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Cambridge University Press: The Messier Objects

3.0 (1 Reviews) Read Reviews Write Review
Brand Cambridge University Press
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By Stephen James O`Meara; 318 pages; July 2000; ISBN: 0521553326


3.0 (Based on 1 Reviews) 100% of reviewers recommended this product.
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    1. cosmic109

      cosmic109 New Member

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      Nov 7, 2007

      3.0 The Messier Objects


      Numerical presentation of Messier Objects; Notes from Messier own entries; Scientific information.


      Confusing sketches, finder charts.


      I was attracted to this book because it was one of the first that I came across that listed the Messier objects in numerical order, and was easy to navigate using the bold black tabs with the Messier numbers in the upper corner of each page. At the time of purchase, I knew very little about the author, James O'Meara, and he was not a factor in my decision to add this book to my library. That being said, the book appears to be more of a personal presentation of the author's observations and sketches, with some notations from Messier's own entries to his catalog, with scientific info related to the object's type, constellation, RA, Dec, Mag, Diameter, Distance, and the year of discovery.

      Each Messier object is represented by a small b&w photo, the author's sketch, and a small finder chart. The sketches were as confusing as the small finder charts, and I pretty much settled on just scanning the photos and reading the side notations concerning Messier's observations. To be fair, the author did say that the purpose of the book was to get the observer to use his/her "mind's eye" to see the objects from their own personal interpretations. This may bode well for someone who has some experience with these objects, but I think a beginner may get lost pretty quickly, and wonder about what they are seeing or should be seeing.

      To make a long story short, I use this book basically as a cross reference to my other books on the Messier Objects, and rarely use it when planning my observation targets for any given night. But it does succeed in suggesting that the observer keep an open mind and try using their own personal interpretations when viewing these magnificent celestial objects.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
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