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9781554071470_cover Enlarge Cover
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list price: $35.00
also available: Paperback Hardcover
category: Science
published: Sep 2006
publisher: Firefly Books


A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

by Terence Dickinson, foreword by Timothy Ferris, illustrated by Adolf Schaller

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0 of 5
0 ratings
list price: $35.00
also available: Paperback Hardcover
category: Science
published: Sep 2006
publisher: Firefly Books

Revised Fourth Edition: updated for use through 2025.

The first three editions of NightWatch sold more than 600,000 copies, making it the top-selling stargazing guide in the world for the last 20 years. The key feature of this classic title is the section of star charts that are cherished by backyard astronomers everywhere. Each new edition has outsold the previous one because of thorough revisions and additional new material.

NightWatch has been acclaimed as the best general interest introduction to astronomy. The fourth edition has improvements over the 3rd edition in every chapter, including:

  • The famous charts, ideal for stargazers using a small telescope or binoculars
  • A complete update of the equipment section, including computerized telescopes
  • An enlarged photography section, including how-to instructions for using the new generation of digital cameras for astronomical photography, both with and without a telescope
  • The tables of future solar and lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions and planet locations, updated through 2025.

This edition includes star charts for use in the southern hemisphere. There are also dozens of new photographs throughout the book that show the latest thrilling discoveries made by current space observatories and probes.


Contributor Notes

Terence Dickinson is the best-selling author of 14 other astronomy books, including The Backyard Astronomer's Guide and Hubble's Universe. He has received many national and international science awards, including the New York Academy of Science Book of the Year Award.


Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
10 to 17
5 to 12
Editorial Reviews

A great overall book for the stargazing hobbyist.

— St Paul Pioneer Press

This is probably the best handbook for the beginning astronomer.

— The Examiner (Peterborough)

[Globe and Mail 2006 Holiday Gift Book selection] Remains perhaps the best book available for amateur astronomers, and makes fascinating browsing even if you never put eye to telescope.

— Globe and Mail

[Review-of-previous-edition:] [Nightwatch was] a clear, concise manual for backyard stargazing that also managed to convey the excitement of astronomy. This fantastically revised edition continues that tradition, but now includes sky maps for observers in the southern hemisphere and a guide to celestial phenomena up to 2018. The best introduction around.

— New Scientist

[Review-of-previous-edition:] Absolutely the best book for beginners.

— Library Journal

Some astronomy books become trusted friends; sun-baked, dew-drenched companions, their well-thumbed, fact-filled pages tattered with time. This fourth edition is just such a book. First published in 1983 but now updated and expanded, it will please loyal backyard astronomers and entice newbies seeking a first complete guide... A skilled observer and accomplished astrophotographer, the author knows what's out there and how to best see it.

— BBC Sky at Night Magazine

If Canadians look at the sky more than anyone else in the world, it's thanks to one of our own....NightWatch, now in its fourth edition, has become a staple in many Canadian cottages and amateur astronomers' bookshelves along with his popular The Backyard Astronomer's Guide. The book has also quietly gone on to be the bestselling stargazer's guide in the world, having been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek and other languages, and selling a stead 25,000 copies or more a year around the world.

— The Whig-Standard

Another must-have....

— My San Antonio Times (mysa.com)

Renowned author and astronomer Terence Dickinson took Grade 5 and 6 students from the [North Bay] area through the universe to make snowballs from water and ice particles that make up Saturn's rings, and visit the red liquid methane lakes of its moon, Titan.... "I'm hoping that they'll walk away with excitement about the universe," he said." It's a subject that young people are not discarding. They're living with it. They're interested in it. And they know a lot."

— The North Bay Nugget

A paramount book of sky objects... easy and understandable. This practical guide is a must for the science classroom teacher, the beginning or amateur astronomer, and young and old students of the night. The author gives a sensible, realistic perspective on night sky viewing. I believe this is the best book in its field available to amateurs.

— The Science Teacher

General interest introduction to astronomy now in its fourth edition... bends the mind with information.

— Victoria Times-Colonist

This book is widely regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers. If you buy this book for no other reason that to help you find the North Star, so that you can take images of Star Trails, then it'll be worth your money.

— Garry Black Photography (GarryBlack.com)

The perfect introduction to astronomy and stargazing. It has been the top-selling stargazing guide for over 20 years... With information that even the most experienced stargazers will find comes in handy.

— Space.com

[Review-of-previous-edition:] This is a book you can confidently recommend to anyone who is just starting out in astronomy.

— Astronomical League

Aspiring stargazers will find everything that they need to unlock the secrets of the night sky in this newly updated edition. Public and school libraries will certainly want to update their collections with this book.


[Review-of-previous-edition:] Highly recommended as the best of its kind.

— Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canad

This classic title has revisions in every chapter.

— Mercury

It may be hard to justify upgrading from later printings of the third edition, but NightWatch remains one of the best sourcebooks to introduce beginning astronomers to the night sky -- and to keep them interested.

— Sky and Telescope

This is a fantastic introductory book chock full of information and charts. Well written and engaging, it is sure to provide all the information to get Dad started looking at the night sky.

— suite101.com

[Review-of-previous-edition:] Easily the best in its field. ... Highly recommended for all libraries.

— Choice

This is a wonderful, single-volume introduction to the night sky and its wonders. More than that, it's chock-full of valuable information to help you understand how your telescope works and what all those dials and knobs do. If you only purchase one item to go with your new telescope, this should be it.

— Sky and Telescope Magazine

New, better-quality photos; amped-up sections on astrophotography and using amateur telescopic equipment; and a new chapter on the skies visible from the Southern hemisphere.

— PublishersWeekly.com

This fourth edition of the essential guide for amateur stargazers is newly updated, lavishly illustrated...and packed with facts...and a cosmic closet-full of other astronomical delights. For anyone who ever looked up and wondered what's out there, Nightwatch puts the heavens at your fingertips.

— American Profile

A "must" for any night-time observer.

— The Midwest Book Review

With this book, viewing the night skies can become fun again, and a family affair.... A must-have book, to stimulate interest in the heavens above, and away from video games and less productive activities.

— Shelf Life, Tenth Anniversary Edition

[Review-of-previous-edition:] A great all-round astronomy guide.

— Astronomy

NightWatch remains the best single source on sky watching and astronomy equipment for the backyard enthusiast.

— Windsor Star

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