A book by Harvard Pennington
This “guide” is really much more than the title might suggest. It is part star atlas, part descriptive text, part telescope primer, and part strategy session, all held together with the infectious enthusiasm of its author. The whole first third of the book is chock full of practical information on telescopes and observing. Here Pennington does an admirable job of anticipating the difficulties beginners face using a telescope under the night sky for the first time—a perspective that is all too easy for experienced observers to loose sight of. The wealth of helpful pointers and the useful information presented in the opening chapters along justify the book’s price. . . . Here at last is a series of drawings that accurately portray the telescopic appearance of all 110 objects. These drawings are a wonderful resource for the beginning Messier hunter and provide a far better representation of the eyepiece view than the color photographs that dominate astronomical literature. . . . Pennington has provided the next best thing to having an experienced observer at your side guiding you personally through the Messier list. And that’s where this book really belongs—at one’s side in the field, collecting dew right along with the telescope, red flashlight, and eyepieces.