Pearls of the Southern Skies: A Journey to Exotic Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies (Hardback)
  • Pearls of the Southern Skies: A Journey to Exotic Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies (Hardback)
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Pearls of the Southern Skies: A Journey to Exotic Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies (Hardback)

(author), (photographer)
£25.00
Hardback 176 Pages / Published: 27/11/2014
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A rare look at the southern skies' greatest glories. The celestial objects of the Southern Hemisphere are fascinating to astronomers everywhere. The southern stars, nebulae, and galaxies have exotic names like Omega Centauri, the Tarantula Nebula, Canopus, the Vela Supernova, the Coal Sack, and the Magellanic Clouds. And there's more: the Southern Milky Way is crammed with clusters and nebulae of great interest to resident astronomers of the southern hemisphere, and to the many visitors from the north who relish the opportunities to view the clear, dark skies of the interiors of southern Africa and Australia with binoculars, telescopes and cameras. Pearls of the Southern Skies depicts 71 Deep Sky Objects photographed by Dieter Willasch and described in detail by Auke Slotegraaf. The text and pictures are laid out season by season, and accompanied by 15 easy-to-use full-colour location charts.

Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781770854451
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 1089 g
Dimensions: 210 x 298 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Weighing just over 1 kg, it's a bit heavy for the suitcase, but that is more than adequately compensated by the high quality of the 71 beautiful full-size colour plates. These are arranged according to the season and RA, and have been chosen subjectively for their prominence in the southern sky. Even the orientation of each image on the page is done aesthetically, as the authors point out. Facing each picture there is a page of text explaining, amongst other things, how to find the object, what one can expect to see, who discovered it, and what the object actually is. The RA and Dec. (presumably at Epoch 2000'0), scale, and catalogue designations are also given; and, importantly, a table at the back gives details of the source, the camera, and the processing used for each image. A comprehensive set of appendices gives just about everything the reader could want, including a summary of the lives of stars, the properties of the different classes of object, a bibliography, and tables to relate object names (some of them informal) to catalogue designations... This book is a splendid compendium of images of southern, deep-sky objects, and it would be well-suited to a domestic coffee table, an airport lounge, or a travel-agent's office. I found the book inspiring.-- (06/01/2015)
Slotegraaf and Willasch provide the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere with a window onto the world south of the celestial equator. To orient readers to the astrological context, the book is prefaced by a wide-field photograph of the southern Milky Way from Sagittarius to Canis Major. The format is straightforward with the 71 objects, moving from right ascension, explored in a spread each, with a full-page color photo on the left page and a lucid description on the right. The targets are of an amazing diversity, from the Tarantula Nebula to the Omega Centauri. Located at the bottom of the right page is descriptive information, for example, catalog designations, object type, coordinates, and constellations. An appendix includes brief descriptions of major topics: life cycles of stars, planetary nebulae, galaxy clusters, and supernovae. An excellent overview of an astronomical world hidden from northern eyes, sure to appeal to astronomy buffs.-- (11/15/2014)

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