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View Full Version : Just want to build up some astronomy knowledge, where to start?



Inclusa
2011-Jan-20, 08:44 AM
Of course I won't be as proficient in math and science as some of you; my
physics and math are totally rusty.

Than again, some BASIC understanding would help.

Jens
2011-Jan-20, 08:50 AM
It's hard to say without knowing how much you know already, which I suspect is not so little. Maybe a high school textbook on astronomy or something like that. But reading Sky & Telescope, or simply hanging out here, can be helpful as well. . . It sort of depends more on whether you're interested in observation or in science.

John Jaksich
2011-Jan-20, 12:02 PM
Of course I won't be as proficient in math and science as some of you; my
physics and math are totally rusty.

Than again, some BASIC understanding would help.


My personal rules of thumb would be:

1) Build curiosity ---> (as Jens said) buy Sky & Telesscope or---Astronomy magazine---and start asking questions of yourself
It is not so much that the photos are strikingly beautiful--but what do they mean? How can you quanitify some of the measusrements or wavelengths of light? How do you know what you know?


2) Pick up an elementary text----> Chaisson/McMillan or Bennett & Voit-----> and again start by building your curiosity-----> look over the text, picturees, & figures and attempt to ask yourself some simple questiions

3) Read the books and magazines cited above for content----> and attempt to quiz yourself-----

4) Move onto problems within the text ------> try to answer them with paper and pencil in hand---this is very important---nothing is ever gained without a little brain-sweat.

5) Attempt to put your knowledge into your own words---without regurgitation

6) Find a club to join and stay in this forum or ---find one that is more suited to you?----


I hope this helps!

Romanus
2011-Jan-20, 11:29 PM
Will only second what's already been mentioned: the best way to learn is a combination of magazines (which will keep you up on the latest news and projects, both amateur and professional), and textbooks (which will not only give you the basics, but probably steer you toward a specific interest in the field, whether it be planets, stars, galaxies, etc.). Textbooks can be marvelously cheap, too; superb and fairly recent editions can be found in a typical second-hand bookstore for a small fraction of their list price.

baric
2011-Jan-21, 08:15 PM
Read this online article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy). That's a good starting overview and has many links and citations to more detailed articles about astronomy, depending on where your particular interests lie.

Cougar
2011-Jan-23, 02:23 PM
Blind Watchers of the Sky, The People and Ideas that Shaped Our View of the Universe [1996] -- Rocky Kolb

The Universe at Midnight, Observations Illuminating the Cosmos [2001] -- Ken Croswell

Cosmic Clouds: Birth, death, and recycling in the galaxy [1997] -- James Kaler

So many more....