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The Complete Guide to the Herschel Objects

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  • 600 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 592 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 1.4 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 522
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QB64 .B736 2011
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Astronomy--Observers' manuals
    • Stars--Clusters--Observers' manuals
    • Nebulae--Observers' manuals
    • Herschel, William,--1738-1822

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521768924)

Sir William Herschel's contributions to astronomy during the late eighteenth century are unrivalled. His lasting legacy is his dedicated all-sky survey of star clusters and nebulae, and these objects continue to be among the most studied in the night sky. This unique book provides a complete re-examination of Herschel's entire catalogue of non-stellar discoveries, making it the most accurate and up-to-date reference of its kind. Retrace the footsteps of one of history's greatest astronomers and explore every one of Herschel's landmark discoveries, including those considered to be lost or non-existent. Read detailed notes about each object's appearance and physical characteristics, and view hundreds of photos of the most intriguing Herschel objects, along with dozens of sketches of what is visible at the eyepiece. This superb book is a must-have for amateur astronomers seeking new and exciting observing challenges, and as the ultimate reference on the Herschel objects.

• Accurate and up-to-date guide to Herschel's entire catalogue of non-stellar discoveries • Illustrated with hundreds of photos of the most intriguing Herschel objects and dozens of sketches of what is visible at the eyepiece • The perfect companion to The Cambridge Atlas of Herschel Objects by James Mullaney and Wil Tirion


Introduction; 1. The telescope maker; 2. The deep sky before Herschel; 3. Surveyor of the skies; 4. The Herschel catalogue; General references; Index.


'Deep-sky observers will appreciate this comprehensive guide that offers clear descriptions of the visual telescopic appearance of each one of the over 2400 Herschel objects. Wisely using NGC designations throughout, author Mark Bratton has produced a meticulous and highly useful contribution to amateur astronomy. Highly recommended.' Terence Dickinson, Editor, SkyNews magazine

'Some books have already appeared about the 2500 deep sky objects discovered by William Herschel in the late eighteenth century, but Mark Bratton's The Complete Guide to the Herschel Objects is an exceptional one. It comprehensively covers the subject, giving an inspiring combination of history, theory and practical observing. The historical part describes the pre-Herschel findings, Herschel's telescopes, observing methods and his many discoveries. This valuable information establishes the basis for Bratton's own observations of the Herschel objects, made with various telescopes from different sites. The presented results show his great experience as a visual observer. This well organized book is an important tool for anyone interested in deep sky objects, both from the historical and practical point of view.' Wolfgang Steinicke, author of Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters

'… as a guide to the Herschel objects this book is excellent. I would definitely recommend it to all deep sky observers and those interested in the historical aspect of deep sky observing, particularly William Herschel's contribution. If you're a serious deep sky observer who has advanced beyond the Messiers and are doing the Herschel Objects (the Herschel 400 is often viewed as the 'next step'), then this book is for you. Highly recommended.'

'4 stars: This in-depth guide takes the reader through a fascinating history of William Herschel: the man, the observer and the telescope maker … a well researched reference book.' BBC Sky at Night Magazine

'Bratton is spot-on with every reference. The Herschel story of a musician turned astronomer has been written up many times, however, Bratton has taken the practical route: context of observing sties, telescope maker and observer. This is unique and gets straight down to business … illustrations are well researched and superbly distributed within the text …meticulously researched and there is an outstanding attention to detail throughout.' Astronomy Now

'… nicely produced … This book can be recommended to anyone with an interest in what Herschel did, and to all deep-sky observers.' The Observatory

'… the catalogue of objects is a magnificent achievement that would have delighted William (and Caroline) Herschel.' Michael Hoskin, Journal for the History of Astronomy

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