I mentioned previously that it helps me to blog about NF books as I read them — kind of like transcribing my notes into something more coherent that my brain can recognize. Chapter 2 on Astronomy Basics in the NexStar User’s Guide II is a similar outcome. Here are some thoughts:
P.12 — Constellations…There are 88 constellations that divide the sky…I always assumed there were WAY more than that. I’m curious if each of them will fit in an EP at 50x magnification which is my smallest / lowest power option;
P.13 — Meridian…I knew horizon and zenith of course; I had not heard the term “meridian” to indicate a line going from northern celestial pole to southern celestial pole through the zenith to divide items west and east;
P.15 — Magnitude…I wasn’t aware that a 1 magnitude increase in power equaled a 2.5x increase in brightness…I guess I just assumed a flatter linear scale.
I have a Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope, and I have had some, umm, challenges dealing with alignment issues (Solving alignment problems with the Celestron NexStar 8SE). When I started surfing the ‘net to find some solutions, it didn’t take long to find out about Michael Swanson, the resident online expert for all things NexStar. He wrote the previous guide, he has an active website, he participates in online discussion forums. He’s everywhere you need him to be, except maybe in your own backyard when you’re viewing.
I finally caved and said, “Yes! I need that book!”. And then found out the new edition was about to come out. So I waited a bit, pre-ordered it, waited a bit more, finally got it, and immediately put it on my TBR pile and didn’t do anything with it. Sigh. I have about eight other astronomy books I want to devour cover to cover too, but this one is more practical. » Read the rest