Robert Garfinkle
Published by Cambridge University Press - ISBN 0-521-59889-3

I purchsed this book months before I managed to lay my hands on Turn Left at Orion, and have never gotten over a certain disappointment with this book.

The blurb on the back cover says that "to get the most out of Star-Hopping you will need good quality binoculars or a small astronomical telescope." This is misleading; in the text, the author routinely refers to small telescopes as those with apertures under 10 inches! This makes the planned star-hops either difficult to follow in an ETX or disappointing, as many of the objects referred to are too dim to be seen in an ETX with any detail, if at all. As an example, the galaxy NGC5879 (in Draco) is said to be "easy to see in small scopes," but with a magnitude of 11.5, it is going to be a stretch to be seen at all in a 90mm scope; detail is virtually out of the question.

The book is jam-packed with information about each object seen along the way. There's no doubt that Garfinkle knows his way around the sky, but by jamming so much information into the text, it becomes difficult to use this book out in the field to follow the path laid out.

Each path is diagrammed on a chart with circles to represent the view through a finder scope, with multiple circles showing each jump along the way. I found these charts to generally be good, though not all objects shown will actually be visible in a finder, due to their faintness.

I keep returning to this book when I'd like more information about a particular object, but unlike Turn Left at Orion, it's not one that I bring outside with me on observing nights.

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