:
    1. Beginning with the Big Dipper
    2. Magnitude, color, and distance
    3. A word on binoculars and telescopes
    4. Learning to see
    Part II. Getting To Know The Variables:
    5. Meeting the family
    6. Getting started with Cepheids
    7. Algol, the demon of autumn
    8. How to estimate a variable
    9. Names and records
    10. Observing hints
    11. Stately and wonderful
    12. Stars of challenge
    13. Bright, easy, and interesting
    14. Betelgeuse: easy and hard
    15. Not too regular
    16. Nova? What nova?
    17. Supernovae
    18. Three stars for all seasons
    19. A nova in reverse
    20. RU Lupi?
    21. Orion, the star factory
    22. Other variable things
    23. The Sun
    Part III. Suggested Variables For Observation Throughout The Year: Introduction: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, Southern sky notes
    Part IV. A Miscellany:
    24. Stars and people
    25. The next generation
    26. Going further
    Glossary and abbreviations
    Index.

  • Author

    David H. Levy

    Foreword

    Janet A. Mattei

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