This book is intended for amateur astronomers who are readers of Sky & Telescope magazine or similar astronomy periodicals – or are at least at the same level of knowledge and enthusiasm. In particular, those of us who have reached a point where enjoyment is fading because the challenges have run out will appreciate it, because it takes such people to the "next level" in observational astronomy.
It begins with teaching astronomers to use their most important astronomy tool, their eyes. Then it discusses how to select the right telescope – taking into account that everyone is unique – and shows readers how to set up and care for their instruments. Subsequent chapters take the readers on a tour of the solar system as they have never viewed it before… through their own eyes. We start close to home with the hidden treasures of the Moon, on to investigate the power of the Sun, incredibly hot Mercury, the subtleties of Venus, the changing surface of Mars, the outer solar system and then on into deep space. Each chapter includes a series of observing challenges that will entertain and push the reader to continually higher levels of achievement.
Amateur astronomers will learn, through this book, many of the same lessons that professionals learned as they conducted similar observations.