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Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet

4th Edition


  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108436076

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • Now in its fourth edition, this highly regarded book is ideal for those who wish to solve a variety of practical and recreational problems in astronomy using a scientific calculator or spreadsheet. Updated and extended, this new edition shows you how to use spreadsheets to predict, with greater accuracy, solar and lunar eclipses, the positions of the planets, and the times of sunrise and sunset. Suitable for worldwide use, this handbook covers orbits, transformations and general celestial phenomena, and is essential for anyone wanting to make astronomical calculations for themselves. With clear, easy-to-follow instructions for use with a pocket calculator, shown alongside worked examples, it can be enjoyed by anyone interested in astronomy, and will be a useful tool for software writers and students studying introductory astronomy. High-precision spreadsheet methods for greater accuracy are available at

    • Provides easy-to-understand, simplified methods for use with a calculator, and its clear presentation makes it easy to get started
    • This edition also includes a set of easy-to-use, high-precision spreadsheet methods for greater accuracy
    • Updated and fully tested methods can be applied anywhere worldwide
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The biggest change from previous editions is the inclusion of spreadsheets for nearly every calculation … All in all, this book does a good job at what it sets out to do. The formulas and algorithms are presented clearly and with an appropriate level of detail, and the spreadsheets supplement the text by showing an additional way to perform the computations without having to resort to a scientific calculator or writing your own programs.' Michael Coren,

    'This is a book replete with mathematical calculations but the opening pages to the various sections contain material of interest to the lay reader.' Spaceflight

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    Product details

    • Edition: 4th Edition
    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108436076
    • dimensions: 255 x 205 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Coordinate systems
    The Sun
    The planets, comets and binary stars
    The Moon and eclipses

  • Resources for

    Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet

    Peter Duffett-Smith, Jonathan Zwart

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  • Authors

    Peter Duffett-Smith, University of Cambridge
    Peter Duffett-Smith is a physicist by training, and a radio astronomer by trade. He is a Reader in Experimental Radio Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and is a fellow of Downing College and the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Jonathan Zwart, Columbia University, New York
    Jonathan Zwart is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory in New York, and a co-founder and former editor of Cambridge's science magazine, BlueSci.

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