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Yaesu CT-169 PC Connection Cable, Dsub 9-pin, for FT-2DR/FT-1DR
Yaesu CT-169 PC Connection Cable, Dsub 9-pin, for FT-2DR/FT-1DR
Observing for the Fun of It
Observing for the Fun of It

Observing for the Fun of It
Melanie Melton
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
P.O. Box 1612
Waukesha, WI  53187
ISBN 0-913135-26-7
104 pgs. softback

Many people share a fascination with the stars, planets, and Moon we see in the night sky. Yet, in what passes for an environmentally conscious age, most of use rarely see or notice the night sky. It is not just the Moon that mystifies us. Our city lights have erased most of the stars from the sky.

As amateur astronomers, we appreciate an opportunity to share our love of the night sky with family and friends. A recent book has appeared that is designed to help novice observers gain a better understanding of what there is to see.  Fortunately, as this book point out, you do not have to devote enormous amounts of time to enjoy the night sky. And with a little bit of study, enjoyment and understanding can be enhanced.

In the Introduction to her book, Observing for the Fun of It, Melanie Melton tells us that all that is really required are a few observing tricks, a couple of comfort items, and an occasional hour or two away from the television at night. In no time at all, we can enjoy watching meteors burning up as they enter Earth's atmosphere or show our friends how to find a couple of our favorite constellations. Observational astronomy can be as lighthearted or as serious as we wish.

Seemingly aimed at the younger reader, Observing for the Fun of It is divided into two section, "Observing the Sky with Only Your Eyes," and "Observing the Sky with a Little Help". In the first section, the reader learns about constellations, the Moon, the planets, meteor shower, eclipses, and comets. The second section describes the uses and varieties of binoculars and telescopes, and makes a comparison of the merits of both instruments. The features to look for when purchasing these pieces of equipment are explained, but as specific brands are not mentioned, we are on our own when it comes to making the final decision of what to buy.

This book is softbound, but not lavish. Instead, there are numerous line drawings to illustrate the astronomical principles described in the text. Simple exercises abound, but if you are looking for an astronomy workbook, this is not the place to be. Melton's book is more of a practical hands-on guide to learning about the sky.

Observing for the Fun of It can be recommended to those more casual or youthful readers developing an interest in astronomy.

Ed Flaspoehler
former Reflector Editor

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 27 November, 2013.
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