Anyone own a copy of Binocular Astronomy by Craig Crossen and Will Tirion? I am considering buying this book. Thanks. Bruce. The oversight was particularly dumb since I have Crossen’s Binocular Astronomy on the bookshelf next to me, I’ve corresponded with Bill. Results 1 – 24 of 24 Binocular Astronomy by Crossen, Craig, Tirion, Wil and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at.

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Others go unmentioned because they are too large. What I am writing about now is something that started out as an uncomfortable feeling that I was missing out on something, then grew to become an interest and a motivation, and has finally come to be the framework in which I think. The first time I explained it to anyone else was with my friend and fellow observer Steve Sittig about a month ago, and the second time was astronomj the binoculad I gave at the Three Rivers Foundation star party last month.

IMO Book Review: Binocular Astronomy

This is where we all start out. RA 18 51, Dec An important clue that this is something I should be thinking about came when I first observed M97 and M Here are two objects of roughly equal brightness, easily framed in the same field of view in binoculars and telescopes, that are in fact at vastly different scales and distances.

From the perspective of any observers in M, looking across the intervening 46 million light years, the distance between our solar system and M97 would be unresolvably small. Adding the distances reveals some things. At only 25 light years distant, Vega is in fact closer to us than it is to any of the other stars or DSOs in the field.

The other two stars in the triangle are about equally far away, roughly light years, and the other three stars in the parallelogram are ranged between and light years distant. M57 is a bihocular further, but M56 is way further out, almost a third of way across the galaxy. Even from M56, our own Sun and all the stars of Lyra would blend into the faint background of field stars that saturate the Orion Spur.

Asteonomy they are foraging, army ants go binodular from their bivouacs in straight lines, eating everything they binoculag catch along the way, and come back the same way, just like an observer looking at Lyra. We might suspect that to be so bright and so rich at that great distance, the cluster must have many, many stars, and indeed it does, a whopping of them.


I illustrated this with a map of our galaxy laser-etched into a cube of crystal. And everything I do learn, every step up the long road to the stars, deepens the experience of observing for me. But in fact it has nothing to do with the central bulge of the Milky Way galaxy. The galactic center is 27, light years away from us, and M11 is only a little overa bit over one-fifth of the way.

Instead of being part of the galactic center, M11 is one of the clusters that marks the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way, which is the next arm inward, between us and the galactic center. M11 is still out in the burbs, with us, not downtown. In contrast, the globular clusters in Sagittarius, Scorpio, and Ophiuchus actually are related to the galactic center — they are swinging by it, like comets sweeping past the Sun, on incredibly long, elliptical orbits that carry them tens or hundreds of thousands of light years out into the galactic halo.

We all have to stand and walk before we can run, and finding things in the night sky is the first step. But as a community, we have people on this alreadynot only in the vast majority of existing observing guides, but also in the observing features — including most of my own!

There crossrn also resources that address Level 2.

Binocular Astronomy by Crossen and Tirion

Things get better — a bit — when we get beyond our own galaxy and observe others. The Astronomical League has an observing program for the Local Group and galactic neighborhood, for example. And lots of observing guides and articles on the Virgo Cluster include some basic astrophysical data, including the fact that M87 is a monster elliptical and the central galaxy of the cluster.

A diagram I drew to help get my head around the shape of the galaxy and our place in it. Based on images and data from NASA. There is ccrossen book that does address the internal structure of the Milky Way, albeit more from an astrophysical than observing perspective.

A couple of decades on, I assume that at least some of the information in the book has been superseded by new discoveries. This is what I get for posting in the middle of the night. Several commenters reminded me of resources that do address Level 3 binoculat I forgot to mention.

Chalk this up to tiredness — I certainly meant no slight to the other observers and authors who have trod this path before me. May a thousand gardens grow. I started as a purely recreational observer, and stargazing for no more noble purpose than personal aesthetic enjoyment still occupies a lot of time out under the stars.


It also, eventually, fired the curiosity and the hunger for a more informed and encompassing view of the universe. I see these approaches as complementary rather than conflicting. Each of us that wants to understand the structure of the cosmos on this level will bunocular to build our own mental model to play with and learn from. And we need raw material.

Those observing guides, books, and articles that never get beyond Level 1 or Level 2 are still good and useful things: Everything is potential grist for the mill.

I have recommended the monthly Evening Sky Map to countless people as a way for them to learn the sky. Posted in Deep sky observingDistancesAstonomy philosophy. Lyra is a good area in which to do this, with objects as close as Vega — a scant 25 light years away — and as distant as the globular cluster M56, which lies 33, light years away.

Reblogged this on tabletkitabesi. I read the other day that virtual reality may be the cutting edge of computer evolution in upcoming years.

Imagine walking through such a V-R sim! Astronomh uses galactic coords to produce an orthographic view of the Messier objects similar to your sketch. I was all set to look for a spreadsheet of objects with RA, DEC, and distance to use to make a 3d plot but found out someone Bill Tschumy had already done it! Argh, how stupid of me. I will update the post accordingly when I get time.

Thank you, all, for the reminders!

Binocular astronomy – Craig Crossen, Wil Tirion – Google Books

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