Books 'n Links

Books, magazines, DVDs, links--
what we have used and loved or wouldn't be without.
Some of these may be available to be purchased at our programs.


365 Starry Nights : An Introduction to Astronomy for Every Night of the Year by Chet Raymo

365 Starry Nights is a unique and fascinating introduction to astronomy designed to give you a complete, clear picture of the sky every night of the year. Divided into 365 concise, illustrated essays, it focuses on the aesthetic as well as the scientific aspects of stargazing. It offers the most up-to-date information available, with hundreds of charts, drawings, and maps-that take you beyond the visible canopy of stars and constellations into the unseen realm of nebulae and galaxies. 


Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey

Containing star charts, a guide to the constellations, and details about seasons and the movement of the objects we see in the sky, this classic book makes H. A. Rey’s passion for astronomy evident on every page. Second edition updates concentrate on the planetary and solar system information in the latter part of the book. Facts and figures for each planet have been revised, and new scientific information has been added, such as Pluto’s reclassification as a dwarf planet. (Children's book)


 The Stars by H. A. Rey

Containing star charts, a guide to the constellations, and details about seasons and the movement of the objects we see in the sky, this classic book makes H. A. Rey’s passion for astronomy evident on every page. Second edition updates concentrate on the planetary and solar system information in the latter half of the book. Facts and figures for each planet have been revised, and new scientific information has been added, including sections on earth-asteroid collisions, black holes, supernovas, the Kuiper Belt (asteroid belt beyond Neptune), Pluto’s reclassification, and how the moon was formed.


Star Watch: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Finding, observing, and Learning about Over 125 Celestial Objects by Philip S. Harrington 

Your Passport to the Universe

The night sky is alive with many wonders—distant planets, vast star clusters, glowing nebulae, and expansive galaxies, all waiting to be explored. Let respected astronomy writer Philip Harrington introduce you to the universe in Star Watch, a complete beginner's guide to locating, observing, and understanding these celestial objects. You'll start by identifying the surface features of the Moon, the banded cloud tops of Jupiter, the stunning rings of Saturn, and other members of our solar system. Then you'll venture out beyond our solar system, where you'll learn tips and tricks for finding outstanding deep-sky objects from stars to galaxies, including the entire Messier catalog—a primary goal of every serious beginner.
Star Watch features a detailed physical description of each target, including size, distance, and structure, as well as concise directions for locating the objects, handy finder charts, hints on the best times to view each object, and descriptions of what you'll really see through a small telescope or binoculars and with the naked eye.
Star Watch will transport you to the farthest depths of space—and return you as a well-traveled, experienced stargazer.


 Simple Stargazing: A First-Time Skywatcher's Guide by Anton Vamplew

A fun and informative skywatcher's guide for the astronomy novice
This book will make sense of the night sky for beginners of all ages. And contrary to popular belief, you don't need expensive equipment to start skygazing. The author introduces the night sky just as if he were by your side, pointing out all the things you can discover with the naked eye.

The book begins with a getting-started section and then takes you through the northern and southern hemispheres, covering what you can see from wherever you are in the world. With full-color illustrations and clear, informative text, Simple Stargazing is the perfect tool for the budding skywatcher. Inside you will find photographs, charts, and illustrations to help you explore the night sky; sources for further reading and research; and a glossary of terms.


Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope - and How to Find Them by Guy Consolmagno, Dan M. Davis

A guidebook for beginning amateur astronomers, Turn Left at Orion provides all the information you need to observe the Moon, the planets and a whole host of celestial objects. Large format diagrams show these objects exactly as they appear in a small telescope and for each object there is information on the current state of our astronomical knowledge.
Revised and updated, this new edition contains a chapter describing spectacular deep sky objects visible from the southern hemisphere, and tips on observing the upcoming transits of Venus. It also includes a discussion of Dobsonian telescopes, with hints on using personal computers and the internet as aids for planning an observing session. Unlike many guides to the night sky, this book is specifically written for observers using small telescopes. Clear and easy-to-use, this fascinating book will appeal to skywatchers of all ages and backgrounds. No previous knowledge of astronomy is needed.


Exploring the Night Sky: The Equinox Astronomy Guide for Beginners by Terence Dickinson
Exploring the Night Sky is aimed at novice star gazers anxious to expand their astronomical repertoire beyond the Big and Little Dippers. Dickinson has designed a superb introduction to astronomy that is clear, concise, beautifully illustrated, and very "user friendly" no matter what the child's age. (Children's book)


Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users by Gary Seronik

Binocular Highlights is a tour of 99 different celestial sights - from softly glowing clouds of gas and dust to unusual stars, clumps of stars, and vast star cities (galaxies) - all visible in binoculars. Each object is plotted on a detailed, easy-to-use star map, and most of these sights can be found even in a light-polluted sky. Also included are four seasonal all-sky charts that help locate each highlight. You don't need fancy or expensive equipment to enjoy the wonders of the night sky. In fact, as even experienced stargazers know, to go beyond the naked-eye sky and delve deep into the universe, all you need are binoculars - even the ones hanging unused in your closet. If you don't own any, Binocular Highlights explains what to look for when choosing binoculars for stargazing and provides observing tips for users of these portable and versatile mini-telescopes.


The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide: With Complete Maps, Charts and Tips to Guide You to Enjoying the Most Famous List of Deep-Sky Objects by H. C. Pennington

Each year, many amateur astronomers do the Messier Marathon - a mad dash to observe all 109 Messier objects in a single moonless night in late March or early April. Amateur astronomer Pennington helps you train for the race by learning bright star and constellation "finders" that will help you locate each object. Tips for rapid telescope pointing and field identification and a variety of maps, drawings, and descriptions are included. The Messier Marathon is a great way to test your sky knowledge - and this book is your personal trainer!


Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas by Roger W. Sinnott

This 80-chart atlas contains more than 30,000 stars to magnitude 7.6 and approximately 1,500 deep-sky objects (including 675 galaxies to magnitude 11.5). Included are extra close-up charts of the Orion Nebula, Pleiades, Virgo Galaxy Cluster, and Large Magellanic Cloud. 


A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations and their Legends by Roger W. Sinnott

A Walk through the Heavens is a beautiful and easy-to-use guide to the constellations of the northern hemisphere. By following the unique simplified maps, readers will be able to easily find and identify the constellations and the stars within them. Ancient myths and legends of the sky are retold, adding to the mystery of the stars. Written for the complete beginner, this practical guide introduces the patterns of the starry skies in a memorable way. No equipment is needed, apart from normal sight and clear skies. Milton D. Heifetz is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University of Southern California and visiting professor at Harvard Medical School. This is his first astronomy book. Wil Tirion is the author of numerous sky guides, including The Cambridge Guide to Stars and Planets (1997), The Cambridge Star Atlas (1996), and The Monthly Sky Guide (Cambridge, 2003).


SkyWatch, the annual companion to Sky & Telescope magazine, is a complete guide to observing the night sky. It's easy for beginners to understand, but also contains lots of information that's useful to the most experienced observers, including capsule summaries and maps showing the main sky events for each month of the year. It also includes observing guides to the Moon, Sun, planets, and deep-sky objects. The theme of SkyWatch 2012 is astronomy in motion. We explain how to observe and capture the universe's dynamic nature through observation, still photography, and video.

The world's best-selling astronomy magazine offers you the most exciting, visually stunning, and timely coverage of the heavens above. Each monthly issue includes expert science reporting, vivid color photography, complete sky coverage, spot-on observing tips, informative telescope reviews, and much more! All this in an easy-to-understand, user-friendly style that's perfect for astronomers at any level. 

Let our experts teach you the magic of the night sky. With Sky & Telescope you'll receive in-depth information about the latest eyepieces, telescopes, and CCDs. Learn the sky with our easy-to-use charts. And our science coverage will keep you up-to-date on the latest discoveries.

Iowa County Astronomers meet monthly in Dodgeville, WI, for stargazing. The club calendar at the website lists stargazing events for this year and beyond.  
News about astronomy and space exploration. 
Tells you where and when to look for the International Space Station and other satellites passing overhead in your location.

Gives a reliable forecast of stargazing conditions for your location. 
Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Universe in the Park brings UW astronomers to Wisconsin state parks for a presentation and stargazing in the summer.

A "latest news" site.