Stargazing with a Telescope by Robin Scagell

Revised edition December 2004

Click on the cover to buy this book through

This book is aimed at the beginner who has either just bought a telescope for astronomy or who wants to buy one. It gives help in choosing a telescope by explaining the jargon in the ads and detailing the points to look for depending on your own circumstances. There are chapters that explain how to set it up and find your first objects in the sky, and then develop your interest by buying accessories. There is a list of objects to observe from all locations.

About the book

Does it cover...
  •     Choosing a small telescope?                                                 Yes
  •     Choosing a large telescope?                                                 Yes
  •     Which manufacturer is best?                                                 No
  •     Which telescope is best for observing planets/deep sky?      Yes
1. The Star Party
A visit to a typical gathering of amateur astronomers equipped with a range of telescopes, illustrating some of the excitement and the pitfalls of observing
2. What’s Available
Looks at the range of binoculars and telescopes you can buy, and explains the technicalities of each one in everyday language
3. Choosing Your Telescope
How to go about choosing which of the vast range is the right one for you. You can also find a brief guide below
4. Steps Towards First Light
Now you’ve got your telescope, how to begin to see things through it
5. Finding Your Way
Getting the hang of the sky, how the objects up there move over the days and seasons, and where to start looking for them
6. What to Observe, and How
A more detailed look at the actual things you can see – Sun, Moon, planets, stars, nebulae, clusters galaxies and so on; what they actually are, and how best to observe each type.
7. Buying More
A guide to the add-on goodies that you may (or may not) need – extra eyepieces, finders, photography accessories and so on
Appendix 1: Sky Maps
Six basic sky maps showing the whole sky, with help in working out which part of the sky you can see at any time
Appendix 2: Interesting Objects to Observe
Hundreds of deep-sky objects that you can see with small telescopes, with comments as to the instrument you would need to see each one.
More information and updates for readers
Help in choosing a telescope – an online guide
Telescope questions and answers
A short list of telescope reviews
    Site updated 17 May 2006