A excellant starting book on computational astronomy
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
This is an excellant book for starting of computational astronomy. I read this book when I was being a secondary school student (at 1985). This book can give me clear and fundamental idea and concept required for computational astronomy, eg, time, coordinates. The English and mathematics involved is within the reach of secondary school student. I am highly recommending this book.
A ultimate book for start of computational astronomy
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
I am a Chinese from Hong Kong, China. I first read this book was on 1985 on Public Library, it the the only computational astronomy related book. At that time, I was being a secondary school student. This book I found is a very good on basic concept in positional astronomy and other fundamental knowledges concerning in basic ephemeris work. The English of this book is plain and be within the level of Hong Kong secondary school students. Starting from this book, I was being attracted on computational astronomy till now, recently I am in the way of writing of homepage of computational astronomy in Chinese, with the "practical astronomy with your calculator" as paradigm. I am so highly recommended this book.
Nice at twice the price
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
Don't be misled by the title. The recipes supplied by Peter Duffett-Smith are aimed at making calculations easier with a hand held calculator. However they are easily adapted for creating utilities on personal computers. The material should be easily handled by anyone whose completed highschool algebra and some trigonometry. The organization and format is well thought out. The earliest chapters deal with time and coordinates which are used in the more complex problems such as computing planet positions later in the book. Each concept is explained in straight forward language and conventional algebraic formulas are supplied. I found this especially useful for programmers using higher languages such as C,Pascal or Java. Then a step by step practical example is provided that is suitable for a scientific hand calculator. Duffett-Smith is careful about displaying units; a mindfield for most scientific calculations.My only minor criticism is that some of the typos errors could leave a user quite frustrated. On pp108 I found the value of Tp=0.240850 gave the correct answer while the tabulated value is 0.240852. Similarly, I on page 129, after repeated checks, I got a value of 7.08...AU for Rho compared with the value of 8.13AU in the book. The text cites a 7.2AU value from the Astronomical Almanac. Otherwise this is one neat addition to the bookshelf of any amateur astronomer of individual interested in astromical calculations.
Great book for advanced and beginning astronomers
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
I use this book in my Astronomical observation class and it has helped understand some of the higher mathematical formulas involved in astronomical observing. You can understand it better if you have had some pre-calc/calculus exposure, but for the most part the formulas are well explained.
This book is as beautiful as an astrolabe
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 25 years ago
For all stargazers who have university level math, and those equipped with lighter high school stuff, this book is a gem. In a few pages, and with nothing more than a pocket calculator, it allows you to explore the universe in a way which only a few hundred years ago was only possible with extensive state-support and massive buildings such as Stonehenge, state-sponsored observatories, and teams of pedantic astrologers and stargazers. Starting from the simple building blocks (converting your local time to Universal time), it progresses to more and more complex calculations, until finally at the end, you can calculate eclipses and planetary orbits. All the formulas needed for doing this are given in the book, and explained in great detail with many diagrams. All relevant astronomical data is also given. And for every calculation, a sample example is carried out with real numbers, which you can trace along with, so by the end of it you understanding is complete, practically as well as theoretically. A must read for any astronomy buff. I highly recommend it. It produces the information age equivalent of that feeling of satisfaction you get when you build a telescope and look out onto the heavens yourself--without any intermediaries. Astronomy and stargazing are the activities which were the genesis of the scientific revolution, more than 6000 years ago. This book shows you just how its done.
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